Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More on German publishers on OA

Charlotte Hubbard, Observations from the "Open Access Policies of German Publishers" conference, BioMed Central blog, October 9, 2007.  Excerpt:

Despite the continuing momentum of the open access movement, only a few German-language publishing houses have so far developed a clear position on open access. This was apparent at a recent conference organised by the Universitaetsbibliothek Stuttgart - for a summary of the day, see Ulrich Herb’s excellent article, (in German).

Whereas established publishing houses have been slow to adapt to the changing landscape, University presses (for instance in Goettingen) are undergoing a revival, offering services such as open access book publications (so far to theses and textbooks). Free availability of content and commercial sales can go hand in hand, and especially when combined with print-on-demand services they provide the basis for innovative publishing businesses. This was demonstrated by the memorable labelling of the free, online version as a “full-range teaser” by the founders of Monsenstein und Vannerdat – a phrase with potential to become part of standard terminology.

There is also strong and growing support for open access among researchers and research institutes. In BioMed Central journals alone, nearly 1,800 articles have been published with German researchers as the submitting author, accounting for nearly 7% of all articles. In addition, 35 German institutes/organisations have taken out a BioMed Central membership including the Max Planck Society. Earlier this year, the Universities of Bielefeld, Goettingen, Constance and the Free University of Berlin set up, an online information platform that intends to inform on the growing scientific and political significance of open access issues.