Press Release No. 16 | May 23, 2023

DFG welcomes EU Council Conclusions on Scholarly Publishing

Statement underlines importance of Competitiveness Council’s landmark recommendations based on quality, open access and sustainable funding

Statement underlines importance of Competitiveness Council’s landmark recommendations based on quality, open access and sustainable funding

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) welcomes the Council Conclusions on scholarly publishing adopted today, Tuesday 23 May 2023, by the Com-petitiveness Council of the European Union.

In the opinion of the largest research funding organisation and central self-governing body of the research community in Germany, the conclusions adopted under the title “On high-quality, transparent, open, trustworthy and equitable scholarly publishing” contain a series of trend-setting recommendations. These are commented on in detail in a statement issued simultane-ously by the DFG.

The DFG underlines that the academic publication system should continue to develop based on high-quality, openly accessible, sustainably funded digital infrastructures for research. It must be organised in such a way that the principles of the freedom of research are protected, scien-tific integrity and quality are guaranteed and the accessibility and re-usability of research re-sults are enabled.

The central function of scholarly publishing is the exchange of scientific and scholarly knowledge. The DFG agrees with the Competitiveness Council that the debate on aspects of peer review and the recognition of reviewer activities in the publication sector is to be strength-ened and guidance for institutions is to be improved, not least with a view to avoiding unethical publication behaviour. In the DFG’s view, the concept of quality assessment should be defined more broadly so as to include practices such as post-publication peer review and open peer re-view. Quality assurance remains the task of the research communities.

The DFG further emphasises in its statement that further cost increases for the provision of lit-erature and open access publication are not sustainable. Under no circumstances should a situa-tion arise in which the availability of funds determines participation in academic discourse. For this reason, the DFG welcomes the fact that the Council Conclusions focus on the support of open access infrastructures located at research organisations that operate without publication fees payable by authors and are not operated for profit.

Finally, in its statement on the Council Conclusions, the DFG once again emphasises the central role of a cultural shift in research assessment in order to promote further development of the publication system. The DFG is committed to such a cultural shift, as demonstrated by its mem-bership of the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA).

Further information

For the text of the statement, see the DFG website:

Media contact:

  • DFG Press and Public Relations
    Tel. +49 228 885-2109

Programme contact at the DFG Head Office:

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

To the DFG Position Paper “Academic Publishing as a Foundation and Area of Leverage for the Assessment of Scholarship“ and the accompanying press release:

On the DFG’s open science positioning:

To the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA):