Scientific publication system

Field of action
The scientific publication system continues to expand in terms of volume and is characterized by a multiplicity of (also new) players with different interests. The primary objective to be pursued in this area is to exhaust the potential of digital publishing. This is achieved by ensuring Open Access to scientific content, exploiting the potential of the digital options and organizing publishing as a science-friendly service market on a sustainable basis. Derived objectives include establishing simple, comprehensive access to scientific information to support digital teaching and education, increasing the visibility of science from Germany, e.g. by achieving a high proportion of Open Access, and influencing global publishing by means of national solutions serving as examples, e.g. national master agreements for licences, services and business processes.

The transformation of publishing is being conducted on an organizational and economic level as well as a technological level. The term publication therefore also encompasses new formats such as the reusable or executable combination of text, code, research data and further media content (enhanced publications), optimized versions for certain types of content such as data, videos or software (data journals, video publications, code repositories) or updatable publications (living publications). Publications are a central element in the research cycle although work is published faster than was previously the case, and the phases of quality control, reception and commentary can overlap, maintaining transparency and openness.


One central aspect of future work in this area is the stronger link between Open Access and licensing. The intention is to set standards, above all as part of Open Access transformation agreements and Gold Open Access framework agreements. Alongside the transformation of journals mainly from the areas of the natural sciences, technology and medicine (STM) which is to be implemented as part of the Alliance project for the nationwide licensing of the portfolios of major publishing houses (DEAL) and with the support of the National Open Access Contact Point (OA2020-DE), the establishment and support of novel business models and means of transformation relevant to further disciplines, will also play an important role. Already existing, cooperative funding approaches such as for monographs can be communicated and increasingly established in Germany. Of decisive importance for the entire transformation to Open Access are cost transparency and the sustainability of publication infrastructures. The tools of the transformation are located on an operational level, and there is a need for adequate, efficient processes at institutions. Models for the self-hosting of content also form part of the overall concept for providing information. Open Access repositories, their relationship with institutional research information systems, their potential for Open Science and alternative supply routes are also a reality which must not be disregarded in the course of future conceptual work in this area. Continual dialogue on a policy level, above all with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research during the implementation phase of the Open Access strategy, is to support the action.

Working group


  • Chairperson:
  • Kristine Hillenkötter
    Hildegard Schäffler

NameNominated by
Angela HolzerGerman Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG)
Sebastian Nordhoff German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG)
Dirk PieperGerman Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG)
Hildegard SchäfflerGerman Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG)
Eric RetzlaffFraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Stefanie SeehFraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Heinz PampelHelmholtz Association
Alexander WagnerHelmholtz Association
Gernot DeinzerGerman Rectors' Conference (Hochschulrektorenkonferenz - HRK)
Ulrich HerbGerman Rectors' Conference (Hochschulrektorenkonferenz - HRK)
Kristine Hillenkötter German Rectors' Conference (Hochschulrektorenkonferenz - HRK)
Olaf SiegertLeibniz Association
Marco TullneyLeibniz Association
Renko GeffarthGerman Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
Michael KaaschGerman Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
Kai Karin GeschuhnMax Planck Society
Julia HillmannWissenschaftsrat (German Council of Science and Humanities)
Ulrike Kress Bibliotheken der Ressortforschungseinrichtungen des Bundes (BRB) (Guest)