The Open Access department at the university library Erlangen-Nürnberg (UB) provides support in all areas of Open Science. The university library offers training sessions for groups. You can also book individual appointments formally via UB Coach or direct any informal inquiries to our team of experts (details below).
Advice and Training
Please contact our team for advice on the following matters and beyond:
- the advantages of Open Access publishing
- which Open Access journals might suit your publishing and funding needs
- reputable Open Access publishers and publishing pathways
- whether your paper meets the eligibility criteria for Open Access funding via the library
- practical questions regarding the payment process for publication fees (how to complete payment forms, request and revise invoices, VAT issues)
- Open Access mandates of third-party funders
- copyright issues and advice on Creative-Commons-licences
- alternative Open Access formats outside of the remit of commercial publishers, such as self-archiving (uploading a publisher-approved document version to a repository). Please check SHERPA/RoMEO for self-archiving policies associated with your journal.
- Katrin Seyler: funding and general inquiries
+49 9131 85-29316, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Petra Heermann: legal inquiries
+49 9131 85-23920, E-Mail: email@example.com
- Markus Putnings: head of section
+49 9131 85-27835, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rainer Plappert: co-head of section
+49 9131 85-22163, E-Mail: email@example.com
For advice on Open Data und Open Source see Data and Software in Research, or contact a staff member:
- Dr. Jürgen Rohrwild: Open Data
+49 9131 85-28591, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Martin Scholz: Software-tools for digital humanities
+49 9131 85-23935, E-Mail: email@example.com
- University-wide: Dr. Marcus Walther, Competence Unit Research Data and Information
+49 9131 85-29972 bzw. -26387, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For advice on Open Educational Resources see StudOn – OER-Inhalte, or contact a staff member:
- University-wide: Fred Neumann, Institut für Lern-Innovation
+49 9131 85-61122, E-Mail: email@example.com
Staff member responsible for the promotion and implementation of Openness:
+49 9131 85-27835, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
How to find and publish Open Access books
The Directory of Open Access Books and OAPEN Library are useful research portals to locate open access books. If you are planning your own open access book publication, OA Books Toolkit contains helpful resources and guidelines. For multiple book projects or a book series, the Open Source Software Open Monograph Press might be an appropriate tool for you. Several platforms and publishers also offer subject-specific support, such as the platform ENABLE! which is tailored towards the humanities and social sciences. Naturally, our very own FAU University Press can also facilitate open access for your publications. Additional search platforms that also allow journal filters via publication costs, indexing and scope suitability (for example by entering keywords or abstracts) are currently being developed with oa.finder and B!SON.
Publication fees for open access books (Book Processing Charges or Chapter Processing Charges for individual chapters in multi-author volumes) can be pricey. Please consider including publication costs for open access books in your grant proposals, in case you wish to publish your research results that way. If you have no third-party funding at your disposal, you can seek financial assistance via FAU’s foundations and funders. For further funding alternatives, see section „Open Access Funding“ below. FAU University Press is a non-commercial publisher and offers low rates for open access book publishing.
From 2022, books based DFG-funded research projects at FAU are eligible for BPC funding if they cannot be covered by other funding sources. More information and detailed eligibility criteria can be found here.
Publishing in fully Open Access journals
Quality-assured open access journals are listed in ROAD – Directory of Open Access Scholarly Resources and Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). A listing in the DOAJ is one of the basic eligibility criteria of the FAU’s publication fund and the DFG-fund for articles. Unlisted journals have to fulfil comparable quality standards to qualify for funding.
Besides general quality concerns, we also suggest to check whether a journal offers open licences such as Creative-Commons licences (preferably CC-by) rather than requesting exclusive usage rights. If you would like to publish in a journal, which requires a transfer of exclusive usage rights, you can use the Copyright Addendum Engine to generate an addendum to your contract, which will allow you to retain your rights. If you would like to apply for financial support with open access publication fees via the library, you may only grant the publisher basic usage rights.
If you are interested in starting your own open access journal, we recommend the Open Source software Open Journal Systems. Instructions on how to get started can be found on OJS-de.net. In case you do not want to install OJS yourselves, you can use hosting services offered by OJS or other providers. Alternatively, you can host your journal on your institutional website using FAU’s repository – for inspiration, take a look at this overview of serial publications. Articles published in this way will be findable via search engines such as BASE. For more information on how your open access content can be found see the next tab “Researching Open Access Content” below. Another way to host your own open access journal would be to use a subject-specific or interdisciplinary repository. Zenodo, for example, allows you to set up a community for your journal where you can publish articles or volumes with their own DOIs.
Researching Open Access Content
Open Access books and articles are listed in the Directory of Open Access Books and Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Bielefeld Academic Search Engine BASE offers more in-depth research options, such as the option to filter results by usage rights (e.g. particular Creative-Commons licences).
Apart from specialised Open Access search engines and directories, general search engines will also yield open access content, such as Google, Google Scholar, Microsoft Academic etc.
