"Stronger together" and "One for all"

Community Funding and Institutional Memberships for Open Access

The idea of Open Access publishing entails that the financing of publications changes: It is no longer the "consumers" (or, by proxy, institutions such as libraries) who pay for reading, i.e. for journal subscriptions or paid books, but the "producers" who have to bear the costs of publishing: authors and editors – or their institutions such as universities or research institutes.
While many journals are financed by professional societies, for example, and the publication of articles is thus free of charge for the authors, there are numerous others that charge sometimes low, sometimes higher and sometimes very high publication fees.

Since 2011, the University of Münster has had a publication fund, through which such fees can be reimbursed if the publications meet certain conditions. However, these are always individual cases, the processing of which sometimes involves a great deal of work for all involved.

Since all scientific institutions are facing these challenges, there are now some initiatives aimed at collaborative funding of publication costs: this spreads the burden of costs over many shoulders, and all authors no longer have to worry about funding individually. This is "crowdfunding for scientific literature", so to speak.

The ULB Münster is involved in a number of initiatives that make Open Access publication free of charge for members of the University of Münster – and the other participating institutions – in the respective journals or publishers:

  • One of the longest commitments is to SCOAP3: The ULB joined the "Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics" back in 2014. This is a worldwide association led by CERN with the aim of making publications in high-energy physics (HEP) freely accessible.
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© Open Library of Humanities
  • Since 2017, the ULB has been part of a global consortium of libraries for the "Open Library of Humanities" (OLH): this is a platform for currently 27 Open Access journals for the humanities and social sciences, which was founded by academics in the UK in 2015.

In addition, there are also programs for institutional memberships of universities or their libraries with publishers in order to reduce the costs of Open Access publications or to take them over completely and handle them centrally.

  • The agreements that exist at the University of Münster for some journals can be found on the Publications in Journals of Selected Publishers page.
  • Just right now we have signed a contract with Cogitatio Press: until the end of 2022, members of the University of Münster can publish free of charge in the publisher's four journals – "Media and Communication", "Politics and Governance", "Social Inclusion" and "Urban Planning".