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Acquisition logic as an obstacle to Diamond Open Access

Diamond Open Access (OA) refers to scientific publications that are available free of charge. Authors do not bear any costs when they publish journal articles or books. Likewise, readers who are interested in these scientific results do not have to pay any fees. As the fairest model of OA, it maximises participation in scientific discourse. In this context, the research project Acquisition logic as an obstacle to Diamond Open Access (ELADOAH) is investigating how this publication model can be organised in Germany in the long term.

Research background

The academic system is currently facing the challenge of sustainable funding for Diamond OA publications. It is widely acknowledged that public funds can be used to purchase goods and services, but not to finance what is already available free of charge. This may hinder scientific libraries from promoting free academic journals and books in a sustainable way. At the same time, science is breaking away from large and commercial publishing houses in order to develop its own open publication projects (community-led). The aim is to ensure that libraries and institutions do not have to pay high fees to access research articles. So how can we enable a more sustainable and fairer access to research?

Development of an organisational model for a Diamond Open Access publication infrastructure

The project clarifies this complex issue through two research contributions. At the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, we are investigating which examples of public funding structures are already in place or currently under development. Based on the findings, our research team will conduct a landscape study on collaborative models of royalty-free publishing.

Our project partner Verfassungsblog will prepare a legal assessment on the question of the extent to which public budget law actually stands in the way of financing Diamond OA publications and how this obstacle can be overcome. On the basis of both research contributions, the project team will develop an organisational model for a jointly supported and organised Diamond Open Access publication infrastructure in Germany at the end of the project.

The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (16KOA027).

The project proposal is published on Zenodo:


Interviews with stakeholders

For the Landscape Study, expert interviews will be conducted with various stakeholders from the field of Diamond OA.
January - March 2024

Publication of the "Landscape study on collaborative publishing"

The landscape study on collaborative models presents the state of research and integrates expert opinions on development opportunities.
May 2024

Stakeholder consultations

A series of stakeholder workshops will be held to work out how a collaborative model of royalty-free publishing in Germany could be designed, considering the various interests and opportunities.
October - November 2024

Scenario workshop

In the workshop, various stakeholders will jointly discuss the implementation plan (blueprint) for public service funding developed by the project and the resulting scenarios.
April 2025

Publication of the organisational model for collaborative publishing

The organisational model describes the concrete implementation options for a public funding structure for Diamond Open Access publications, in accordance with the legal conditions in Germany.
August 2025

Blog symposium

The symposium on the Verfassungsblog brings together various scientific contributions on the topic "Who owns science?"
September 2025

Publication of the legal assessment

The results of legal research on budgetary issues relating to the funding of Diamond OA publications are published.
September 2025

Panel discussion

In a panel discussion, guests discuss the question "Who owns science?" along the idea of collaborative publishing.
October 2025

Cooperation partner


Marcel Wrzesinski

Project lead "ELADOAH" and Open Access Officer