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Synergies for Open Access – Open Access Monitoring

A project to establish and operate a national open access monitor, funded within the scope of an ideas competition of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in support of the free flow of information within the scientific community (2017).

What is the aim of the project?

The project will help to investigate open access in Germany. By establishing a monitor for the transformation process from closed access (mostly subscription fees) to open access (mostly publication fees), data from existing projects will be collated and their data base expanded as well as being utilized for a hierarchical user interface and disseminated in scientific publications.

The Central Library (ZB) of Forschungszentrum Jülich is the project contractor.

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) mit dem Zusatz "Sponsored by the"

The project is being funded with two project positions for a period of 24 months by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (FKZ 16OA018).
Open access – Easy access to scientific literature (BMBF) (in German)
Free access to scientific literature – BMBF funds 20 innovative projects to promote the spread of open access (BMBF press release, 133/2017) (in German)
Antwort der Bundesregierung auf Kleine Anfrage – Geförderte Vorhaben im Rahmen der Förderrichtlinie des freien Informationsflusses in der Wissenschaft (Deutscher Bundestag, Drucksache 19/1014, Seite 6) (in German)
Open access in Germany – The strategy of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, X. Making open access visible and measurable – Open access monitor (BMBF strategy document, September 2016) (in German)

Synergies for Open Access – Open Access MonitoringCopyright: Forschungszentrum Jülich

What exactly is planned?

Creation of a cataloguing client for Global Open Knowledgebase

An IT company with proven expertise will be tasked with creating a concept for the cataloguing client. For the concept, interviews and workshops will be held with four selected libraries to gain an understanding of user requirements and to best capture the structure of existing systems. The programming of the cataloguing client will be conducted by members of the project, with guidance being provided by the Head Office of the Common Library Network (VZG). Prior to concept release, pre-testing will take place in addition to another workshop with the selected libraries.

Quality assurance in the Global Open Knowledgebase

The Global Open Knowledgebase is conceived as a tool for collaborative metadata administration. Under the editorial management of the German Union Catalogue of Serials (ZDB), structures are to be set up – through the aid of their close contacts to German libraries – that will establish the Global Open Knowledgebase as a comprehensive and reliable instrument expected to set standards. The introduction of this cooperative process will be supported through the assumption of responsibilities with respect to data and quality management.

Creation of a user interface for the open access monitor

A user interface concept for the open access monitor will be developed and implemented in accordance with the development of the cataloguing client. The concept will be created on the basis of the experiences of the project employee in consultation with libraries and chief negotiators for alliance and transformation licences. The project group for the national open access contact point (OA2020-DE) will provide guidance for the programming process.

Quality assurance for the open access monitor

The data transferred from external source systems via interfaces and the combined data (mapping) in the open access monitor will be reviewed in terms of library standards. A hierarchical rights management system with facilities and system operators will be discussed and developed for the open access monitor. This should help to avoid a conflict of interests between the willingness to make data available, on the one hand, and the demand to use the collected data, on the other hand. Programming will take place within the framework of the data office of the national open access contact point.

Data analyses

In accordance with the rights management system, data can be retrieved for the envisaged purposes with the aid of the user interface. The data of the open access monitor should help to support the negotiation of transformation contracts and can be reused by scientific establishments. The retrieval and interpretation of the combined data is supported by the members of the project. Scientific publications will be created and published in open access journals. On the basis of the collaborative expertise, a study will be compiled as required and in accordance with the BMBF’s open access strategy, in the field of action “Making open access visible and measurable – open access monitor”.

Impact research

The content of the open access monitor’s source systems is largely based on the voluntary participation of scientific institutions. The willingness to participate in the past, at the start of the project, and during the project will be evaluated. The project also aims to identify with what methods and what level of quality missing data archives can be extrapolated and in what fields the observance of existing guidelines can be improved. Proposals on how outside stakeholders (e.g. research funding bodies, science organizations, academic societies) can be mobilized and won over for project objectives should help to complement impact research. A summary of approaches will also be compiled with respect to the consolidation and further development of the open access monitor.


Project Leader:
Dr. Bernhard Mittermaier
Email: b.mittermaier (at)
Tel: 02461 61-5368
Head of the Central Library