For more targeted research, we recommend using subject-specific databases which can be found on the database portal DBIS (DBIS is currently only available in German, an English version is in development). Major databases like Web of Science, Scopus, Dimensions, IEEE Xplore etc. let users filter their content by open or subscription content. Please take note that there might be a delay in journals being added to databases since they are often subject to lengthy quality checks before they get listed.
Our library catalogue also contains open access books and articles (for articles, check the results in the “Primo Discovery“ tab). The university library is involved in cataloguing efforts, spanning locally published books such as books published by FAU University Press but also Open Access book packages as part of cooperative cataloguing projects.
The university library acts a cataloguing sponsor for the Directory of Open Access Books and De Gruyter’s Open Access Programme.
Open Access Score and Metrics
“Researching Open Access Content“ has introduced some general open access research tools. However, there are also specialist tools.
OurResearch offers Impactstory which allows you to evaluate the impact of your research. Unpaywall is suitable for bibliographical analyses, while Paperbuzz enables Altmetrics-analyses. The Germany-wide Open Access Monitor developed by Forschungszentrum Jülich is often used to gather data for DFG grant proposals. Details on open access costs can be found on OpenAPC.
The most commonly known metric to assess the reach of academic journals is the Impact Factor (Journal Citation Report). An alternative metric is the Scimago Journal & Country Rank which can also be accessed outside of the university network.
For further advice on rankings and ratings, you can contact Referat S DATEN – Daten und Führungsinformationen.
Open Data refers to research data which is freely accessible and reusable. Further information is available here.
The university library is an active participant in third-party funded projects on open data, such as research data management in the digital humanities (eHumanitites – interdisziplinär) or “Open Source”-software development for media-neutral publishing (Open Source Academic Publishing Suite).
Open Educational Resources
Open Educational Resources (OER) are freely accessible teaching and learning resources. We recommend structuring your resources around openness, e.g. by using open data formats such as OpenDocument-text (*.odt) instead of word documents (*.docx) when saving your material.
The most critical component of Open Educational Resources are open licences, such as a Creative-Commons licence (preferably CC BY) to ensure that your resources can be shared and used by others. Please check whether you have the required rights to add this licence when incorporating material you have not created yourselves (e.g. images). For more information on how to find and create Open Educational Resources see https://open-educational-resources.de/ (Website in German only).
Depending on what type of OER you are creating, you can either place them on StudOn, where they can be modified after upload or on our Repository, selecting the document type “Lehrmaterial”. Alternatively, you can use an OER repository like OER Commons.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are growing in popularity. These courses are offered by MOOC.org or iMooX (for German-speaking regions), openHPI, MOOIN, OpenCourseWorld as well as iversity.
If you wish to self-archive previously published work, you need to check whether you have transferred your copyright to the publisher. Most publishers will permit self-archiving in this case as long as you adhere to their requirements. Sherpa Romeo provides a useful overview of self-archiving policies on journal and publisher level. However, the information on Sherpa Romeo can be dated so we would advise you to double check the policies on publishers‘ websites. These can usually be found on the publisher’s open access pages under headings such as “self-archiving policy“, “open access archiving policy“ or “green open access“ (Sherpa Romeo records contain links to these pages in most cases).
If you would like to archive publications in bulk, you could try Dissemin. Here you can locate your publications (you can search by your name) and upload them to Zenodo. The publisher’s conditions displayed on Dissemin are also sourced from Sherpa Romeo.
To avoid legal complications later on, we suggest you refrain from transferring exclusive usage rights to your publisher in the first place. The Scholar’s Copyright Addendum Engine allows you to create an appropriate copyright addendum for your publishing contracts online.
More information on the legal implications of Open Access can be found in German on iRights.
We strongly recommend using the CC-BY licence which is the most liberal CC-licence. Variations, such as the CC-by-NC licence are more restrictive and might have “side effects”, for details see iRights guidelines (German).
Statutes, Policies and Materials
- General FAU statutes (German only)
- Open-Science Policy of Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)
- Guidelines for handling research data at FAU
- FAU Open Access authors‘ guide
- Leaflet on “arXiv- the world’s biggest repository for physics, mathematics and computer science“
Open Access Funding
We recommend considering Open Access publishing costs in your grant proposals and to seek advice early in the planning process. FAU provides support with funding and submitting applications, while the European Liaison Office of the German Research Organisations (KoWi) can advise you on European research projects. Increasingly, research funders encourage or mandate Open Access. You can find the open access policies of major research funders summed up on our webpage. Similar policies on Open Data can be found here. Other funders‘ policies on Open Access and Open Data are listed on the portal Sherpa Juliet.
Outside of third-party grants, you can also apply for financial support with open access publishing through the library, if your publication fulfils the relevant eligibility criteria. The library’s institutional memberships entitle FAU authors to discounts on open access publication fees with several publishers (fully open access journals only). For support with publishing Open Access in subscription (“hybrid“) journals, please check our Publish and Read agreements with several major publishers.
From 2022, funding will be available for open access books, which originate from DFG-funded research projects based at FAU. To see whether your open access book is eligible, please check the terms and funding criteria here.
If you are seeking to publish your research data, there are both paid (RADAR) and free (Zenodo) options available. For information and training please contact us.