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HeiDOK – Open Access

The Open Access Initiative

Since the early 2000s, Open Access has established itself as a new publishing model in many initiatives. In 2003, the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge was signed by leading scientific organizations. The main funding organizations, including the DFG and the European Commission, strongly support the Open Access Initiative. Open Access refers to the free access to scientific publications on the Internet and their unlimited reusability. This guarantees the widest possible dissemination of publications (See also: Background and further Information).

Publishing models

The goal of making scientific publications freely accessible on the Internet leads to alternative publication models. Academic institutions such as research centers, universities and libraries provide resources and infrastructure to facilitate the production and distribution of publications. Meanwhile, two practices have been established: the Golden and the Green Road.

The Golden Road means primary publications in Open Access publishing houses, Open Access journals or on publication servers (repositories). Famous examples are the journals of the Public Library of Science (PLOS) and of BioMedCentral. Quality control measures apply the same to Open Access publications as to publications in the traditional subscription model. Research organizations and sponsors provide funds to finance the so-called publication fees (or article processing charges) in the process of publishing.

The Green Road refers to access to publications which have already been published in repositories. We differentiate between institutional and disciplinary repositories, which make the publications of a scientific institution or a scientific discipline accessible. The infrastructure is provided by the research institutions, the universities and libraries. The publications are normally uploaded by the authors themselves (self archiving). The authors entitle the scientific institutions with a so-called single right for online delivery (see Jur. Issues). Other rights remain with them or the publishing house where the publication was published for the first time.

Open Access in Heidelberg

The University Library supports Open Access publications with the Open Journal System (OJS), which enables scientific institutions to run the entire publication process. OJS is free software that is developed internationally and is used for the publication of e-journals worldwide.

HeiDOK, the Heidelberg Document Repository, is the publication platform for the members of Heidelberg University. It allows the publication of scientific papers on Open Access with minimal effort. This applies both to university publications such as dissertations (see special regulations) as to the publication of scientific papers, which have already been published. This is also increasingly permitted by publishers as Blackwell, Elsevier, Springer and Wiley (see Jur. Issues).

Documents that are published on HeiDOK are permanently quotable and archived with standardized addresses (URN) and metadata (OAI-PMH). This makes them searchable with the common search engines like google, google scholar and more specialized search engines and various library catalogues. Journal articles, book chapters, dissertations, reports or conference proceedings are accessible to the scientific community quickly and free of charge.

Heidelberg University licenses, via electronic journal packages, journals with special Open Access components in their contracts. This entitles authors to make their articles, which have appeared in the respective journals, accessible on HeiDOK. You will find more information on Open Access and the so-called “Allianz-Lizenzen” with Open Access components on Background and further Information.

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