What you need to know about open access

Open access means free digital access to scholarly literature and other materials such as research data. Recently, academic and political organs have begun to promote open access publication with strategy papers and legislative proposals.

There are many types of open access publication. Publishers publish journals which are freely available on the internet and are financed by publication fees. Research institutes encourage (or require) their employees to make their results available in their repositories. The editorial boards of journals publish on e-journal platforms. Scholars self-archive their previously published papers in specialised repositories or open access archives.

Open access is becoming increasingly predominant in the humanities. Depending on the needs and wishes of the target group in question, the Specialised Information Services (FIDs) provide an infrastructure for subject-related open access endeavours. 

With CompaRe, the SIS Comparative Literature (FID AVL) is positioning itself as a subject-specific and free-of-charge service provider for open access publication in Comparative Literature. For more information, please go to Publishing on CompaRe.

More information on open acces

The open-access.net platform provides comprehensive information on the topic.

For an overview of frequently asked questions regarding second-publication rights, please go to the webpage operated by the Digital Information focus group of the German Research Organisations’ Alliance.

This UNESCO brochure provides information on using Creative Commons licences.

Your rights and third-party rights

Open access means that any form of research results is freely accessible on the internet at no charge. However, copyright and right to usage must be observed.

To publish on CompaRe, please fill out a declaration of consent. With this declaration, you transfer the simple right to usage of your publication to us. The rights to further usage of your publication remain with you in their entirety.

The declaration includes a confirmation that open access archiving of the material will not violate any third-party rights – e.g. the rights of publishers who may already have issued the publication.

There are various ways of ensuring that a publication on CompaRe has no legal issues:

  • Consulting publishing contracts:

Many publishing contracts include clauses which allow other or additional usage. Some allow this immediately, and others after a certain period of time has elapsed.

  • Second-publication rights

According to German copyright law, twelve months after appearing in an issue of a journal, scholarly articles may be republished, under the stipulation that the article was not published before 2014 and the journal appears at least twice per year. The manuscript version must be used for the second publication. However, it is worthwhile to ask the publisher if their version may be used.

  • The SHERPA/RoMEO check
    The SHERPA/RoMEO list provides information regarding the open access and self-archiving guidelines of publishers worldwide and is a preliminary resource helpful to anyone needing advice. We are happy to assist you with any copyright questions. Please be understanding of the fact that we cannot provide legally binding information.

Publishing material using Creative Commons licences is also possible. To find out more, please consult our contact persons.