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Open Access



In the first instance, Open Access means that academic literature is accessible publicly and free of charges via the internet. Thus, in the case of Open Access the access to literature is free of charges. However, the same as during the publication of non-openly accessible literature (closed access), costs emerge for the implementation of Open Access during the entire process of production of publication as well as for the required infrastructure. This is the reason why for the release of Open Access-publications sometimes, not always, charges are raised which normally have to be paid to the releasing publishers of institutions.

There are different requirement of funding organizations with regard to Open Access. A nice overview is provided by the database Sherpa Juliet in which may be searched for specific funding organizations. Please find a selection in the following:

  • The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) (pdf) has determined Open Access among its fundamental principles for funding. “The clause asks scholars – insofar they have decided to publish their results – to publish research results deriving from projects funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research either directly Open Access (Golden Way) or to record them subsequent to the expiration of an embargo delay within an appropriate repository (Green Way)…”.
  • The European Commission expresses an Open Access obligation for peer-review-articles within the European Framework Program Horizon 2020. See in this context: https://v2.sherpa.ac.uk/id/funder/763. Within the follow-up-program “Horizon Europe”, the 9th Research Framework Program, the political guidelines for the digital and green changing process are implemented.
  • cOAlition S and Plan S are a network of European Commission, European Research Council and a number of national and international research funding organizations. In order to promote Open Access, a strategy was adopted in 2018 making it compulsory to release publicly funded research results in openly accessible journals or repositories from 2021 on. To the implementation of the guidelines, 10 requirements apply. By means of the "Journal-Checker-Tools" kprovided 2020 in beta-version, it may be checked how the publication can be implemented in compliance with PlanS.

Any scholar may publish Open Access as long as the required rights were not conceded to elsewhere. According to publication manner, different platforms are recommended:

  • For articles in journals, appropriate Open Access-journals may be selected.
  • For preprint-versions, institutional or subject-specific preprint servers are applicable.
  • Conference contributions, research reports, final reports etc. may be release in Open Access-repositories. (Bsp.: MONARCH-Qucosa der TU Chemnitz)
  • Books, doctoral theses and publication series may be released e.g. by the University Press of Chemnitz University of Technology.
  • For research data, specific data-repositories or data-journals are suitable. Please access Research Data at Open Science.
  • Collaborative working with teaching and learning materials by Open Access-publication. Important information on Open Science – Open Educational Resources.
  • The joint development and provision of Open-Access software has turned out very beneficially since many years, see Open Science – Open Source
  • Edit own OA-journals: OJS

The Open Science Team will be delighted to assist you.

At first, it should be checked which Open Access-options are offered by reputable publishers in your subject and which discount-agreements Chemnitz University of Technology has concluded.

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is an independent, non-commercial and comprehensive register of Open Access-journals being assessed and recorded according to determined criteria. Standards are i.a. the immediate accessibility, the sustainable quality control and the allocation of an ISSN.

For a summary of a range of searching opportunities, please access the website “Quality of Open Access”.

The peer-review procedures of Open Access-journals do not differ from those of other journals. Within the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), you may find Open Access-journals with peer review-procedures and you may filter specific assessment procedures. In case of journals, which are not included in the register, please check the statement regarding peer review on their homepage and observe our information provided in the category Quality of Open Access".

The Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) contains a number of books which are openly accessible. Another way to start searching is the Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE). By browsing according to kind of document, books may be displayed which may be filtered subsequently according to the access status Open Access.

The provision of a publication via an academic social network does not comply with the criteria of Open Access as they frequently do not assure long-term archiving and are only accessible by registration. In addition, there is the risk of infringement of copyright law in the case that – as common for not openly accessible, fee-based publications – the rights for them are not held by the author anymore but are conceded exclusively to a publisher.

However, in the case of publications released by open licence , this might – under the condition of corresponding licensing condition – on the other hand occasionally be possible. A publication, no matter if released Gold Open Access or Green Open Access, should best be integrated in academic social networks exclusively as reference with a link to the publication whereas the full-text should not be provided there. Interesting information in this respect is provided by the blog-contribution “Uploading articles at ResearchGate and Co: Which publisher permits what? And to which extent is it Open Access?” of Berlin University of Technology as well as on the website "How Can I Share It?", which should assist in a better understanding how and where you are allowed to share articles released by different publishers.

According to the definition of the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, users may copy, disseminate and publicly display as well as process those publications in any digital media of any kind and for any responsible purpose, insofar the authorship is indicated properly. In practice, there are different forms of Open Access having also different meanings. Free Access may, for example, signify the availability within a database whose content is licensed by the library or its content is temporarily openly accessible.

In the first instance, to all publications applies that their usage is possible within the framework of copyright law. Further usage opportunities may be conceded by Open-Content licenses. See the category “(Legal) Regulation” n this respect.

The different publication manners if Open Access are frequently marked with colors. The most common are the Golden and the Green Way. However, also the colors bronze, blue, platinum and black are used in this context.

The hybrid publication manner differs from this scheme. A detailed understanding of the different colors is provided by the color theory in the blog contribution of TIB Hannover by Stefan Schmeja (German).


Adherents of Chemnitz University of Technology may make use of different opportunities for financing of Open Access-publications.

Publications may, for example, be financed within third-party-funded projects. By participation in consortia or by membership models, charges may be reduced, see also Publisher agreements.. Occasionally, publication charges are also covered by subject-specific associations. Complementary to that, the University Library administrates a Publication Fund for Open Access-publications.

