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Open Access to Academic Literature (DE0013)



Action Plan: Germany National Action Plan 2017-2019

Action Plan Cycle: 2017

Status: Active


Lead Institution: Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

E-Government, Education, Science & Technology

IRM Review

IRM Report: Pending IRM Review

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: No

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i



Description: In Germany, science and research frequently receive public funding. Citizens wish to share in the results of such research. This can be achieved by making academic literature available free of charge on the Internet, for example. Researchers make their papers available on websites or in databases under the keyword “open access” without any legal or financial obstacles to the public. In addition to this simple access to academic literature, open access allows for new ways of disseminating scientific knowledge. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has launched a competition to fund innovative projects for further promoting the open access principle at universities and research institutes. The projects are intended to overcome existing reservations and obstacles for researchers to publish their literature on the Internet free of charge. Aim: Making open access to academic literature a standard for academic publishing so that the public can better share in the results of government-funded research. Currently, only some researchers decide to make their literature freely available on the Internet. To raise awareness of open access, we need specific projects which show how this principle can work in practice. The aim is to reduce existing reservations against new forms of publication and to improve the practical use of open access publications. In the medium term, we intend to make open access a standard method of academic publication in Germany. Status quo: The research community generally supports and promotes open access. In their Berlin Declaration, the large research organizations, the German Rectors’ Conference, the German Council of Science and Humanities and many European and international research institutions declared open access publications vital to fulfilling their task of ensuring comprehensive and free access to knowledge. A study showed that about 90% of German researchers think that providing open access to their literature will benefit their field of work. Despite this largely positive attitude towards open access, researchers often refrain from publishing their own articles as open access. Therefore, we want to support in particular those projects which complement existing possibilities to publish freely available academic literature in Germany, create new possibilities and improve the conditions for open access publications. Ambition: Establishing open access as a standard of academic publication in the German research community. Publications from government-funded research should be freely available to the public, if possible. New or ongoing: new Implemented by: Federal Ministry of Education and Research Organizations involved in implementation: - Organizational unit and contact: Division D1, Philipp Zimbehl,, Open government values addressed: Participation, innovation, transparency Relevance: Open access makes government-funded research more easily accessible for the general public. This way, also people who cannot directly participate in academia can follow developments in government-funded research.

Germany's Commitments

  1. Conditions for OGP Participation

    DE0001, 2017, OGP

  2. Open Data in Administrative Practice

    DE0002, 2017, Capacity Building

  3. Open Data Environment

    DE0003, 2017, Capacity Building

  4. Access to Spatial Data

    DE0004, 2017, Capacity Building

  5. Financial Transparency - EITI Standard

    DE0005, 2017, E-Government

  6. Transparency in Development Policy

    DE0006, 2017, Aid

  7. Open Data for Intelligent Mobility

    DE0007, 2017, E-Government

  8. Citizen Participation in Environmental Policy and Urban Development

    DE0008, 2017, Capacity Building

  9. Electronic Procedures for Family Benefits

    DE0009, 2017, E-Government

  10. Knowledge Network for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex People

    DE0010, 2017, E-Government

  11. Local Alliances for Family Initiative

    DE0011, 2017, Public Participation

  12. Share of Women and Men in Leadership Positions, Private and Private Sectors

    DE0012, 2017, E-Government

  13. Open Access to Academic Literature

    DE0013, 2017, E-Government

  14. Science Year 2018

    DE0014, 2017, Public Participation

  15. Federal Competition “Living Together Hand in Hand”

    DE0015, 2017, Citizenship and Immigration