Open Access/Open Science

Goals of the Berliner Erklärung on Open Access to scientific knowledge:

"Our mission of disseminating knowledge is only half complete if the information is not made widely and readily available to society. New possibilities of knowledge dissemination not only through the classical form but also and increasingly through the open access paradigm via the Internet have to be supported. We define open access as a comprehensive source of human knowledge and cultural heritage that has been approved by the scientific community.

In order to realize the vision of a global and accessible representation of knowledge, the future Web has to be sustainable, interactive, and transparent. Content and software tools must be openly accessible and compatible."

Link to the Berliner Erklärung

Open Science aims to encourage an open exchange of scientific information. This includes access to scientific literature, research data und scientific software which should be provided free of charge and with no technical or legal restrictions.

There are two ways for open access to scientific literature: Gold Open Access and Green Open Access.
Gold OA means a first publication in an Open Access journal which provides the articles free of charge. To comply with quality standards and to fund the publication process authors have to pay article processing charges (APC).

Publishing Green OA means to provide a second version of an publication in a closed-access journal. In most cases publishers allow a publication of the final draft of an accepted manuscript in an institutional or disciplinary repository under certain circumstances. The SHERPA/RoMEO-List gives an overview of legal restrictions of most publishers.

OA Publication Roads
Translated from source: Christoph Bruch (Helmholtz Open Science Office). “Open Access: grüner/goldener Weg”. Creative-Commons „Attribution 4.0 International“ (CC BY 4.0):
Publishing OA brings some advantages with it:

  • Greater international recognition for the UFZ as a result of more citation/ full text hits with Google and other search engines
  • Wider distribution of the UFZ’s scientific results
  • More frequent citation due to easier access to the full text
  • The UFZ’s / the scientist’s profile is enhanced
  • Green OA still makes it possible to publish in high-ranking journals

OA/OS in the Helmholtz Association

The Helmholtz Community promotes Open Science, i.e. the open access to scientific knowledge, its verifiability and usage as well as its implementation in society and thus continues the process that was initiated back in 2003 with the signing of the „Berlin Declaration on the open access to scientific knowledge“. To promote the development to Open Science, it is necessary to create excellent basic conditions for digital science. One is the Helmholtz Open Science Office which supports the Open Access transformation for all research centers. The Open Access Policy of 2016 and as well contains useful information and advices on the publication process. In September 2022 the Open Access Policy was replaced by the Open Science Policy of the Helmholtz Open Science Office.

Creative Commons licences (CC-licences)

Creative Commons (CC) is a nonprofit organization that helps authors with the free distribution of otherwise copyrighted work by providing public copyright licences. CC has six different types of standard licences that condition the legal terms of distribution. In terms of Open Science CC BY is the recommended licence to ensure free usage of a publication.

In the Intranet there is a publication policy to give some information about handling of publications

Gold Open Access

When publishing in an Open Access journal the author gets charged with article processing charges (APC). Regarding that it should be ensured that the journal is of adequate quality – a help for that is the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) which lists reliable journals. Since the upcoming of OA there are some black sheep among the journals. To avoid predatory journals we recommend to check the quality of a potential journal to publish in by using the checklist of Think.Check.Submit.

Green Open Access

Green Open Access refers to the so-called secondary publication (post print). As in the past, authors publish their work in "traditional" peer-reviewed journals, but with the permission of the publisher, the article is then published a second time in an institutional repository (an electronic reprints collection of the institute) and therefore made accessible on the Internet (please visit the information portal of for further information). Many publishers agree to secondary publication in an institutional repository with the adherence to certain restrictions. An overview of these publishers is provided by the SHERPA/Romeo-List.

Library support for financing Open Access at the UFZ

The library of the UFZ funds Open Access publications under certain circumstances. For further information please check subitem Open Access funding by the UFZ library.

