Open Access in Bremen

Open Access backed by the University and German Research Foundation

It may sound unlikely, but a generation of new academic journals has emerged that won’t cost libraries a cent. Instead authors will pay so that readers can access their research findings online free of charge.

These Open Access journals are part of a trend which is sweeping the globe. More and more academic journals are adopting the “Open Access” principle and providing unrestricted online access to their publication provided that authors cover the cost of publishing articles.

Respected Open Access journals reach significantly broader audiences and are also more frequently cited. But there is a downside to this practice; depending on the journal, authors can expect to face costs of €300 to €2,000 per article.

Increasing numbers of researchers at the University of Bremen are also turning to Open Access publishing and paying to have their research findings published.

In collaboration with the German Research Foundation (DFG), the University of Bremen has initiated a program that will help researchers publish their findings in respected Open Access journals by reimbursing 75%  the so-called “article processing charges” and “publication fees”. Starting with 2012,  the university requires the corresponding authors or the institutes to cover 25% of  the costs.

Accessing the DFG’s “Open Access Publishing” funding program through the State and University Library of Bremen

The University of Bremen and the State and University Library of Bremen (SuUB) have agreed to support Open Access publishing by adopting the following procedure: researchers based at the University of Bremen can publish their research findings on the Copernicus, BioMedCentral, Springer Open and ChemistryCentral platforms free of charge - all article processing fees will be met by the University.
Researchers can also submit invoices for OA publishing expenses to the State and University Library, e.g. for the following Open Access platforms (please contact: Benjamin Ahlborn):

Funding is also available in other cases where publishers and journals meet the DFG’s funding conditions:
to meet these conditions, journals must provide “real” Open Access, i.e. unrestricted online access to their contents. It is also essential that publications apply recognized peer review procedures to ensure that academic standards are fulfilled. The SuUB will assess the suitability of the proposed publication in such cases.

Unfortunately no funding can be provided for “Open Choice” publishing (i.e. pay-to-use journals which require users to pay a fee to unlock individual articles).

The University is the official applicant in this process; i.e. the University administration requests the release of the necessary funds from the DFG and passes these on to the SuUB. The SuUB is responsible for checking the accuracy of the details submitted and processing payments.

The following reimbursement tracks are available:

  • authors can submit original invoices to the SuUB directly and will in turn receive an invoice for 25% co-financing
  • authors can also apply to have earlier expenses reimbursed by submitting an invoice which amounts to 75% of the original invoice issued by the publisher (applies to documents published no earlier than 1.1.2012). Please supply a copy of the original invoice

For a comprehensive overview of Open Access journals, please see the Directory of Open Access Journals.