As the Austrian Science Fund FWF has been expanding the list of certified publishers eligible for its funding aimed at promoting open access for monograph-scale publications, such as by adding De Gruyter to this category, this appears to be a part of a larger trend of the growing recognition by universities and funding bodies in German-speaking countries that open access can contribute to a long-term reduction in their costs.
Similar to the Netherlands, German universities have recently reached an interim arrangement with Elsevier to access some of its journals, after efforts to reach an agreement between a consortium of German institutions and this publisher have apparently ended in a stalemate. German universities and scientific institutions demand that a significant share of journal articles be published in the open access format. At present, no deal with Elsevier was arrived at after a period of negotiations with journal publishers, such as Wiley and Springer, over subscription fees. By contrast, the inclusion of open access as an option that German scholars could take recourse to for their publications is likely to be a component of any future arrangement. The adoption of open access models promises to liberalize access to scientific knowledge with significant implications for the business models that will be viable for both publishing houses and the academic community.
Given that in both German-speaking countries, such as Austria and Germany, and in the European Union more generally, academic research is publicly funded to a significant extent, it is logical that open access book and journal publishers will become increasingly preferred venues for scholarly publications.
By Pablo Markin
Featured Image Credits: OpenSurgery / Frank Kolkman (NL) | © Courtesy of Ars Electronica.
Revisions: This article was revised on May 24, 2017.