Open Access Gold

Open Access Gold describes the primary publication of academic texts within open access journals or other open access publication organs. Established procedures of scientific quality assurance, such as peer review, form an integral part of this strategy.

Helmholtz Researchers as Open Access Editors

Helmholtz researchers are involved in editorial boards of open access journals and collaborate with the Helmholtz Open Science Office. They converse with their colleagues on their motivation to actively pursue open access and thereby act as important multipliers within the Helmholtz Association. The Helmholtz Open Science Office supports scientists in the Helmholtz Association concerning open access, e.g., on how to start an open access journal or how to transform journals to open access.

Open-Access Publishing Equity (COPE)

In 2012, the Helmholtz Centers announced their support for “Compact for Open Access Publishing Equity” (COPE) and subsequently the establishment of mechanisms to cover reasonable Open Access publication fees. The Helmholtz Association aims for the publishing process in open access journals to become just as straightforward for scientists as it is within conventionally funded journals. The international initiative COPE has been initiated by Harvard University, MIT, and further US-American universities to promote open access publishing.


The international pioneering project in particle physics “Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics” (SCOAP³) is also being promoted by the Helmholtz Centers. In this project, the core journals in the field of particle physics were transformed to open access in cooperation with their respective publishers. The world-wide consortium is now supported by institutions from 46 different countries. SCOAP³ receives institutional support from several Helmholtz Centers and is collaboratively staffed by the cooperation of the German SCOAP³ committee. Additionally, Helmholtz overarching organizations such as the Helmholtz Alliance “Physics at the Terascale“ support the consortium.

Framework Contracts with Publishers on Open Access 

In order to facilitate the process of publishing in open access journals for their authors, the Helmholtz Centers have entered contracts with several publishers for the collectively pooled billing of publication fees: 

In addition, the Helmholtz Centers participate in respective national contracts, including

Handling Open Access Publication Fees 

To facilitate the handling of open access publication fees the “Criteria for the Operation of Open Access Publication Funds and the Payment of Open Access Publication Fees” have been developed. The aim of these criteria is to apply standardised criteria for the provision of open access publication costs across Helmholtz. Further information…


The Helmholtz Association participates in DEAL. With the DEAL project, the German science organizations are pursuing the goal of achieving national license agreements for the journals of the three major academic publishers – under the premise of “Publish and Read”. The DEAL contracts represent nationwide, transformative “Publish and Read” agreements; the DEAL contracts enable the authors of the participating German institutions to publish their articles open access and grant them permanent, full-text access to the entire title portfolio of the publishers.

The advancement of the process of open access transformation is supported by the Helmholtz Open Science Office together with the Working Group Open Science and the Working Group Library and Information Management.