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Increase in Open Access Publications by Researchers at Universities in Berlin

Open Access Proportion in 2018 was 41.5 percent, three percentage points higher than in 2017

№ 079/2020 from May 14, 2020

The proportion of freely accessible journal articles published by researchers in Berlin increased again. As the Open Access Bureau Berlin and a team from various universities has determined, during the survey period of 2018, about 41.5 percent of the articles published by researchers at the universities, including the universities of applied sciences, in the state of Berlin were available through open access. The proportion of such articles thus increased by 3 percentage points as compared with 2017 (38.5 percent). Roughly 19.4 percent were publications that were published in open access journals (gold open access), 15.0 percent were published in open access in addition to other journals (green open access), and 7.1 percent were published as an open access version in closed access journals (hybrid open access). The latter are subscription-based journals that make individual articles available for a fee. According to the authors of this survey, Berlin is well on its way to reaching its self-imposed target of publishing 60 percent of its academic publications in open access journals by 2020. This goal was set in the Open Access Strategy for Berlin adopted by the Berlin House of Representatives in 2015. This strategy aims to ensure that findings from research conducted at public universities funded with taxpayers’ money are available without financial, legal, or technical barriers not only for the scientific community, but also for the broader public, businesses, and associations.

The Governing Mayor of Berlin and Senator for Science and Research, Michael Müller, views the survey results as both validation and incentive: a validation that the city's joint open access strategy is working and an incentive to further pursue the strategy toward more open access publication. He pointed out that the corona pandemic makes it even clearer, how important it is to have free access to knowledge and research findings.

Since 2016 Berlin has been publishing statewide figures about open access publishing of university findings. By providing financial support for open access publishing at universities and cultural institutions as well as setting up an Open Access Bureau for the city-state, it is one of the pioneers in Germany in enabling open access to research findings and the cultural heritage.

The survey covered the nine institutions in the state of Berlin with the most research publications:

  • Alice Salomon Hochschule
  • Berlin School of Economics and Law
  • Berlin University of the Arts
  • Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin
  • Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
  • Freie Universität Berlin
  • Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin
  • Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • Technische Universität Berlin

Link to the Report



Maxi Kindling, Open Access Bureau Berlin, Email: oabb@open-access-berlin.de

Graph of open access statistics in 2018

Proportion of articles published in open access journals by researchers in Berlin.

Proportion of articles published in open access journals by researchers in Berlin.
Image Credit: Open-Access-Büro Berlin