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Open access in research

Open access stands for the free flow of scientific information on the internet. Scientific information is supposed to be freely available, without any technical, legal, or financial barriers.

Many organisations support open access, e.g., the UNESCO or the German Alliance of Scientific Organisations (Allianz der Wissenschaftsorganisationen).
In Hamburg, the Senate has implemented Hamburg Open Science, a cross-university program to make publicly funded research results freely accessible and easy to find. You can see the results in the Open Science portal.

Open access has many advantages for scientists. Numerous studies show that publications that are made available in open access are downloaded and cited more often than traditional publications which are behind paywalls. Open access accelerates scientific communication. It makes international and interdisciplinary collaboration more easy. In addition, publishing your work in a repository will, in most cases, ensure long-term storage. All the advantages and also the disadvantages of open access are discussed in detail on the platform open-access.network.

There are two ways to make your publication open access: gold open access and green open access.

How can I find out whether an open access journal ensures good quality?

If you are unsure about a journals quality, you can use a simple checklist which you find on the website think.check.submit. This will help you in making an informed decision.

You can also check if the journal is on the whitelist Directory of Open Access Journals. The directory only includes journals that meet certain quality standards.

If you received a dubious email from a publisher, you can also forward it to us: digitaledienste(at)hcu-hamburg.de.

Another helpful tool for choosing a journal is the list of frequently cited open access journals which was put together by the National Contact Point Open Access in Germany.

I have to pay an article processing charge (APC) for my open access article. What is the procedure for paying it at HCU?

For the payment of the publication fee, a review and approval by the HCU purchasing department is necessary. Therefore, before submitting the paper, please fill out a purchase requisition and send it signed to the HCU purchasing department. In the case of financing from third-party funds, the review of admissibility in the respective project will be initiated here via the third-party funds controlling. You will receive an approval from the HCU purchasing department by e-mail on the basis of which you can submit the paper to the publisher. Where possible, please enter "HafenCity Universität Hamburg, Rechnungseingang, Henning-Voscherau-Platz 1, 20457 Hamburg" as the invoice address. Without prior approval of your requisition by the HCU purchasing department, neither the invoice nor the reimbursement of expenses can be accepted by HCU. If the item is rejected, the requisition is invalid. .

What do I have to consider when publishing a work in green open access on a repository?

If you want to publish a work on an open access repository that has already been published in a publishing house, you have to check your contract with the publishing house. If your research project is publicly funded in Germany, you may (under certain conditions) have the right to publish your work on an open access repository after an embargo period of one yeear - no matter what your contract says. This is called Zweitveröffentlichungsrecht.
Further information: FAQ Zweitveröffentlichung (in German).

Why should I apply a license to my open access publication?

A Creative Commons license makes the legal spreading of your work more easy. For scientific works, the license that is usually recommended is CC-BY. This license allows others to share and re-use your work, but they have to mention you as the author.
Further information: Creative Commons.

To what kind of works can I apply an open content license?

You can apply a Creative Commons license to your creative work, such as texts or videos (see above).

You may not be allowed to apply a license to a work that has been previously published in a publishing house in closed access, because the publishing house may possess a part of the publishing rights.

In the case of software or hardware, you have to look into Open Source licenses.

What is the ORCID ID?

The Open Researcher and Contributor ID, ORCID, is a persistent digital identifier which makes it possible to connect your person with your research activities -  without ambiguities. ORCID solves the problem that many researchers have the same name by giving you a unique identifier. Registration for an ORCID takes only 30 seconds. After registration, you can add your scientific work to your ORCID, for example by importing the metadata from your publications from other databases.
Further information: ORCID.

You can profit from publishing a pre- or post-print via Green Open Access, even if you have published your article in closed access.

In some cases, you have the right to publish a post-print of your work in Open Access no matter what other agreements exist with a publishing house. This is called Zweitveröffentlichungsrecht.
Further information: FAQ Zweitveröffentlichungsrecht (in German).

Many publishing houses allow authors to publish a pre- or post-print in an institutional repository, sometimes after an embargo period. You can check your contract for this.
You can also ask the publishing house for the permission to publish your work as Green Open Access.
If you do not have your contract at hand, you can check the Sherpa-Romeo database for publisher copyright policies (but do make sure to verify this information with your publisher).

Once all legal issues are clarified, you can publish your work on the HCU repository as Green Open Access.

The HCU has concluded special contracts with four publishers. These contracts allow HCU members to publish at reduced rates in pure OA journals (gold open access) and/or to publish at reduced rates in traditional subscription journals (hybrid OA). Below you will find the conditions offered by the publishers MDPI, Sage and Wiley.


MDPI

Since 15 September 2019, the HCU has been an institutional member of the open access publishing house MDPI (Multidisciplinary Publishing Institute).

Gold open access:
HCU members receive a 10% discount on the article fees of all the publisher's OA journals. Invoicing is still done by the authors.

