Open Access Strategy

In 2015, as a further sign of its commitment to providing Open Access to research findings, Fraunhofer adopted the Fraunhofer Open Access Strategy 2020, which contains specific measures for the development of Open Access.

Fraunhofer-Open Access Strategy 2020 (PDF, engl)


Specific goals

The goal for 2020 is to ensure that at least one half of all scientific papers issued in a year are published Open Access, with at least one third of these via the gold road where papers are first published in an Open Access journal. Targeted measures are also being implemented to encourage the simultaneous publication of underlying and related research data on an Open Access platform, wherever possible.

Primary objectives

Social responsibility – Science as public property

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. For this reason, wherever possible, all Fraunhofer research papers shall be published via the gold or green road of Open Access.


Creating value through knowledge transfer

The publication of research papers is an important element in Fraunhofer’s strategy for transferring knowledge and technology to society at large and to potential customers and collaborating partners. The best possible access must be provided to the results of research performed at Fraunhofer, so that they are immediately available for re-use in follow-up research projects. Another advantage of Open Access publishing is that it permits the use of innovative methods of analysis or evaluation. The sharing of scientific knowledge through cross-linked, digital resources enables the development of new research approaches and innovations, and promotes faster and more immediate communication and exchange of experience within the scientific community.


Reproducible results

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.


Greater efficiency

Open Access publishing enables information to be spread more promptly and efficiently to all interested parties in the research market. By providing timely access to scientific papers, new findings can be disseminated more rapidly, leading to shorter innovation cycles. Another advantage of Fraunhofer’s Open Access strategy is that the publication of scientific work and research findings on an open platform enables the organization’s industrial and business partners to easily identify the most suitable partners for their future research projects.


Optimized costs

As part of our Open Access activities, we are in the process of developing cost-transparent models in collaboration with the relevant scientific publishing houses.


Political framework

Fraunhofer’s strategy is aligned with the Open Access policies promulgated by the EU and by the German national and regional governments, and complies with the recommendations of the German and European research funding agencies. On a national and European level, Open Access publishing is seen as a topic of public interest, and hence the Fraunhofer Open Access Strategy will help to bring about a cultural change in the scientific practice and conduct of the scientific community.

Planed Activities

1. Promotion of green Open Access publications

Secondary publication – green Open Access – will be encouraged even more intensively:  The Open Access rate of the individual Fraunhofer Institutes currently averages 10-15% and could be significantly increased. Many Fraunhofer publications that have already been released could be made Open Access available if the legal opportunities were fully exploited. Additionally, Fraunhofer authors planning to publish are not always able to negotiate themselves the best Open Access terms for their planned publication from scientific publishers. For this reason, a concerted effort is being made to provide assistance in the form of information for Fraunhofer authors. This includes, for instance, automatic legal reviews of all published papers with regard to a possible second Open Access publication, as well as subsequent upload of the full texts on the repository Fraunhofer-Publica.


2. Promotion of gold Open Access publications

Gold Open Access publications in Open Access journals cost money. However, they turn the traditional payment structure on its head; instead of the reader (or library) paying for a journal subscription, in this instance the author (or their organization) pays a fee to the publisher. To administer these publication costs (sometimes called article processing charges), the setup of a publishing fund to finance a portion of the costs centrally is planned. This requires developing an integrated licensing and publication cost management strategy that provides for transparency in the specialist information licensing and publishing costs budgets, and allows the organization to claim systematically for any Open Access discounts from publishers. Having tested the waters in the “Open Access promotion fund” from 2009 to 2013, the Fraunhofer publishing fund will be up and running at the beginning of 2017.


3. Development of an infrastructure for the Open Access publication of research data (open data)

Since September 2, 2019, the institutional research data repository of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft »Fordatis» has been available. In Fordatis, research data is published worldwide and made available for reuse. The data is described using meaningful, standardized metadata. Through the OAI-PMH interface, the metadata is imported into other systems, such as OpenAIRE or BASE, and indexed by Google. Thus, the research data is visible worldwide.

Accompanying the technical implementation, support and training research data management is offered within Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Thus, scientists and other interest groups can be optimally advised on questions around the topic.


See also

Open Access at Fraunhofer

Balance between science and business


The publication database and the publication repository of Fraunhofer

Open Access Publications

Open access publications of the Fraunhofer researchers