Universität Bonn

Open Access Service Center

Funding articles & book chapters (Publication Fund I)

Need to pay fees for your article in an open-access journal or your chapter in an open-access book but do not know where to get the money from? Then you can apply for funding from the University of Bonn's publication fund. Find out how it works here.

What is the publication fund?

The University of Bonn’s publication fund for articles in journals and book chapters can help you to cover the costs incurred when you publish an article in an open-access periodical or a chapter in an open-access book. As a researcher at the University of Bonn, you can apply to have your fees covered.

The fund is managed by the USL Bonn. Students and researchers toward the beginning of their careers (doctoral students and postdocs) are particularly encouraged to apply. The fund has certain criteria and a defined application procedure, both of which are explained below.

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© CC 0 Public Domain, Mohamed Mahmoud Hassan


  • The person the publisher is communicating with is known as the "corresponding author". This author must be a member of either the University of Bonn or University Hospital Bonn at the time the article in a journal or a book chapter is submitted and must give this as their primary affiliation in their publication.
  • The periodical or book to which you intend to submit your article must follow the quality assurance procedures deemed standard in the relevant field, e.g. peer review.
  • Applies only to journal articles (not to book chapters): Publication fees totaling up to €2,000 (excluding VAT) will be covered in full. If the publication fees are higher, you may apply for a pro rata contribution of €700(!) toward the total, with the remainder to be covered by your institute or department.
  • Articles and book chapters that were funded from the publication fund must be published together with a note referencing the funding:
    "This work was supported by the Open Access Publication Fund of the University of Bonn."
  • Articles and book chapters resulting from a DFG project must include a note referencing the DFG funding.
  • Only articles and book chapters for which no other funds have been awarded or applied for will be eligible for this funding. We recommend factoring any open-access publication fees to be incurred in the future into applications for third-party funding in order to secure financing.
  • The payment deadline ("terms of payment") on the publisher's invoice must be at least 30 days. Please notify your publisher accordingly and check the payment deadline on the invoice. Only pass it on to us if it stipulates a term of at least 30 days.
  • Applies only to journal articles (not to book chapters): The article awarded funding must be brought out under a Creative Commons license (CC-BY or CC-BY-SA). Licenses containing NC or ND elements are not eligible. More details are available here.
  • Publications are to obtain a DOI where possible.
  • Publications are to be linked to your ORCID where possible.
  • Articles and book chapters funded from the publication fund will also be published subsequently in bonndoc, the University’s repository (i.e. the green model).

What does not qualify for funding?

Non-research articles, publications in mirror journals, fees for ancillary publication costs (e.g. submission charges, page charges, color charges, etc.), articles that do not end up being made open access (opt-out), administration fees, single articles in edited volumes and volumes of conference proceedings if their publication is being funded by other means (e.g. via admission charges, membership subscriptions), dual funding of the same publication in several formats (e.g. preprint and periodical article)

Process: How do I obtain funding?

Please read the following information about the process:

Step by step

  • Not yet submitted your article or book chapter? Excellent! Then please complete the application form.
  • Got questions about the criteria before you start? Then please email us before submitting your article or book chapter.
  • Please note that the fund’s resources are limited and you are not guaranteed any funding. You can inquire at any time whether there is still money left in the fund.

Applies only to journal articles (not to book chapters):

  • Scenario 1: your publication costs are less than €2,000 (excluding VAT) >> We will cover all your publication fees (provided the criteria are met).
  • Scenario 2: your publication costs are over €2,000 (excluding VAT) >> Then you can only obtain a maximum of €700 in funding Your bill will be split: we will pay up to €700 pro rata, and the "Universitätskasse" — the dedicated University's accounts team — will charge the rest to your department or institute.
  • If this applies to you, please ask them what resources will be used to fund this remaining amount. Provide the name of your department or institute, a contact and an email address that we can use to send queries about payment (particularly the WBS element for the remaining amount).

This page lists all the formal criteria. Please contact us if you have any questions.

It is important that you put the USL Bonn as the invoice address:
Universität Bonn
Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Bonn
Zeitschriftenmanagement / Open-Access-Team
Regina-Pacis-Weg 3
53113 Bonn
The invoice must contain the following details:
- Applies only to journal articles (not to book chapters): The CC license (CC BY or CC BY-SA only) must be included on the publisher's invoice. If this requirement is not met, we have the right to not pay the invoice!
- Invoicing party (i.e. the publisher)
- Publication medium
- Invoice date
- Invoice number
- Payment term (at least 30 days!)
- For invoices from within Germany: gross invoice stating the rate and amount of tax
- For invoices from abroad (other EU and non-EU countries): net invoice stating the "UID" (“VAT,” or VAT ID number) of the University of Bonn (UID: DE 122119125) and the UID of the publisher

Pass this information on to the publisher to prevent invoices from being amended retrospectively.
Why a payment term of at least 30 days?
Technical and administrative requirements mean that it often takes at least 30 days (and frequently longer) for the Universitätskasse to issue an instruction for the payment of an invoice. Please notify your publisher accordingly and check the payment deadline on the invoice. Only pass it on to us if it stipulates a term of at least 30 days.

Who is the contact who will deal with the publisher?
Please do not put the Open Access Service Center as the contact or bill payer. As the author, you should deal with the publisher yourself. We will contact the publisher with your permission if need be. Such communication will always be instigated by us.

As the author, you will need to submit the article to the publisher yourself. The specialist review is done as part of the individual periodicals' or publishers' quality assurance procedures (e.g. peer reviews). 

When you have received the invoice, please email it to us as a PDF. You are welcome to check the invoice details yourself one more time.

  • We will set aside the invoice amount for your publication for three months.
  • If you have not received an invoice from your publisher by then, please get back in touch with us and we will set the earmarked amount aside for a further three months.
  • If you do not contact us, we will release the money for other publications.
  • Should your publication not be accepted, please let us know so that we can free up the money.

What does the Open Access Service Center do?

If the criteria for funding are met and there is still money left in the fund, the Universitätskasse will transfer the invoice amount straight to the publisher after receiving the invoice.

Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis until all the available funding has been allocated. We review applications purely against formal criteria (is the corresponding author a member of the University of Bonn, has a Creative Commons license been selected, is the periodical trustworthy, etc.). We do not check the content.

Funding articles University of Bonn
© CC BY 4.0, Open Access Service Center Bonn
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