Publishing and Open Access

This page provides information on the topic of Open Access (OA). Aalen University encourages all researchers to publish OA using the Open Access Policy. In case of questions, please contact the Open Access Officer at Aalen University, Ulrike Bretzger, at

OPUS, the university's repository, lists some theses and also provides a university bibliography.

(Video: Source: Brinken, H., Hauss, J. & Rücknagel, J. (2021). Open Access in 60 Sekunden, (CC BY 3.0 DE) )

Open Access is unrestricted and free access to scholarly publications. 

Stakeholders should be able to read, download, copy, print, search and refer to them within the framework of applicable copyright law.


  • Free access to publications promotes knowledge transfer
  • Research results are better visible
  • Reception and frequency of citation increase
  • Electronic publications are released more quickly than print editions
  • Copyright s preserved
  • Content can be re-used in a legally secure manner

Golden Path: Scholarly publications are freely accessible as soon as published. This presupposes that the paper is published in dedicated OA journals. Publishing costs incurred are frequently borne by library consortia or professional societies. As a rule, the authors grant the users comprehensive rights. Accredited OA journals are registered in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOJ).

Green Path: In this case, scholarly papers first appear in a peer-reviewed journal and are additionally published a second time on institutional or dedicated platforms. Depending on the publisher, this may be the case either concurrently with the initial publication or after an embargo period. Which case applies depends on the licensing agreement and the legal framework.

Hybrid journals: ‘Hybrid’ journals are traditional subscription journals allowing individual contributions to be published OA for an additional fee. This model is interesting for researchers because they can publish in established journals of renowned publishers and yet their publication is still freely accessible.

If content is published outside a publishing house, it makes sense to use Creative Commons licences. They allow the author to specify how third parties may further exploit it. At the moment there are six different Creative Commons licences, as illustrated by the image from Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand.

For more information on the benefits as well as the significance of individual licences, see this video

The quality of OA journals may differ, as is the case with subscription journals. In contrast to what is called predatory or fake journals, high-quality OA journals are characterised by various quality standards such as a peer review process, renowned editors, long-term availability via persistent identifiers (e. g. DOI) or the provision of licence information.

Before publishing in an OA journal, check its trustworthiness using Think Check Submit. In addition, it is possible to check whether the journal is listed in the DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) or in databases such as the Web of Science or Scopus.

Authors hold the intellectual property rights to their own papers. If such a paper is published by a publishing house, the author's contract governs the rights transferred to the publisher. A distinction is made between two different rights of use:

- Exclusive rights of use - all rights are assigned to the publisher
- Non-exclusive rights of use - meaning that use by the author is still permissible


For new publishing contracts referring to electronic publications, only assign the non-exclusive right of use to the publisher so that you may additionally publish your paper on your personal website or on the repository of Aalen University. To this end, for example, any restrictive phrases (‘all’ rights of use) must be deleted or an addendum to the contract must be agreed. Such an addendum can be found at SPARC, for example:

‘I hereby declare that I do not wish to assign the exclusive copyright to (name of publisher) but reserve the right to publish the article in full on an open access platform.’

A secondary publication is another OA edition of a paper already published in Closed Access.

If the original publication was released by a foreign publisher, the author's contract governs whether secondary publication is permitted and, if so, in what manner (preprint/postprint). The SHERPA/RoMEO list provides information on the conditions of individual publishers.

For German publishers, Art. 38, Para. 4 governs the right of secondary publication. The clause applies under the following conditions even if the author's contract should state otherwise:

- The paper was published in a periodical appearing at least twice a year
- The paper was publicly funded by at least 50%
- Publication of the paper does not serve a commercial purpose

If these conditions are met, the paper may be republished as follows:

- The secondary publication may be released 12 months after the first publication
- The manuscript version (postprint) accepted by the publisher may be published
- The source (data of first publication) must be indicated.

Please note that the university library does not provide legal advice. The above information is intended as an initial guide only!

Since OA publications are accessible free of charge, alternative funding models are needed to cover the costs of OA journals (for staff, etc.). Three different funding models are available:

Funding through authors via Article Processing Charges (APCs)
Funding by institutions
Funding by consortia and crowdfunding

  • Federal licensing agreements for the entire portfolio of electronic journals (e-journals) from major academic publishers since the 2017 licensing year
  • Agreements include an OA section centrally funded and covered by the library
  •  ‘Publish & Read’ agreements designed to prevent duplicate expenses arising when authors publish OA and the library licenses read access
  • Significant and permanent expansion of read access to the Wiley and Springer Nature portfolio (with the exception of Nature titles)
  • The contract term for the Wiley-DEAL contract is 2019-2021 and for the Springer-DEAL contract it is 2020-2022

    For further information, see the DEAL website.

Overview of Springer Nature Open Access Journals

Springer Nature provides lists of titles indicating which journals are covered by the DEAL contract.


