Taking a robust approach to Open Access

BIBB supports the unrestricted availability of academic research literature

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One of the fundamental precepts of “Open Access” is that results of publicly-funded research work published in specialist journals should be quickly made available free of charge on the Internet. With effect from the start of the new year, the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) will be rigorously adhering to the “Open Access Model” in respect of its own specialist publications.

This means that, from 2018 onwards, all BIBB publications will be made available on the institute’s website for download free of charge in citation-friendly PDF format (“gold open access”). In addition, most publications will continue to be made available in printed form via the so-called “print on demand procedure”, for which a charge is made. In order to provide this service, a general services agreement has been signed with a new publishing house partner, Verlag Barbara Budric from Leverkusen. Printed publications which appeared prior to 2018 may still be sourced via BIBB’s former general services partner W. Bertelsmann Verlag (wbv) in Bielefeld.

“BIBB also hopes that robust implementation of its Open Access Strategy will significantly improve the visibility of its research results,” explains the institute’s new Director of Research Professor Hubert Ertl, who has been in post since September 2017. Studies have shown that, because of their direct availability, Open Access publications become more widely disseminated than publications circulated via conventional means and are also more likely to be cited.

The Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training has been supporting the Open Access movement since as long ago as 2011 and has an Open Access Policy in place for this purpose. In addition, the “Berlin Declaration on Open Access” was signed in 2014. BIBB has also been backing the “Open Access 2020” initiative since 2016 and became an associate member of the Leibniz Research Alliance Science 2.0 at the end of 2017. The latter looks at aspects such as the influence of social media on the research process.

“BIBB will continue to comply with its high quality standards as it consistently pursues the pathway now embarked upon,” announced Professor Ertl. “We will also be addressing the academic research implications of the topic of Open Access.” Professor Ertl also stated that BIBB had initiated a project which would spend the next two and a half years conducting a systematic investigation of issues relating to the acceptance, dissemination and use of Open Access from the point of view of authors.

BIBB has further begun the process of establishing an internationally aligned specialist repository for vocational education and training research. Such full-text databases form a platform for Open Access publications. The first stage in setting up the repository involved modernising the necessary software infrastructure and switching to an open source model. This means, for example, that web-based research of BIBB’s library catalogue is already possible. Plans are also in place to migrate the data contained within the Vocational Education and Training Literature Database (LDBB) to the new provision during the course of the year.

For further information on BIBB’s Open Access Strategy, please visit https://www.bibb.de/en/35836.php.

Specialist BIBB publications may be downloaded at https://www.bibb.de/veroeffentlichungen/en/.

Specimen copy requested if printed.