FAQ: Open Access Publication Funding

Submitting a proposal

For institutions that have not yet implemented the Code, funding remains blocked until the institution provides evidence that the Code has been implemented. 

See this page for details:

Yes, non-university research institutions can submit proposals. The head of the institution or the body with legal capacity should submit the proposals. A form (DFG form 12.201) can be used to delegate authority regarding the submission of proposals.

Yes, higher education institutions at which OA publications are issued are also eligible to submit proposals. Private higher education institutions are likewise eligible to submit proposals if they are state-approved. 

Yes. Funding needs in the second phase of the programme, which starts in 2024, can only be calculated based on publications arising from DFG research funding. (The use of the funds remains flexible, though, which means that the funds may also be used for publications that do not result from DFG research funding. Note, however, that applicants are required to provide sufficient funding to enable publication of all open access publications that demonstrably arise from a DFG project).

The funding period is the period to which the proposal relates, i.e. the period following the year in which the proposal is submitted (“publication year”). If for example a proposal were submitted for a three-year funding period in 2024, the funding period would be 2025-2027. 

Second programme phase (2024–2027)

The reason for this is that the second phase of funding aims to gravitate towards the principle of financial responsibility. So only articles that demonstrably arise from a DFG project can be used to form the basis of a needs calculation. The allowance per article increases to €1,400 to account for this.

No. All information on the second phase of the funding programme are already included in the existing Guidelines and Supplementary Instructions. In the new version of the guidelines [01/24], only editorial changes were made.

Calculation of funding needs

The development of suitable methods is left to the applicant. The guidelines clearly regulate the basis on which the funding needs calculation is to be undertaken.

The Open Access Monitor at Forschungszentrum Jülich offers a service to support the calculation of eligible publications and can be used to find out previous publication volumes. Use of this service is not mandatory, but it can be very helpful for a comparison with data from internal systems or in cases where no internal data is available. The Open Access Monitor provides instructions on how to submit a proposal: please refer to the latest version on the Open Access Monitor homepage.

Clarification: The categories “All Open Access Publications” and “Open Access Publications Subject to a Fee” are to refer to publications produced at your institution and should not be restricted to DFG research funding (analysis 2 and 3 in the Open Access Monitor instructions), while “Eligible publications” must be restricted to DFG research funding. (In version 1.0 / January 2024 of the Auswertung zur DFG-Antragstellung mit dem Open Access Monitor [Analysis of DFG proposal submission with the Open Access Monitor] and in the FZJ slides shown at the webinar on 5 February 2024, the analysis of the categories “All Open Access publications”  and “Open Access Publications Subject to a Fee” was initially limited to DFG research funding. This has now been changed in the new versions (Guide to analysis – version 1.1 / March 2024 and Set of slides 2024-03-01.)

Only those open access publications resulting from DFG research funding that are submitted by correspondence authors (who are required to pay fees) affiliated with the applicant institution or by first authors who are required to pay fees are eligible for funding. However, as the funding acknowledgements do not always clearly show whether the correspondence author or one of the co-authors is funded by the DFG, the publications do not need to be checked manually in order to reduce effort. This vagueness in the funding calculation is acceptable at present.

“Required to pay fees” here means that costs are incurred by the institution. This can also be the case through memberships of preprint servers or other consortium models (including Diamond Open Access). With SCOAP3, the consortium payment is based on the publication share, but the number of publications that come from the respective institution is the deciding factor when submitting the proposal. It is possible to apply for funds if the institution participates in SCOAP3-DE.

Proposals can be made for €1,400 per eligible open access article and €5,000 per eligible open access book. The allowance does not differ according to research sectors or disciplines.

The proposal always refers to the publication years following the submission, i.e. in 2024, funds are requested for the publication years 2025 ff.

Please align your proposals to the agreements cited at ESAC and/or cOAlition S. If you are participating in an agreement that is not listed, please specify it and include the publications in the calculation. The review session also determines whether agreements are considered to be eligible.

The applicant institution must be or plan to be party to an agreement in the period for which the funds are requested.




“Research articles” are publications which convey scientific knowledge. This includes articles of the categories original paper, review paper, brief communication, etc. Only publications explicitly marked as non-research articles are excluded.

