For more detailed information, please change to the German version of this website.

Open Access at UdK

What is open access?

Open Access is component of Open Science and denotes a digital form of publication that allows free access to academic information and cultural heritage without legal, technical or financial barriers.

Open Access is an extension of publicly accessible information.
Open Access offers you many advantages, among others:

  • The visibility of works is increased.
  • The exploitation rights remain usually with the creator.
  • Library catalogues and search engines ensure good searchability.
  • Publicly financed research results are thus accessible to all interested parties free of legal, technical or financial barriers.
  • A long-term availability of the works is assured.

For a comprehensive explanation of Open Access please visit the platform

Another component of Open Science is Open Data. While the ways of Open Access described below relate to scientific publications, Open Data offer the same advantages for artistic objects. However, the infrastructure here is still under construction.

Please also note our legal information.

UdK open access policy

The UdK's Open Access (German only) policy was unanimously adopted by the Academic Senate on 04.12.2019 and published in the Anzeiger der Universität der Künste (German only) on 20.12.2019. The terms relating to Open Access are explained in the glossary (German only).

Ways of open access

Publishing in open access is possible in a variety of ways and is as diverse as the publications themselves.

The infrastructure for non-text-based publications is still in process. Videos by UdK members can be published on the TIB AV-Portal via the university library.
For text-based publications, the already established routes of first and secondary publication apply. The university library offers UdK members the opportunity to use the document server of the Berlin University of the Arts as an institutional repository for their publications.

First publication in open access

A first publication with  an open access publisher or in an open access journal can be either specialist articles or monographs and anthologies. The quality assurance processes in the form of peer review or editorial review procedures correspond to those of traditional publications.

In addition to free access, open access publications differ from closed access publications primarily in other financing models. Publication fees such as article procession charges, APCs, publications in open access journals or fees in the context of business models for academic books are usually financed entirely by the institution of the publisher with the help of publication funds. There is currently no fund at the UdK to cover publication costs.

The University Library consciously supports Diamond Open Access in order to enable authors without institutional publication funds to publish in Open Access.

The following services are currently supported:

Secondary publication in open access

A secondary publication is the re-publication of a publication that has already been published by a publisher or journal. This should be done on institutional or publicly supported disciplinary document servers (so-called repositories). The publication takes place here either at the same time as the original work or with a time delay and is subject to a free license, for example a Creative Commons license. Before a publication is published again, and then in open access, the legal requirements must be met. It must be clarified whether third-party rights, such as for photos, quotations or sound recordings, are to be observed.

Legal questions

Open access publishing raises legal questions. The following information is not guaranteed to be correct or complete. Please understand that we cannot and may not offer you any legal advice. Further information on legal questions can be found in the "Legal questions" section of the platform

You can get an overview of general copyright issues on the platform (German only). There you will also find further information on Open Access.

In the Knowledge Portal of the Arts you will find further, mainly German literature on legal issues.

Authors‘ / copyright and publishing contracts

In accordance with the German Copyright Act (Urheberrechtsgesetz), authors have the right to exploit their works.

As authors, they can grant exclusive or non-exclusive usage rights to third parties. In the case of the transfer of non-exclusive usage rights, the full usage of your work remains permitted and you can subsequently also allow other third parties to use it. This, for example, gives you the opportunity to republish your work. If you publish in an open access journal, you should only assign non-exclusive rights of use to the publisher.

Publishers will demand the exclusive usage right if a work is to be published. There are also repositories, which will demand it, too. Most publishers return some rights to the authors upon request. Often this will be a right to a secondary publication, the secondary publication is thus permitted under certain conditions. These conditions vary from publisher to publisher.

When concluding a publishing contract in which you are to assign exclusive rights of use to the publisher, you should secure the right of secondary publication by means of an annex to the contract.

Secondary publication law

For works published after 01.01.2014, the secondary publication law according to § 38 para. 4 of the Copyright Act (UrhG) applies. Under very strict conditions, authors have the indispensable right to make their contributions available in Open Access via a secondary publication.

However, they must fulfil three conditions in order to claim this secondary publication right: 

  • This is a academic contribution. 
  • The contribution is the result of at least half of a publicly funded research activity.
  • The contribution is published in a collection that appears periodically at least twice a year.

In addition, there are some restrictive regulations.

Further information, including options for works published before 01.01.2014, can be found here.


As the author of open access publications, you can specify for these open content licenses. A common model is the standardized license agreements of the non-profit organization Creative Commons (CC), with which you can release the usage rights to your works selectively and at different levels. There are six different models: from very restrictive use to free use and editing. If you publish your publication in open access, the publisher often specifies a specific open content license. Please keep in mind that Creative Commons licenses are irrevocably granted. We recommend that you inform yourself comprehensively in advance.

Further information on the licenses and the license agreements themselves can be found here.