University Library

Fair Open Access

TU Berlin supports a sustainable implementation of Open Access. To this purpose, the university promotes innovative publication models and open science structures that avoid expensive profit-driven business models, ensure scientific quality and focus on the interests of authors and readers.

What does Fair Open Access mean?

Fair Open Access can be seen as a consistent extension of the core idea of Open Access. This type of scholarly publishing strives for a non-profit, immediate, complete and transparent implementation of Open Access and avoids a profit-driven business model based on Article Processing Charges (APC). By building and supporting scholarly led infrastructures, control of the publishing process is placed in the hands of the scholarly community

What criteria apply to Fair Open Access?

The Fair Open Access Alliance (FOAA) has defined guidelines for the implementation of Fair OA, on which the following five criteria are based:

  • Scholar-led: The publisher/journal has a transparent ownership structure and is controlled by and responsive to the scholarly community.
  • Authors retain copyright: In traditional publishing models, authors often transfer the rights to their works to publishers. As a result, they are sometimes restricted in sharing or re-using their own work without further effort. Fair Open Access aims to ensure that all rights remain with the authors.
  • Open Access: The publications are made freely accessible in full text and immediately. Re-use is ensured by using free licences.
  • No charges for authors: Publications should be funded by universities or research funders if possible. Publications should not be conditioned in any way on the payment of article processing charges (APC) from the author or their employing institution, or on membership of an institution or society.
  • Cost transparency: All fees paid to publishers are transparent and proportionate to the work carried out.

Policies and Recommendations

The need to establish scholar led infrastructures for scientific publishing and the realignment of research assessment are also reflected in the guidelines and recommendations of the various research funding agencies:

  • In the Council Conclusion "High-quality, transparent, open, trustworthy and equitable scholarly publishing" (2023), the EU Council Presidency calls on the EU Member States for the implementation of measures for Open Science. This includes the immediate open access publication of research findings that have been financed by state funds. Similarly, member states are encouraged to support the development of a non-profit and science-oriented publication infrastructure. Expensive publication models based on Article Processing Charges (APC) as well as embargo periods are to be avoided. (Short summary in the EU press release)
  • In its press release, the German Research Foundation (DFG) endorses the EU Council decision and in parallel publishes a detailed statement in which DFG supports the recommendations of the EU Council Presidency for the scientific publication system.
  • In its position paper "Academic Publishing as a Foundation and Area of Leverage for Research Assessment", the DFG states the need for a reform of research assessment in order to ensure a research-appropriate publication system. Necessary alternative evaluation procedures that are not based on bibliometric indicators are only possible in the context of a publication infrastructure that is appropriate for science. (Summary of the position paper, German only).
  • TU Berlin has signed the "Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment" by Executive Board decision and is now a member of the international "Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment“ (CoARA). The main concern of the reform is to acknowledge the diversity of research results and activities. (press release)
  • In its "Recommendations for the Transformation of Scientific Publishing to Open Access" (2022, German only), the German Science and HumanitiesCouncil (Wissenschaftsrat) recommends, among other things, the support of new, independent publishing models.
  • The guidline on "Open Acces in Germany" (German only) issued by the federal and state governments opposes the increasing commercialization of publicly funded scholarly publications. It appreciates the diversity of the academic publishing system, emphasizes the important role of small and medium-sized academic publishers, and encourages the establishment and expansion of scholar led infrastructures.


Open Access Team

Michaela VoigtTel.: +49 30 314-76130
Jana SchildhauerTel.: +49 30 314-76067
Katharina DrescherTel.: +49 30 314-76457
Elena Di RosaTel.: +49 30 314-76132

The chat is currently unavailable.

Please use our alternative contact options.

Privacy notice: The TU Berlin offers a chat information service. If you enable it, your IP address and chat messages will be transmitted to external EU servers. more information