Funds can also be used for this purpose if the publications of the institution's authors in these publication infrastructures are quality assured in open access. This applies to all so-called Diamond journals/infrastructures, i.e. publication outlets operated by publicly funded institutions or infrastructures supported by collective funding which generally do not charge authors directly for publication services, but may be supported by the institution through collective funding.

No subsidies are available for dissertations published via the university server if this forms a part of normal services provided by the university. Subsidies can be provided for books published by a university press, for example, where additional costs are incurred.

Yes, please feel free to include tables where possible, especially under 6.1, showing the period and amount of funding you are requesting.

Here, you should state the number of publications for which you seek funding. Please provide a breakdown according to publishers/publication platforms and differentiate between articles and books wherever possible. 

You should use clearly structured tables as far as possible.

In particular, please provide a clear overview of the publication volume for the years 2021–2023. Use a table to set out all eligible publications for the years 2021–2023, broken down according to Open Access Gold, transformative agreements and, where applicable, other funding models, so that this data is clearly presented.

Projections for future article volumes no longer need to be made. 

Please outline in the proposal which funds are available for OA funding and from which sources they originate.

In this case, do not draw down those funds you do not require.


New processes and structures do not need to be established if the existing processes and structures are suitable for achieving the programme's funding objective. This must be clearly stated in the proposal, however. 

The first year of the review showed that the criterion “work programme and implementation” (see review criteria) is of particular importance. The strategic embedding of the project in the institution and the planned measures are to be presented here. The plan should also include a schedule. If a working group is set up, the working group or organisational unit designated for the implementation of the project should have a certain room for manoeuvre with regard to the implementation of measures and – if necessary – ensure the networking of the different organisational units. 

In the second year of the review, it was found that the development of information budgets is still insufficient and should be given greater attention in the second programme phase, also in terms of the review. 

In the third year of the review, it became clear that the programme’s funding objectives were well addressed and could be achieved, especially when it came to renewal proposals. It was found that the word “information budget” was frequently used in proposals, however, it was not applied and comprehended consistently or based on conceptional thinking and systematic tasks. Structural reasons in particular lead to rejections. The attitude of the university or institution management towards administrative processes and towards the university’s or institution’s infrastructure remains a central point. 

The reports on the individual funding rounds are available on the programme website.

Use of funds for eligible content, proof of use, monitoring, cost-neutral extension of the project duration


Articles can also be funded if the journals are not listed in the DOAJ but quality assurance is guaranteed. Here we ask institutions to check on a case-by-case basis.


When using the funds, the total amount of DFG funds spent must correlate with the number of eligible publications during the funding period. 

It is not necessary to account for €1,400 per article; DFG funds can be flexibly included in an integrated (information) budget and reinforce the institution’s total funds. However, it must be possible to provide evidence of the actual use of DFG funds (e.g. for a specific segment of eligible publications). All eligible publications must therefore be verifiable, even if no DFG funds are used for them.

  • Example: In 2024, 70 articles of an institution are eligible for funding. The institution can therefore use an amount of €98,000. It can share this amount of €98,000 among 40 articles, but it must be able to provide evidence of all 70 eligible articles and their funding. This applies in the same way to the entire funding period.

  • The data must be delivered to Forschungszentrum Jülich based on the metadata schema provided by FZJ. See here for further information on programme monitoring via Forschungszentrum Jülich.

In the case of OA books, the funds may only be used for publications resulting from DFG research funding. This also includes dissertations from doctoral programmes supported by the DFG.

Yes. Dissertations written at an institution in DFG-funded projects or networks are also eligible for funding in principle. However, established and existing OA publication options should primarily be used, e.g. the institution’s publication servers or subject-specific publication servers. If these infrastructures are operated by the institution as part of its core support and fulfil a basic function, DFG funds should not be used for this purpose. 

No. Secondary publications are not eligible for funding.

Nor can articles that have been paid for via hybrid APC and undergo secondary publication be included in the calculation or financed from DFG funds.

The funding of so-called “Article Development Charges” (ADC) is not possible. 

