Laying Tracks as the Train Approaches: Innovative Open Access Book Publishing at Heidelberg University from the Editors’ Point of View

Authors : Andrea Hacker, Elizabeth Corrao

In April 2016, Heidelberg University’s newly founded open access publisher heiUP launched the first volume of the new book series Heidelberg Studies in Transculturality.

This article reports on the challenges, accomplishments, and setbacks that informed the entire editorial production process, not only of the first volume but also of the series and the publishing enterprise overall.

The authors offer insights on crucial issues that any new open access publishing endeavour at an institution might face, namely acquiring manuscripts, designing and building workflows, and collaborating with partners to build an outlet for hosting the finished product.

This article also illustrates how the goal of providing a new digital reading experience through an innovative HTML format, in addition to print-on-demand and PDF versions of each manuscript, affected the progress of the entire project. Finally, we report on what it took to deliver results.


Continuing Professional Education in Open Access : a French-German Survey

Authors : Achim Oßwald, Joachim Schöpfel, Bernard Jacquemin

While open access (OA) has become a significant part of scientific communication and academic publishing, qualification issues have been out of focus in the OA community until recent years.

Based on findings about the qualification for OA within university-based programs in France and Germany the authors surveyed continuing professional education activities regarding OA in both countries in the years 2012-2015.

The results indicate that there are different types of events qualifying for OA and reveal a lack of coherent concepts for different target groups. Until now traditional presentation formats have been dominant.

Formats for distance learning, like MOOCs or webinars, might serve different needs and interests.


A study of institutional spending on open access publication fees in Germany

Authors : Najko Jahn, Marco Tullney

Publication fees as a revenue source for open access publishing hold a prominent place on the agendas of researchers, policy makers, and academic publishers.

This study contributes to the evolving empirical basis for funding these charges and examines how much German universities and research organisations spent on open access publication fees.

Using self-reported cost data from the Open APC initiative, the analysis focused on the amount that was being spent on publication fees, and compared these expenditure with data from related Austrian (FWF) and UK (Wellcome Trust, Jisc) initiatives, in terms of both size and the proportion of articles being published in fully and hybrid open access journals.

We also investigated how thoroughly self-reported articles were indexed in Crossref, a DOI minting agency for scholarly literature, and analysed how the institutional spending was distributed across publishers and journal titles.

According to self-reported data from 30 German universities and research organisations between 2005 and 2015, expenditures on open access publication fees increased over the years in Germany and amounted to € 9,627,537 for 7,417 open access journal articles.

The average payment was € 1,298, and the median was € 1,231. A total of 94% of the total article volume included in the study was supported in accordance with the price cap of € 2,000, a limit imposed by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) as part of its funding activities for open access funding at German universities.

Expenditures varied considerably at the institutional level. There were also differences in how much the institutions spent per journal and publisher. These differences reflect, at least in part, the varying pricing schemes in place including discounted publication fees.

With an indexing coverage of 99%, Crossref thoroughly indexed the open access journals articles included in the study. A comparison with the related openly available cost data from Austria and the UK revealed that German universities and research organisations primarily funded articles in fully open access journals.

By contrast, articles in hybrid journal accounted for the largest share of spending according to the Austrian and UK data. Fees paid for hybrid journals were on average more expensive than those paid for fully open access journals.

URL : A study of institutional spending on open access publication fees in Germany


2012 Census of Open Access Repositories in Germany…


2012 Census of Open Access Repositories in Germany: Turning Perceived Knowledge Into Sound Understanding :

“Germany’s open access repository landscape is one of the largest in the world. It is shaped by institutional, subject and cross-institutional repositories serving different needs which range, for example, from a mere theses server to a repository integrated into an institutional information infrastructure. To date this landscape has never been fully surveyed. This article presents and interprets the results of a 2012 Census of Open Access Repositories in Germany. This Census covered crucial issues ranging from repository size and software, various value-added services, to general aspects of open access. The key findings of this survey shall help stakeholders in their decision making by identifying trends in the development of open access repositories in Germany.”


The Determinants of Open Access Publishing Survey Evidence…


The Determinants of Open Access Publishing: Survey Evidence from Germany :

“We discuss the results of a survey conducted in fall 2012 and covering 2,151 researchers in Germany. We show that there are significant differences between the scientific disciplines with respect to researcher’s awareness of and experience with both open access (OA) journals and self-archiving. Our results reveal that the relevance of OA within a discipline may explain why researchers from particular disciplines do (not) publish OA. Besides, several aspects like copyright law, age, profession or the inherent reward system of a discipline play a role. As a consequence, the paper emphasizes that a “one-size-fits-all” approach as promoted by most recent policy approaches is little promising for providing an effective framework for shaping the future of scholarly publishing.”


General cost analysis for scholarly communication in Germany…


General cost analysis for scholarly communication in Germany : results of the “Houghton Report” for Germany :

“Conducted within the project “Economic Implications of New Models for Information Supply for Science and Research in Germany”, the Houghton Report for Germany provides a general cost and benefit analysis for scientific communication in Germany comparing different scenarios according to their specific costs and explicitly including the German National License Program (NLP).”


Umgang mit Open Access Publikationsgebühren – die Situation…


Umgang mit Open-Access-Publikationsgebühren – die Situation in Deutschland in 2010 :

“Mit der dynamischen Entwicklung von Open Access gewinnt die Diskussion um den Umgang mit Gebühren, die für Open-Access-Publikationen anfallen, an Bedeutung. Die deutschen Wissenschaftsorganisationen widmen sich dieser Diskussion, seit 2008 auch im Rahmen der Schwerpunktinitiative „Digitale Information“. Im Jahr 2010 wurde in einer Umfrage unter Hochschulen und außeruniversitären Forschungsinstitutionen die Praxis im Umgang mit diesen Publikationsgebühren unter die Lupe genommen. Dabei wurde deutlich, dass sich die Wissenschaftsorganisationen des Themas annehmen und bestrebt sind, Mechanismen zu entwickeln, um ihren Angehörigen die Veröffentlichung in Open-Access-Zeitschriften, die sich durch Publikationsgebühren finanzieren, unkompliziert zu ermöglichen. Darüber hinaus zeigt der Blick auf die Open-Access-Strategien der Organisationen, dass diese die Transformation von einem subskriptionsbasierten hin zu einem Open-Access-basierten Publikationssystem vorantreiben. Die Ergebnisse der Umfrage machen jedoch auch die Herausforderungen deutlich. Der Beitrag gibt einen Überblick über die Landschaft der Open-Access-Zeitschriften, beschreibt die Aktivitäten und Entwicklungen in den Wissenschaftsorganisationen und stellt die Ergebnisse der Erhebung unter wissenschaftlichen Institutionen in Deutschland vor.”

“Along with the dynamic development of open access, the question of how to handle open access publication charges is increasingly discussed. German research organisations have been involved in this discussion as part of their activities within the Priority Initiative “Digital Information” of the “Alliance of German Science Organisations” since 2008. In 2010 they commissioned a survey among universities and research institutions, focusing on their practice in dealing with publication charges. As a result, it became clear that these organisations are aware of the issue. For their members, they seek to develop mechanisms to facilitate publishing in author fee-based open access journals. In general, an overview of the open access strategies of the organisations shows an ongoing transformation process from a subscription-based towards an open access publishing system. However, the survey results also point to challenges. The article gives an overview of open-access related activities and developments in German research organisations and presents the results of the survey on handling of open access publication charges among academic institutions in Germany.”