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

Guideline 15

Publication medium

Authors select the publication medium carefully, with due regard for its quality and visibility in the relevant field of discourse. Researchers who assume the role of editor carefully select where they will carry out this activity. The scientific/academic quality of a contribution does not depend on the medium in which it is published.


In addition to publication in books and journals, authors may also consider academic repositories, data and software repositories, and blogs. A new or unknown publication medium is evaluated to assess its seriousness.

A key criterion to selecting a publication medium is whether it has established guidelines on good research practice.

Publication organs in open access

In order to ensure permanent and free access to research information, publications can appear in open access.

Open access means that access is granted to research publications and other materials online free of charge. A research document published under open access conditions may be read, downloaded, saved, linked to, printed and used by anybody at no cost. Contents must be licensed for reuse to ensure that open access is legal and in the interests of research. Specific licences (e.g. Creative Commons licences) grant certain rights to third parties to subsequently and continuously use, reproduce, disseminate and also amend the documents.

In addition to the so-called “gold open access model” of first publication in open access, there is also the possibility of open access publication via the so-called “green open access model”, whereby publications are published in parallel or secondarily (mostly on repositories or institute websites); preprints also fall into this category of open access.

In its position paper Academic Publishing as a Foundation and Area of Leverage for Research Assessment (May 2022), the DFG suggests that researchers should only grant publishers simple rights of use and exploitation so that researchers retain sovereignty over their publications and are able to disseminate them further through secondary publication.

In its Recommendations on the Transformation of Academic Publishing (January 2022), the German Science and Humanities Council (Wissenschaftsrat, WR) even advocates making the final, peer-reviewed and typeset versions (“version of record”) of scientific publications immediately and permanently available at the original place of publication under an open licence (preferably the Creative Commons CC BY licence). According to the Council, this should be the short-term objective for journals, while for other types of publications such as anthologies or monographs it is a goal that should be envisaged in the medium to long term.

The comment belongs to the following categories:

GL15 (General)