Information for Researchers, No. 56 | September 4, 2018

DFG Statement on the Establishment of “cOAlition S” to Support Open Access

A number of European research funding organisations (cOAlition S) – with the support of the European Commission including the European Research Council (ERC) – have now agreed to require full and immediate open access to research publications resulting from their grants by the year 2020.

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) works closely together with European funders in Science Europe and in Knowledge Exchange as well as with all relevant organisations on a national level to form and build an open access environment conducive to science and research. The DFG therefore welcomes a coordinated approach among funding organisations towards the realisation of open access.

The DFG supports open access, as it promotes the exchange of knowledge and the dissemination of findings. In 2003, the DFG underscored its commitment to the vision of a global and accessible representation of knowledge by signing the Berlin Declaration on Open Access. Since 2006 the DFG has encouraged its funding recipients to make their results available free of charge on the internet on an open-access basis. It will also adapt its open access policy to request that publications resulting from grants are published in open access.

The current strategy on open access at the DFG puts great emphasis on the role of the research community in shaping the open access transformation. As an institution based on the self-governing of science and research, it surmises that open access mandates can lead to increased article processing charges (APC), an effect that the DFG strives to minimise. Moreover, instituting such mandates would involve fundamental changes to the system by which reputation is created and research success is rewarded away from indicators such as journal impact factors.

The DFG will continue to support open access in a manner based on the interest of researchers and leading to greater cost transparency in both accessing and processing fees. It supports the efforts of cOAlition S to advance open access. Many measures suggested by cOAlition S are currently practiced by the DFG.

Open Access at the DFG

  • The DFG has encouraged funding recipients to make their results openly available via the golden route (immediate open access publication) or the green route (publication in open access repositories in addition to publication under the subscription model). It will strengthen its policy by requesting researchers to make results from DFG funding openly available.
  • The DFG encourages researchers to retain copyright and has implemented clauses in its regulations accordingly.
  • The DFG funds the establishment of high quality open access journals, repositories and platforms. In addition, a number of support services for open access, including services for hosting and archiving, receive DFG funding.
  • The DFG contributes to vital international infrastructures for open access such as the Directory of Open Access Journals.
  • The DFG has funding schemes for institutional coverage of APC with a standardised price cap as well as for licence negotiations including open access publications.
  • The DFG supports all attempts to create greater transparency, both regarding costs for access to publications under the subscription model and regarding payments for APC. The total cost of publishing should form the basis for institutions to adapt their strategies.
  • As a member of the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany, the DFG participates in nationwide coordinated efforts such as the Project DEAL or the National Contact Point Open Access OA2020-DE.

Further Information

To learn more about DFG funding activities related to open access, visit:

More information on cOAlition S:

DFG programme contact:

  • Dr. Angela Holzer, 
    Scientific Library Services and Information Systems, 
    phone +49 228 885-2568,

Media contact:

  • DFG Press and Public Relations, 
    phone +49 228 885-2109,