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How does Open Access work?

To meet the open access criteria of an unrestricted and free of charge access to research results, researchers can choose between the following pathways to open access:

Gold Open Access

The Gold Road to open access means that scholarly publications are freely accessible online immediately after the quality assurance process (peer review, editorial review) in open access journals or monographs. Some publishers work with publication charges for their open access services. In many cases, the publication costs can be reimbursed by Freie Universität or by a research funding organization.

Green Open Access

If you choose the green road to open access, you publish your work in a fee-based (closed) format and additionally you deposit - simultaneously or with a time delay - a freely available digital version of your contribution/article in an institutional or disciplinary repository. Whether the so-called self-archiving is allowed depends on what has been agreed upon in the publication contract.
You can get your publication list checked for a possibility of a secondary publication by the Editorial Team of the Dokumentenserver. SHERPA/RoMEO offers an overview of what scientific publishers allow as far as self-archiving is concerned as well as further information on copyright regulations.


Pre-prints are manuscript versions of contributions (articles) that have not yet undergone a peer review process and have not yet been published by a publisher. Pre-prints are made available to a respective research community via a pre-print server. The motivation is often to enable an early discussion of the research results before the actual publication and to speed up the dissemination. Before deciding to publish a pre-print, it should be checked whether later publication with a selected publisher is still possible.