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Unlimited access to knowledge: German university library embraces Diamond Open Access journal

30 April 2024

Berlin – The Internet Policy Review Journal is now cooperating with the University Library of the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK Berlin) to promote barrier-free access to scholarly knowledge. This financial support from the UdK Berlin sends a clear signal for the promotion of open-access publications by academic institutions. The Internet Policy Review, as a scholarly journal, provides well-founded and independent analyses of changes in global digital policy. As a Diamond Open Access journal, it does not charge its readers any fees. It also relieves researchers themselves of costs, as they do not have to pay for the publication of their research results, which is common with major publishers. The Internet Policy Review is published by the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) in Berlin.

The cooperation between HIIG and UdK Berlin marks an important milestone for the German research landscape: They are actively taking responsibility for providing free access to scientific knowledge in Germany. “This support not only stabilises our journal financially but also sends an important signal to all university libraries that Diamond Open Access journals can be supported through direct engagement,” emphasises Prof. Dr. Frédéric Dubois, chief editor of the Internet Policy Review. According to him, the publication model is essential for a fair and just future of open science.

Diamond Open Access journals, while a significant market segment in academia (with 261 such journals in Germany alone according to DOAJ), face the challenge of ensuring their long-term financing without resorting to traditional revenue streams such as subscription and access fees. This includes paying editors, funding an editorial system, maintaining high-quality standards, and archiving publications. Typically, they are funded by research institutions, as is the case with the Internet Policy Review. Therefore, these journals, often pioneering in emerging and interdisciplinary fields, are looking for new ways to establish themselves independently and sustainably.

Prof. Dr. Jeanette Hofmann, director of the HIIG, sees this cooperation as a potential turning point for the German library landscape: “It is time to ensure barrier-free exchange in research. We therefore call for dedicated support for Diamond Open Access journals in Germany in order to promote a sustainable and diverse publishing landscape.”

For the Internet Policy Review, this is now the third direct funding from a university library, following the Library of the University of Amsterdam and that of KU Leuven, which had already agreed to this in 2019 and 2021, respectively. According to Frédéric Dubois, this significant step towards autonomy and sustainability of open-access journals is also of crucial importance for society: “They promote free and fair access to knowledge worldwide, enable international collaboration, and ultimately accelerate progress in various scientific disciplines.”

Press contact
Frederik Efferenn | Tel. +49 30 200 760 82 |

The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society

The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) researches the development of the Internet from a societal perspective in order to better understand the accompanying digitalisation of all areas of life. As the first research institute in Germany with a focus on Internet and society, HIIG has developed an understanding that emphasises the embedding of digital innovations in social processes. Based on this transdisciplinary expertise and as part of the Global Network of Interdisciplinary Internet & Society Research Centers, HIIG aims to develop a European response to digital structural change.

Frederik Efferenn

Head of Science Communication

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