Yes, if these preprints incur costs, e.g. due to membership fees or contributions to infrastructures. However, it is only permissible to use DFG funds once per “aggregate state” of a publication, i.e. not for the preprint and the open access article.

Quality assurance in terms of the programme is defined in such a way that scientific debate and its documentation must be assured before or after publication. This can take the form of community peer review or post publication peer review. Good research practice applies to all publications funded by the programme.

Legally secure reuse of the funded publications must be ensured, which is regulated by means of CC or other licences that enable reuse as defined by the Berlin Declaration. The guidelines (DFG form 12.21) lists standards that serve as orientation.

Yes, the funding guidelines for the programme are available in a special section of the Funding Guidelines (DFG form 2.00). 

  • Use of the funds for non-research articles
  • Funding of publications in “mirror journals” Forschungszentrum Jülich published a list of mirror journals 
  • Fees for submission charges, page charges, colour charges, etc.
  • Use of the funds for opt-out articles, i.e. articles that do not ultimately appear in open access.
  • Use of the funds for administration fees associated with publication
  • Funding of individual articles in anthology volumes
  • Use for conference proceedings if the publication is financed from other sources (e.g. admission fees, membership fees).
  • Minimum participation fee for DEAL agreement with Elsevier . 
  • Article Development Charge (ADC)

After being approved, the funds can be drawn down via the DFG form 41.0402. Please always make a needs-based request for funds. The first drawdown of an approved project must be sent via postal service to the address stated in the form. Subsequent drawdowns can be submitted digitally. Attachments to the drawdown (e.g. list of publications) are not required.

The proof of use DFG form 41.050 for this programme is to be found on the programme website. 

For further information on the proof of use, please refer to the Funding Guidelines 2.00 (Section 8).

The FZJ provides all information on monitoring here.

You can find the link to the community mapping for the monitoring problem cases here (test phase May-July).

DFG funds may also be used for articles/monographs for which the invoice is not received until the beginning of 2024, provided i) the articles/monographs were published in 2023 (i.e. within the funding period) and ii) the institution applied for a cost-neutral extension. The funds are then available for the time period of the approved term extension.

Please fill in the DFG form 41.45 and send it to . The past years have shown that a cost-neutral extension of max. six months is sufficient in this programme. 

Please apply for a cost-neutral extension as early as possible, but no later than six weeks before the end of the year.

Since 2023, a service level agreement has been in place between the DFG and the OAPEN Foundation for the use of the OAPEN Library as a repository for the secondary publication of DFG-funded OA books. Initially, monographs that were produced with DFG research funding and were funded under the “Open Access Publication Funding” programme will be posted here. 

The OAPEN Library receives the metadata of the publications concerned via the monitoring reports issued by Forschungszentrum Jülich and independently ensures that the publications are entered in the repository. This does not involve any additional effort or cost to institutions funded under the “Open Access Publication Funding” programme.

Slides from the information event on the cooperation between the DFG and OAPEN Library on 14.03.2023.  

DFG collection in the OAPEN Library 

The “Open Access Publication Funding” programme and project-internal publication funds from DFG research funding

Only institutions or their executives can submit proposals under the ”Open Access Publication Funding” programme. Individual researchers can, however, also use their project-internal publication funds or funding for direct project costs from the research funding for open access purposes. 

Researchers can continue to directly propose “project-internal publication funds”. The DFG does, however, recommend that researchers contact the central information units when open access publications are involved, so that double funding is avoided. 

Yes, but the project owners must ensure there is no double funding of the same publication. “Project-internal funds” can, however, be used to co-finance open access publications.

The introduction of funding acknowledgements is regulated in the “General section” of the DFG Funding Guidelines (see DFG form 2.00, section 13). Each project owner is individually responsible for this insertion. In the programme context, however, it may be appropriate for the applicant institution to draw its institutional authors' attention to this DFG requirement.

Supplementary note: The University of Göttingen’s rapid test provides an overview of individual aspects that are relevant to DFG funding, including the coverage of publications with ORCID links and the use of funding acknowledgements: Crossref Metadata Compliance • metacheck (subugoe.github.io)

Authors are not to give a reference in the funding acknowledgements to the funding of publications by the DFG. 

Yes, the funds can be used for all those affiliated with a university or institution.