Open Access

Over the past few years, the significance of Open Access as a publication model in the field of academic research has grown enormously. BIBB has set itself the goal of supporting the use of the Open Access principle for the dissemination of vocational education and training research results. We have compiled some introductory information on Open Access for you below.

The basic principle of Open Access is to make (academic research) literature available on the Internet free of charge and in a way that is unencumbered by technical and legal barriers wherever possible. This is particularly relevant in the case of results of research that has been publicly funded. One essential objective of Open Access is to maximise the dissemination of academic research information.

Benefits of Open Access

There are a number of good reasons for adopting an Open Access policy, including the following:

  • Acceleration of the publication process
  • Enhanced visibility and higher citation rate for documents
  • Unhindered and cost-free access to current research results

Open Access strategies

In the field of Open Access publication, a distinction is drawn between the two pathways of gold open access and green open access.

Gold open access refers to the initial publication of academic research articles in Open Access journals, the publication of Open Access monographs or papers included in edited volumes published via the Open Access route. Works published in accordance with the gold open access principle are immediately available on the Internet free of charge.

Green Open Access, on the other hand, refers to making a work published with a publisher available to the public in an institutional or disciplinary Open Access repository. This may either take place at the same time as the publication of the content by the publisher or at a later date following the expiry of an embargo.

Open Access journals

Open Access journals are journals with articles which are made available free of charge and without the imposition of any further restrictions as soon as the journal itself appears. For a detailed overview of Open Access journals, see the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Open Access journals that are relevant to the field of vocational education and training research are listed and indicated in our Journal Content Service and in our brochure Wissenschaftliches Publizieren in Zeitschriften der Berufsbildungsforschung (academic publishing in vocational education and training research journals).

General legal conditions

In order to be able to make publications accessible and available for use in accordance with the Open Access principle, publication licences which are as open as possible are required. These are referred to as open content licences. They regulate Open Access rights and stipulate what users may do with the documents in question beyond reading them free of charge. Rights holders can use such a licence to determine which rights of exploitation they wish to accord to users. They may grant rights of subsequent and further use, reproduction and dissemination or the right to change documents. The most familiar open content licences, also used at BIBB, are what are called Creative Commons Licences. If publications are to be made accessible via green open access, i.e. as secondary publications, prior investigation needs to be made as to whether the respective publisher has been accorded exclusive right of exploitation as the rights holder.

Open Access at BIBB

BIBB has set itself the goal of supporting the use of the Open Access principle for the dissemination of vocational education and training research results free of charge and without restrictions. For this reason, BIBB formally adopted an Open Access Policy in March 2011. On 1 May 2014, it also signed up to the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. BIBB also supports the Open Access 2020 Initiative launched by the Max Planck Society with the aim of encouraging a majority of the academic research journals which are currently available via subscription to switch to an Open Access publication policy. In May 2020, moreover, BIBB signed the mission statement of the ENABLE! community. The objective of ENABLE! is to advance the Open Access transformation in the humanities and social sciences in a community-based and discipline-oriented manner.

As part of the implementation of its Open Access Policy, all of BIBB’s specialist publications are now made directly accessible in accordance with the Open Access principle under the CC Licence BY-NC-ND 4.0.