Universität Bonn

Open Access Service Center

What is open access?

Looking for an overview of open access? Then you have come to exactly the right place! We will explain what open access means. To publish your first open-access publication, simply follow our Start Guide.


Open access (OA) is a form of scholarly communication that was developed by the academic community itself. Put simply, open access means free access to academic publications and other information in digital form.
Open access is geared towards making research findings freely accessible to and reusable by everyone all over the world — with no fees, technical barriers or legal hurdles. Publications may be edited and distributed provided that the copyright holder is correctly identified.

© SHB online, "What is Open Access?"

Start Guide: your first open-access publication

Looking to publish in an open-access format but do not know how? Here are four options for your first open-access publication that will give you an overview and hone your open-access expertise.

Option 1:
Publish an existing work for a second time but in an open-access format.

Maybe you have already published your work and would like to publish it again in an open-access format now that some time has passed.

Option 2:
Publish in an open-access format straight away (article/periodical)

Keen to publish an article in a periodical in an open-access format right away?

Option 3:
Publish in an open-access format straight away (books/monographs)

Want to publish monographs, edited volumes, etc. in an open-access format right away?

Option 4:
publish periodicals online straight away

Interested in publishing an open-access periodical and looking for a publication system?

Want to find out even more?

Besides information on open access, open-access.network also offers a wide range of advanced training and networking opportunities that you are more than welcome to take up. Tailored one-to-one advice is available from the Open Access Helpdesk.
The open-access.network project has numerous partners and is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

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