By the Publication Fund exclusively publications may be financed where the applicants are adherents of Chemnitz University of Technology and additionally “submitting author” or “corresponding author” of the publication and thus are responsible for the payment of the publication charges.

Yes. Doctoral students enrolled as students at Chemnitz University of Technology count among the adherents of Chemnitz University of Technology.

Yes. However, the affiliation to Chemnitz University of Technology as primary institution to the article has to be indicated and mentioned in the manuscript.

Publications within so-called hybrid journals are only eligible under the condition that those journals are part of a transformation agreement with Chemnitz University of Technology which is considered as complying with Plan S according to the criteria of the ESAC-initiative.

Please address in this case to the Open Access-Team.

In the case of a funded article in a journal, please coordinate with the publisher that the following information on funding by the Publication Fund of Chemnitz University of Technology is integrated: “The publication of this article was funded by Chemnitz University of Technology”. This information usually is integrated under headlines such as “Funding” or “Acknowledgements”.

Credit card and banking fees are not eligible for financing by the Publication Fund. Exclusively the services of the publisher with regard to the Open Access-publication are covered.

(Legal) Regulations

The University Library does not provide any legal consultation with regard to Open Access or copyright issues but solely offers non-binding information and assistance for understanding legal aspects of Open Access. All information is provided without liability on accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Those licenses are globally common and approved. By allocation of a CC-license, authors concede usages beyond the copyright law in force. By the selection of different license modules, specific usage scenarios are included or excluded, such as the commercial usage or the processing of the contents. In case that usage rights were already conceded to a publisher, a CC-license may not be freely allocated anymore!

Please find further information regarding Creative-Commons licences on a dedicated website.

Insofar you are offered different Creative-Commons licenses for selection, the decision is in the end up to you as author. In this respect, there are no general regulations. However, the University Library recommends to select the Creative-Commons license CC-BY, which is in any case in compliance with Open Access and which just requires the indication of the name of the author as condition, or CC BY-SA, demanding additionally in case of processing the forwarding under the same conditions. On a dedicated website, we provide further information regarding Creative Commons-licenses.

According to German copyright law, a secondary publication (also known as parallel publication) is possible after a year under certain conditions. We provide further information on the right for secondary publication and on how to make use of it on a dedicated website.

Since March 1, 2018, the new copyright law for education and science, called “Author-Science-Law (UrhWissG)”, is in force. It includes exceptional regulations (limitations) permitting the usage of elaborations protected by copyright without prior coordination with authors or publishers. Usages for teaching, science and institutions permitted by law are defined in the paragraphs § 60a - § 60h. The following limitations are permitted:

  • § 60a Urh[Wiss]G permits to use generally up to 15% of an elaboration for education and teaching at educational institutions (e.g. schools and universities).
  • § 60b Urh[Wiss]G facilitates the production of media for education and teaching.
  • § 60c Urh[Wiss]G permits to use up to 15% of an elaboration for non-commercial scientific research; for individual scientific research, the copying of 75% of an elaboration is permitted.
  • § 60d Urh[Wiss]G regulates for the first time the so-called Text and Data Mining. This is a research method where contents protected by copyright (e.g. text, images, recordings) are processed automatically to a large extent.
  • § 60e Urh[Wiss]G includes different permission for libraries. Thus, they are entitled for example to digitize elaborations from their collections for the purpose of conservation. It is also regulated under which conditions libraries may make elaborations accessible at terminals in their spaces and in which scope they are entitled to permit printouts at these terminals. Also the shipping of copies by the libraries is regulated.
  • § 60f Urh[Wiss]G includes permissions for archives, museums and educational institutions similar to those for the libraries.

In this context see also: Irights Info

Graphic: CC-BY-SA Anne Fuhrmann-Siekmeyer, Osnabrück University; adapted from e-learning working group TU Darmstadt; As of: Feb. 2018

The citation right seems to be the most common usage permitted by law. It is regulated in paragraph 51 UrhG. As citation is considered the takeover of individual parts from elaborations protected by copyright law for the purpose of own intellectual reflections by indication of the source. According to the new UrhWissG also illustrations are citable. The following requirements (German) should be observed:

  • Reflection of the elaboration (citation purpose): A citation is only considered as a citation in the case that the elaboration cited is really reflected. Thus, a simple copy is not a citation. The copy becomes a citation when it is used as instrument for own thoughts, e.g. within a critical reflection.
  • Autonomous elaboration: Another requirement consist on the condition that the own elaboration has to be eligible for protection by copyright law as only the one should profit from citation right who generates him/herself new intellectual content.
  • Indication of source: The user is obliged to always indicate the source of the citation insofar this is technically feasible and reasonable and (s)he is not entitled to make any changes of the citation. The citation from another elaboration without indicating the author is generally considered as “plagiarism”.
  • Scope of citation: The law makes a difference between major citation and minor citation. A major citation including the entire other elaboration is quite common e.g. in the case of artistic elaborations but restricted to academic elaborations. In case of minor citations where only individual parts of an elaboration are taken over, the scope permitted depends on how much other content is required and necessary for the own reflection.

Source: The information provided is based on the following source by authorship of the University Library of Humboldt University Berlin and released with license “CC BY 4.0”: Open Access FAQ , as of January 13, 2021. Those information were processed by the University Library for usage at Chemnitz University of Technology.