University members may OA-publish in journals requiring subscription (hybrid journals) under a Creative Commons licence (CC-BY) at no additional cost. Springer calls this option ‘Open Choice’.

In high-quality Gold Open Access journals, the standard Article Processing Charge (APC) minus a discount of 20 % will be due. Publications of this kind can be additionally supported on request by the local Library and Research and Transfer publication fund (see below).

The DEAL contract also grants to members of Aalen University full reading access to relevant journals.

Publishing with Springer Nature

In the course of the MY publication process, the following information is requested: Affiliation to Aalen University, choice of publication mode (the library recommends choosing ‘Open Access’ or ‘Open Choice’), agreement to the terms and conditions, information on printing and colour images as well as the postal address.

Overview of Wiley Open Access Journals

Wiley provides lists of titles indicating which journals are covered by the DEAL contract.


University members may OA-publish in journals requiring subscription (hybrid journals) under a Creative Commons licence (CC-BY) at no additional cost. Wiley calls this option ‘Online Open’.

In high-quality Gold Open Access journals, the standard Article Processing Charge (APC) minus a discount of 20 % will be due.
Publications of this kind can be additionally supported on request by the local Library and Research and Transfer publication fund (see below).

The DEAL contract also grants to members of Aalen University full reading access to relevant journals.

Publishing with Wiley

The workflows for authors in the Wiley Hybrid and Gold Open Access journals can be found here:
- Hybrid OA Journal Workflow
- Gold OA Journal Workflow

Overview of Sage Open Access Journals

Sage provides lists of titles indicating which journals are covered by the DEAL contract.


No additional costs arise from publishing in hybrid journals noted by Sage as ‘Sage Choice’. When publishing in any of the 182 Gold Open Access journals, a 20 % discount on the regular fee is granted. These conditions apply to papers accepted for publication in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Publications of this kind can be additionally supported on request by the local Library and Research and Transfer publication fund (see below).

Publishing with Sage

It is a prerequisite for publishing with Sage that the ‘corresponding author’ is a member of Aalen University. In addition, the publisher allows authors as well as institutions to release non-OA-published publications via a repository after one year (green path).


Nomos Verlag enables authors to publish collective editions and monographs in hybrid mode. In addition to an e-book, published in the Nomos eLibrary Open Access, a print copy is thus simultaneously produced. The e-books will be published on the Nomos eLibrary platform under a CC-BY licence unless the author opts for a more restrictive Creative Commons licence. The funding period ranges from October 2020 - 2022. There is an option to renew it for a further year.


The costs for an OA-publication at Nomos are funded by the Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst (MWK) Baden-Württemberg. The Ministry provides a grant available to all participants in the consortium. A standard fee will be charged for each book (online and print edition) and a 30 % discount will be granted. Any additional costs (e. g. surcharges for special editions) will be invoiced collectively but transferred to the authors once a year.

Publishing with Nomos

The only relevant prerequisite for publishing with Nomos that the ‘corresponding author’ is a member of Aalen University.

The Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst (MWK) Baden-Württemberg (Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts) funds OA publications by members of Baden-Württemberg's higher education institutions since 2017. This is start-up funding that exists as long as the funds have not been exhausted.


-Only papers published in genuine OA journals (Golden Way) and subject to a dedicated and acknowledged peer review are eligible for funding. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOIJ) provides an overview of relevant journals.
- Publication fees may not exceed 2,000 EUR or 1,900 USD (each including VAT) per paper.
- A member of Aalen University is responsible for paying the publication fees as ‘submitting author’ or as ‘corresponding author’.
- Papers in journals basically requiring subscription according to the Hybrid Open Access (Open Choice) model are not eligible for funding.
- The publication must include a reference to the MWK funding (e. g. ‘Gefördert durch das Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden-Württemberg’).

Please note that applications must be approved before a paper is submitted to the publisher.

Publication Fund Application Form

- You may submit the completed application to the library.
- The application will be reviewed and forwarded to the office of the Baden-Württemberg Consortium at the University of Freiburg. The address of the office is the billing address.

Aalen University offers a local publication fund to promote the publication of papers in OA journals. This fund can be used to cover publication fees (Article Processing Charges, APC) frequently incurred when papers are published in OA journals. The funds are provided by the library and jointly administered by the Research and Transfer Office and the library.

OA publication fees can be covered upon application according to the eligibility criteria below.

Please contact us if you are preparing a publication not covered by the criteria, e. g. because it involves higher publication fees.

