Golden Road


In this model, publication takes the form of a first publication directly in open access.


Essentially, two possibilities can be named for this:

1. Publication via a publishing house

This method is particularly suitable for the publication of articles in journals, as well as for the publication in or of independent works (books), such as thematic anthologies or conference proceedings.

The author usually concludes a publication contract with the publisher, which regulates the terms of use and financing. For publication in a Gold Open Access journal, the publisher charges an author fee (Article Processing Charge / APC / Author Fee / Publikationsgebühr). Analogously, this also applies to publications in or from open access books (BPC = Book Processing Charge). Publication fees are paid either by the authors, the scientific institution to which they belong, or can be financed as part of a project grant. Publication fees are often combined with institutional memberships in Open Access: If a publishing member belongs to an institution that maintains an institutional membership with an OA publisher, the publisher will cover all or part of the publication costs. It is therefore advisable to check these options in advance.

RWTH has set up an Open Access Publication Fund as of January 1, 2024. The fund is used to finance quality-assured scientific publications that are primarily and immediately freely accessible worldwide (Open Access). RWTH members from all faculties can easily draw on the fund for the open access costs of their scientific publications. The fund is designed to cover all open access fees, i.e. there is no defined upper limit per article or per author. (Open Access Publication Fund)

RWTH has joined the Wiley, the SpringerNature as well as Elsevier agreement of the DEAL initiative. In addition to read-only access to most Wiley, SpringerNature and Elsevier journals, the agreement also includes central billing of authors' publication fees (RWTH Open Access Contracts).

In addition to paid publication in Open Access journals, there is also the possibility of publication in so-called Platinum Open Access or Diamond Open Access journals. No author fee is charged for publication in these journals.

In any case, the seriousness of the publisher and/or the respective journal should be critically examined before submitting a publication (Predatory Publishing).


2. Publication via RWTH Publications

This way is particularly suitable for the professional and free of charge first publication of e.g. dissertations, conference proceedings, reports, white papers, preprints, presentations or research data. The contributions receive a DOI (Digital Object Indentifier) and are thus permanently addressed and reliably citable. When published for the first time on RWTH Publications, the long-term accessibility of documents is ensured, which is not guaranteed by making them available on personal and institutional websites. Various document types are also delivered to the German National Library for long-term archiving. The University Library advises and supports authors in the publication process.