Open Access

What does Open Access mean?

The aim of the Open Access movement is to make scientific literature freely accessible and reusable for everyone, free of charge and, as far as possible, without technical and legal barriers.

According to one of the most established open access definitions

By open access to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribu­te, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited. (Budapest Open Access Initiative Declaration, 2002)

Open Access vs. traditional publication model

Based on the above definition, open access means turning the traditional model of publishing upside down. Although the differences between the two are great, the most important aspects can be summarised as follows:

Traditional publishing model:

  • Access: Restricted access; content is located behind paywalls or subscription barriers.
  • Costs: Readers or institutions pay for access to content.
  • Rights of use: Authors often have to transfer their rights of use to publishers; limited reuse rights for readers.
  • Visibility: Limited visibility; access is usually restricted to individuals affiliated with subscription-holding institutions.
  • Speed of dissemination: often slower dissemination of information; time to publish may be longer.
  • Control: publishers control distribution and access to content.

Open Access:

  • Access: Unrestricted access; content is freely available to anyone with an internet connection.
  • Cost: Free to read, download and share; publication fees may apply for authors. However, these costs can be covered through various forms of financing.
  • Rights of use: The rights of use remain with the authors; the content is often published under licences that enable wider reuse and distribution.
  • Visibility: Broad visibility; accessible to a global audience, increasing visibility and potential impact.
  • Speed of dissemination: often faster dissemination; research results are accessible immediately after publication.
  • Control: Authors or institutions retain more control over the dissemination and accessibility of their work.
[Translate to Englisch:] Open Access Logo

Open Access at HTW Berlin

In its Open Access Policy , HTW Berlin recommends its members to publish in Open Access. Following support options are provided

  • Financing of publications via research fund
  • Self-Archiving on the server of the institutional repository OPUShtw
  • Participation in the DEAL contracts with Wiley, Springer Nature and Elsevier, so that all members of the institution have access to a discount on publication costs in Gold Open Access journals
  • Counselling and courses on Open Access publishing

If you have any questions or need support, please contact our Open-Access-Team!


Budapest Open Access Initiative. (2002).