Publication fees can be approved under the following conditions:

  • The submitting author is employed at Aalen University on the date of submission of the manuscript and is responsible for the payment of publication fees as ‘submitting author’ or as ‘corresponding author’.
  • Papers must be published in dedicated, peer reviewed OA journals, an OA anthology or in an OA book. This means that all papers must be made fully accessible worldwide free of charge, without a subscription fee or purchase price, right at the time of publication.
  • Dedicated, ‘golden’ OA journals are usually listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) or follow a comprehensible peer review process. A compilation of the most frequently cited, peer-reviewed OA journals can be found in the overview of the National Open Access Contact Point OA2020-DE.
  • Aalen University also supports OA publishing in ‘hybrid’ journals when covered by transformation contracts. Transformation contracts aim to turn subscription-based journals into golden OA journals. Aalen University has signed such transformation contracts with the following publishers: 
    • Sage (see above) 
    • Springer DEAL (see above) 
    • Wiley DEAL (see above).
  • For publication fees up to 2,000 EUR (incl. VAT), the library will settle the invoice in full.
  • For invoices over 2,000 EUR, additional arrangements will be required: Please contact us well in advance.
  • If any publishing funds can be applied for within the framework of third-party funded projects, these must be prioritised.
  • If any funding from the publication fund of the MWK (see above) or other funds such as the BMBF can be applied for, these must be prioritised.
  • No publication costs for a quick review, excessive length, etc. will be covered.
  • The library will settle the invoice as long as funds from the local Research and Transfer/Library publication fund are available in the relevant financial year.
  • The submitting author(s) shall include the following reference to the funding in the funded publication: either ‘Gefördert durch die Hochschule Aalen’ or ‘Funded by the University of Applied Sciences Aalen’.
  • The publication shall be published under a CC licence, CC-BY is recommended.
  • The funded publication will be registered in the OPUS repository of Aalen University.

  • Please first check whether the publication can be funded from the local Research and Transfer/Library publication fund.
  • If the funding criteria are satisfied, send the completed application for funding by e-mail to or by internal mail to the library.
  • The library will review your application and inform you whether or not the costs will be covered.
  • If the application is approved, please send the invoice on receipt to
  • Please note:
    • The invoice must be submitted in PDF format.
    • A member of Aalen University must be listed as ‘Corresponding/Submitting Author’.
    • The invoice address follows: Hochschule Aalen, Beethovenstr. 1, 73430 Aalen (for international mail: Aalen University of Applied Sciences, Beethovenstr. 1, 73430 Aalen, Germany)
    • Also include the VAT ID of the university: DE153480801.
    • Request the publisher to indicate the publisher’s VAT ID on the invoice or - when sending from abroad - to indicate whether the publisher transfers the VAT liability to the invoice recipient (‘VAT Reverse Charge’).

Identifiers are used to unequivocally assign publications to their authors, institutions or research funding organisations. This increases the visibility of research activities of both the university and individual researchers. To ensure that the publications of Aalen University can be assigned as accurately as possible, the library recommends standardised mentioning of the university and the use of author and institution identifiers (ID).

To ensure that articles are correctly attributed to the university, the Dean's Office points out that the following designations are compulsory for use in publications - regardless of the publisher:

  • in Germany: Hochschule Aalen - Technik und Wirtschaft - briefly: Hochschule Aalen
  • international: Aalen University of Applied Sciences - briefly: Aalen University

0000 0000 9720 0711

Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) - ORCID is a unique author identifier enabling the unambiguous assignment to a person, independent of any name changes, special characters or changes of institutions. You can apply for the ORCID free of charge. For more information, see this blog.

ResearcherID Thomson Reuters (Web of Science) - Author identifiers from Thomson Reuters are mapped in the Web of Science database and are often used to calculate the h-index, which is an important bibliometric indicator. If the author names are not unique, the value of the h-index will be inaccurate. The ResearcherID can be requested free of charge.

Scopus Author ID - The author identifier of the Scopus database cannot be requested by the author, it is instead assigned automatically using an algorithm. The following data are used for assignment: Institution, address, subject area, publication periods and co-authors. Since this assignment can be incorrect, it is important that the institution can be unambiguously assigned. This is achieved by using the university ID.

Many papers published in subscription journals have become open access through secondary publication on institutional repositories. Therefore, these publications can be found by search engines (e.g. Google Scholar). Open Access journals are listed in the EZB Electronic Journals Library. A targeted search for ‘open access’ journals can be conducted here.

Other resources for searching for

Journals: Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) 

Books: Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) 

Repositories: Directory of Open Access Repositories (openDOAR)

Research data: Zenodo 

Research data repositories: re3data 

Recommendation services for quality-assured Open Access journals

Bison : a recommendation service created by TIB Hannover and SLUB Dresden

oa finder : a search tool for journals that finds suitable Open Access publication suggestions

OPUS provides options for publishing and permanently archiving academic papers to all members of the university - teachers or students.

You have the possibility to publish your thesis via OPUS. To do so, please use the publish function in OPUS. The data is then checked by a librarian, completed and then published.

We are happy to assist you with this process. Contact:

Since 2018, OPUS lists the publications included in the university's annual research report as bibliographic references, with links to the publisher's pages. 

In addition, researchers can use OPUS to publish their papers for the first or second time.

We are happy to assist you with this process. Contact: