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The following comment refers to this/these guideline(s)

Guideline 13

Providing public access to research results

As a rule, researchers make all results available as part of scientific/academic discourse. In specific cases, however, there may be reasons not to make results publicly available (in the narrower sense of publication, but also in a broader sense through other communication channels); this decision must not depend on third parties. Researchers decide autonomously – with due regard for the conventions of the relevant subject area – whether, how and where to disseminate their results. If it has been decided to make results available in the public domain, researchers describe them clearly and in full. Where possible and reasonable, this includes making the research data, materials and information on which the results are based, as well as the methods and software used, available and fully explaining the work processes. Software programmed by researchers themselves is made publicly available along with the source code. Researchers provide full and correct information about their own preliminary work and that of others.


In the interest of transparency and to enable research to be referred to and reused by others, whenever possible researchers make the research data and principal materials on which a publication is based available in recognised archives and repositories in accordance with the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable). Restrictions may apply to public availability in the case of patent applications. If self-developed research software is to be made available to third parties, an appropriate licence is provided.

In line with the principle of “quality over quantity”, researchers avoid splitting research into inappropriately small publications. They limit the repetition of content from publications of which they were (co-)authors to that which is necessary to enable the reader to understand the context. They cite results previously made publicly available unless, in exceptional cases, this is deemed unnecessary by the general conventions of the discipline.

Academic publishing as a foundation and area of leverage for research assessment

The DFG has responded to developments in the field of academic publishing with its position paper “Academic Publishing as a Foundation and Area of Leverage for Research Assessment”. In addition to shedding light on problems in the sector of academic publishing, the paper undertakes an analysis of how undesirable developments in the publishing system are linked to a form of assessment of research that is excessively guided by publication metrics. It sets as a key goal the freedom to publish in a manner that is appropriate to science and scholarship: this includes free choice of the medium and venue of publication, the securing of exploitation rights by those publishing, and the ensuring of open access to the published material. The position paper puts forward proposals concerning the reduction of misguiding incentives and a reorientation in the assessment of research. In future, the latter is to be even more strongly geared towards the content of research and diversity in research in terms of people and careers, research questions, output formats and forms of publication. The paper is aimed at all actors in the research system – active researchers, their employers and funding providers.

The comment belongs to the following categories:

GL13 (Statements)