Open access

Open access

Open Access Logo

The aim of open access publication is to publish academic information and research in such a way that it is accessible to all, free of charge and free from any restrictions. 
Freely accessible publications enjoy a better visibility both for the relevant scientific community and for the population at large. Open access (OA) articles are easier to find, and hence more often cited, than articles in closed journals.

About open access

How to publish open access

Most academics choose to have their research published in an academic journal. You can publish open access in one of two ways:

  • Green OA (self-archiving): 
    If you are having your article published in a closed journal, many publishers will still allow you to make the same article openly accessible, either at the same time or after a specified period of time has elapsed (usually 6 or 12 months). This is usually done by uploading your article to an institutional repository, such as our OPUS document server.
  • Gold OA (publishing in an open-access journal): 
    If you choose a 'true' OA journal to publish your article, it will be openly accessible from the start.

The Open Access Policy of the University

The University of Passau is an attractive and internationally visible university, known for its excellent, competitive research and strong, innovative teaching. Cosmopolitanism, the promotion of diversity and an open communication culture are our core characteristics.

Open access means that scholarly research and publications are accessible to all, at no additional cost and free from technical restrictions, via the Internet. As a result, open access publications are characterised by a high degree of accessibility and availability, and can be easily found using search engines and highly visible. If academic standards are properly adhered to, these publications can be used by academics throughout the world, thereby strengthening international and cross-disciplinary collaboration.

In accordance with the Berlin Declaration, the University fully supports the aims of the open access movement and supports academics who wish to publish their articles in an openly accessible way. As this is either done by primary publication in an open access journal (gold open access) or by secondary publishing in a repository (green open access), it is recommended that authors ensure that they retain the right of use of their work (Verwertungsrechte) for digital copies.

The University Library has suitable systems for open access publication and is the first port of call for academics who have any questions or need further information on this way of publishing.

The University has emphasised that the overarching aim for all publications of the University is that they be of the highest academic standard, whether or not they are open access publications. The University's Open Access Policy therefore constitutes a recommendation rather than a requirement, as the principle of academic freedom means, among other things, that authors are free to choose their means publication.

The University of Passau, December 2014

How to avoid “predatory publishers”

Predatory publishers exploit the open access publishing model for profit. They often do so by charging high publication fees without providing peer review and other editorial and publishing services associated with high quality journals. 

Especially with less well-known journals we recommend a detailed evaluation before submitting an article for publication.

The following criteria can be indicators of the legitimacy of open access publishers and journals:

For further indicators to assess the credentials of a journal or publisher, use the Think. Check. Submit checklist. For a more comprehensive overview see this presentation provided by Forschungszentrum Jülich: Predatory Publishers - Experiences and recommendations (Wintermeier, M., 2018)

If you have questions please refer to our contact persons for Open Access!

Open access in Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, and was launched on 1 January 2014. One of the requirements of this programme is that academic publications connected to funded projects be published open access, either in an open access journal (gold OA) or by upload into our OPUS repository (green OA). Please read the Fact sheet: Open Access in Horizon 2020 for more details.

Related links

Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
DOAJ is a cross-disciplinary directory of open access journals.

Fact sheet: Open Access in Horizon 2020
Another introduction and how it fits into the Horizon 2020 framework
Introduces key concepts and forms of OA publication.

A list of publishers who allow green OA (upload to an institutional repository).

Schriften zur Kultur- und Mediensemiotik (online OA journal)

University Library services

OPUS document server

The University Library's OPUS document server is a platform through which you can publish your academic articles open access. OPUS documents are included in the regional and supra-regional library catalogues, search engines such as Google Scholar and open access portals.

Open Journal Systems

Academic journals are also increasingly offered on an open-access basis. We recommend using Open Journal Systems if you plan on setting up or modifying your own publication to accommodate for open access, as this software integrates the complete workflow of journal administration.

Help and support

The University Library should be your first port of call for all matters related to open access publication, including in-depth information on our open access tools. Please contact Michael Zweier or Marius Sarmann.

Your contact persons

Michael Zweier
Michael Zweier

Room ZB 227
Innstraße 29

Phone: +49 851 509 1604
Fax: +49 851 509 1602 Website Office hours:

Mittwoch 13.00 - 15.00 Uhr, Raum WIWI 230

Marius Sarmann
Marius Sarmann

Room ZB 229
Innstraße 29

Phone: +49 851 509 1691
Fax: +49 851 509 1602 Website