MDPI is an open access publisher based in Switzerland. The publishing house's programme includes a wide range of scientific journals, including the titles Sustainability, Energies and Water. There are also some journals in the humanities and social sciences.

More information about the journals of the publishing house MDPI can be found here.


Sage

The HCU participates in a consortium agreement with the publisher Sage, which also includes open access regulations.

Gold open access:
HCU members can publish in original OA journals (e.g. Sage Open) at a 20% discount.

Hybrid open access (Sage Open Choice):
HCU members can publish in journals from the Social Sciences and Humanities package at the highly discounted price of the equivalent of 240 Euros. Please contact the library team to clarify whether the journal you have chosen is part of the contract.

Green open access:
The article version published in a traditional subscription journal can be republished on a publication server (e.g. repOS from HCU) after a so-called embargo period of one year.


Wiley & Springer Nature

The HCU signed the DEAL contract with the publishers Wiley and Springer Nature. The contract with Wiley runs from 2019-2023 and the one with Springer Nature from 2020-2023.

HCU members will be able to publish in Wiley and Springer Nature journals without having to pay publication fees themselves.

Gold open access:
HCU members can publish in an original open access journal.

Hybrid open access:
The online version of your article in a traditional subscription journal becomes open access. Wiley calls this "Online Open", Springer Nature calls this "Open Choice". The print version of the journal is still subject to a fee.

To publish open access under the conditions of the DEAL agreement, you must be a corresponding or submitting author and indicate this in the online submission process.

The contract also includes reading access to the whole online journal portfolio of both publishers, including the volumes up to 1997.

If you have any questions regarding publishing contracts, please contact the digitaledienste(at)hcu-hamburg.de.

How do I find scientific journals or a publisher if I want to publish in open access?

Use the OA.finder search tool. Here you can search by publication type and find a lot of information, e.g. on publication costs.
 

How can I find out whether an Open Access Journal ensures good quality?

If you are unsure about a journals quality, you can use a simple checklist which you find on the website think.check.submit. This will help you in making an informed decision. You can also check if the journal is on the whitelist Directory of Open Access Journals. The directory only includes journals that meet certain quality standards.
If you received a dubious email from a publisher, you can also forward it to us.
Another helpful tool for choosing a journal is the list of frequently cited Open Access Journals which was put together by the national contact point for Open Access in Germany.

I have to pay an article processing charge (APC) for my Open Access article. What is the procedure for paying it at HCU?

The first thing you should do is make sure of two things: First, that you have the funds to pay for it. Second, that the journal you want to publish in is reputable. To do this, you can refer to the think.check.submit checklist (see above) or, if you are unsure, you can contact the library's Open Access advisory service.

For the payment of the publication fee, a check and approval by the purchasing department is necessary. Therefore, before submitting the paper, please fill out a demand form and send it signed to HCU Purchasing. In case of financing from third-party funds, the check of admissibility in the respective project will be initiated here via the third-party funds controlling. You will receive an approval by e-mail from HCU Purchasing on the basis of which you can submit the paper to the publisher. Where possible, please enter "HafenCity Universität Hamburg, Rechnungseingang, Henning-Voscherau-Platz 1, 20457 Hamburg" as the invoice address. Without prior approval of your requisition by HCU Purchasing, neither the invoice nor the expense reimbursement can be accepted by HCU. If the item is rejected, the requisition is void.
 

What do I have to consider when publishing a work in Green Open Access on a repository?

If you want to publish a work on an Open Access repository that has already been published in a publishing house, you have to check your contract with the publishing house. If your research project is publicly funded in Germany, you may (under certain conditions) have the right to publish your work on an Open Access repository after an embargo period of one yeear - no matter what your contract says. This is called Zweitveröffentlichungsrecht.
Further information: FAQ Zweitveröffentlichung (in German).

Why should I apply a license to my Open Access publication?

A Creative Commons license makes the legal spreading of your work more easy. For scientific works, the license that is usually recommended is CC-BY. This license allows others to share and re-use your work, but they have to mention you as the author.
Further information: Creative Commons.

To what kind of works can I apply an open content license?

You can apply a Creative Commons license to your creative work, such as texts or videos (see above). You may not be allowed to apply a license to a work that has been previously published in a publishing house in closed access, because the publishing house may possess a part of the publishing rights. In the case of software or hardware, you have to look into Open Source licenses.

What is the ORCID ID?

The Open Researcher and Contributor ID, ORCID, is a persistent digital identifier which makes it possible to connect your person with your research activities -  without ambiguities.  ORCID solves the problem that many researchers have the same name by giving you a unique identifier. Registration for an ORCID takes only 30 seconds. After registration, you can add your scientific work to your ORCID, for example by importing the metadata from your publications from other databases.
Further information: ORCID.

 

Do you have any questions about open access? Please do not hesitate to contact us.

Alexandra Jobmann
Tel: +49 (0) 40 42827-5362
E-mail: digitaledienste(at)hcu-hamburg.de

We offer events on the topics of open access and open science. Feel free to contact us if you have specific requests.