Record in the publications index

A compilation of all those publications by UFZ-employees that were published during their scientific work at the UFZ is a main responsibility of the library as well as the preparation of these for the internet. In order to record a publication in our institutional repository please send a copy of your publication with the respective POF-number to

The UFZ library covers the publication charges of your paper if:

  • the corresponding states the UFZ as main affiliation
  • the journal is eligible (Gold Open Access and journals included in agreements)
  • only APC are invoiced; additional charges, such as page, color or cover charges are excluded

 For the process of invoicing please note following aspects:

  • request emailing the invoice to invoice at
  • state your personal UFZ address as billing address
  • VAT ID is DE 141507065 (you can get a certificate from library staff if needed)

Publications in Fully Open Access-Journals will be funded as long as they are listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Listed are quality journals in which all articles are published in Open Access. Please note:

  • Corresponding authors have to state the UFZ as main affiliation
  • Recommended Creative Commons license is CC BY (Attribution)

Publications in hybrid journals are excluded from coverage. Exceptions are the DEAL or transformative contracts listed below. Hybrid journals include articles published in Open Access, but also articles which are only accessible with a subscription.

In connection with the central promotion of publication fees at the publishing house MDPI, there are critical opinions and controversies again and again. We have compiled some MDPI information about this in a collection of facts.

Please contact us directly for further information or if you need assistance publishing your paper.

On January 15, 2019 an agreement was signed between publisher Wiley and MPDL Services GmbH.

  • Duration: since 2019, extended until 31.12.2023
  • Included journals: Complete portfolio (Backfiles from 1997 forward); List of included journals
  • Publishing: OnlineOpen in closed access journals and Open Access in Gold Open Access journals; CC BY recommended
  • Corresponding authors have to state UFZ as main affiliation
  • PAR-fee: 2.750 €, Gold Open Access articles may benefit from discounts; additional charges (page, color or cover charges) are excluded
  • Wiley author guide

For further information please visit the website of Projekt DEAL.

The second agreement by Project DEAL was signed on January 8, 2020 with publisher Springer Nature.

  • Duration: 2020 - 2023
  • Included journals: about 1.900 journals of Springer; not included are technical journals and most Nature journals; List of included journals
  • Publishing: Open Access in approximately 1.900 closed access journals (reference date is online publication date); publications in Gold Open Access journals will be covered by the agreement beginning August 1, 2020; CC BY recommended
  • Corresponding authors have to state UFZ as main affiliation
  • PAR-fee: 2.750 € per published Research Article; 917 € per Non-Research Article; additional charges (page, color or cover charges) are excluded
  • Springer Nature author guide

For further information please visit the website of Projekt DEAL.

Since January 2021 there is an amandment to the agreement with Springer Nature, so that Open Access publications in Nature branded journals are also covered by the library.

  • Duration: 01.01.2021 until 31.12.2024
  • List of included journals
  • Corresponding authors have to state the UFZ as main affiliation
  • APC covered by the library, CC BY recommended

Please visit the website for this agreement for further information.

Beginning 2023 the UFZ takes part in a PAR-agreement with the American Chemical Society (ACS).

  • Duration: 01.01.2023 until 31.12.2025
  • Includes Gold Open Access journals ACS Omega, JACS Au, ACS Au collection, as well as all ACS hybrid journals
  • CC BY as default Creative Commons license
  • Corresponding authors have to state the UFZ as main affiliation
  • APC covered by the library
For further information please visit the website of ACS-Agreement.

Beginning 2023 the UFZ takes part in the project KOALA.

Detailed information can be found on the website of project KOALA.

Eligible for funding are also Open Access monographs as long as the editors are affiliated to the UFZ and the publication meets the Recommendations on quality standards for the open access provision of books.

Please contact us as early as possible if you plan to publish an Open Access monograph.

Consultation on Open Science/Open Access

Please do not hesitate to contact us if there are any issues regarding Open Science or Open Access. Whether you have questions about the right of secondary publication, Creative Commons licenses, the Copyright Clearance Center or other aspects of Open Access and Open Science we would be happy to get you the information you are looking for.

Publishing Open Access in the publications index of the UFZ

We as the library of the UFZ are responsible for recording all publications of UFZ scientists in our repository. In terms of secure free access to those publications we upload your articles that were published in Open Access journals. Besides we grant access to final drafts of publications in closed access journals as soon as we are allowed due to right of secondary publication and embargos of the respective publisher.


Since 01.09.2022 the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH - UFZ is an institutional member of the ORCID DE consortium in order to promote the dissemination of ORCID at the UFZ and to profit from the advantages of the technical synchronization of the institution's own infrastructure with the ORCID database.

Further information can be found on our ORCID website.