Fraunhofer’s Open Access Strategy 2020

On October 12, 2015, the Fraunhofer Executive Board approved the Fraunhofer Open Access Strategy 2020.

Open Access implies granting free and long-term access to scientific findings and scientific literature. Open Access to scientific publications enhances the public visibiltiy of research findings, and therefore Fraunhofer’s own innovation initiatives.

The strategy sets out what Fraunhofer is striving to achieve in the field of Open Access, laying out specific measures for the next five years.
This website informs about Fraunhofer’s activities to promote Open Access.

What is Open Access?

Each year, Fraunhofer authors publish about 10.000 publications. Open Access implies granting free and long-term access to scientific findings and scientific literature. Open Access raises the visibility of research findings, and thereby supports our innovation initiatives. There are two types of Open Access: Gold, whereby a paper is first published in a recognized, peer reviewed Open Access journal, and green, which is a free of charge secondary publication on an institutional or specialist platform either following, or in tandem with, the original restricted publication. Both forms of Open Access make texts and objects freely digitally available in accordance with copyright law.


Open Access at Fraunhofer

In 2003, Fraunhofer was one of the first signatories of the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Scientific Knowledge, and it has had an Open Access Policy since 2008. In accordance with this policy, Fraunhofer has already significantly increased the proportion of Open Access publications since 2005. As a further sign of its commitment to Open Access to research findings, Fraunhofer adopted the Fraunhofer Open Access Strategy 2020 in 2015, which contains specific measures for the development of Open Access.

Within its strategy, Fraunhofer supports both gold and green Open Access; its aim is to make at least half of its annual scientific publications Open Access by 2020, with at least a third of those being gold, original Open Access publications.


Benefits of Open Access

Research for society

As a publicly funded organization, Fraunhofer has a duty to facilitate the free and immediate access to its research findings (including the data on which these findings are based), and in this way inform the general public about the results of its research activities. Open Access makes this possible in a simple way that is open to all.


Scientific accuracy and reception

Reproducibility is one of the fundamental principles of scientific practice, because it ensures that experimental results can be duplicated and verified. Open Access to published papers promotes transparency in research and enables research results to be verified more quickly and easily, especially if the underlying data is also made available at the same time. On top of this, studies have indicated that Open Access publications tend to gain reception more quickly and are cited more often.


Business and innovation

Open Access publications support and accelerate innovation cycles by ensuring that research findings are promptly processed and reused. As an essential part of the transfer of knowledge and technology to society as well as to potential clients and collaboration partners, Open Access ensures that Fraunhofer research findings are as accessible as possible and available for direct follow-up research.

Fraunhofer: balance between science and business

As employees of the largest organization for applied science in Europe, Fraunhofer researchers are caught in the middle between having to publish to advance their own scientific careers and the requirements of business, for instance the non-disclosure agreements that are often part of industry collaborations.

About 10,000 new Fraunhofer publications each year demonstrate that a balance has been found. Fraunhofer supports Open Access publications because published papers shall be as visible as possible!


General conditions

Fraunhofer’s Open Access Strategy does not impose any restrictions on individual researchers to their scientific freedom. The interests of researchers, collaborators and customers are entirely respected. Compliance with data protection and copyright laws is ensured as a matter of course, as are the rules of research integrity. Open Access in no way compromises the high quality of research papers published by Fraunhofer scientists, and takes into account the differences between publishing practices in different areas of research.

See also

Fraunhofer’s Open Access Strategy

Objectives and measures

Open Access Publications

Open access publications of the Fraunhofer researchers


The publication database and the publication repository of Fraunhofer