up2date. Das Onlinemagazin der Universtiät Bremen

“A Paywall Is No Longer Up-To-Date”

Science openly accessible to all: The SuUB is a pioneer of online publishing

Teaching & Studies

Providing open access to scientific literature is a strategic goal of State and University Library Bremen (SuUB). This includes the expansion and provision of open-access offers. Additionally, the library supports university members in publishing their dissertations, final theses, and articles.

Across Germany, the trend in scientific publishing is moving towards open access – thus the free and unrestricted access to scientific literature, as Martin Blenkle from the SuUB explains. He is responsible for the Digital Services Department. Many renowned scientific journals are already available in accordance with this principle. Open access publications that are freely available on the internet do not only reach a broader audience but are also cited more often. “We are of the opinion that access barriers, for example a paywall, are no longer up-to-date.”

Advantages of Media Document Server

Alongside the access to scientific information, the SuUB is promoting the publishing of own research via the media document server. This apparently brings many advantages with it, according to the doctor of chemistry Blenkle: “Research work that is published via our media document server free-of-charge generates a totally different demand than the work that is kept in print in our storage. This is down to the fact that search engines like Google find the work extremely easily. We aim for a good Google ranking and are currently working on ensuring that all the work that is published via the media server can be found as usual in the SuUB’s online catalogue and the superordinate network catalogue.”

This makes is very easy for other scientists to find and gain access to research findings. The work is additionally archived with a stable and quotable internet address. “We use the so-called DOI – Digital Object Identifier – which is also used by commercial publishers. This makes sure that the link to the publication is around for decades.” Scientific publications that have already been published in journals that are subject to licensing, are often able to undergo secondary publishing on the media server under certain conditions – this is so-called green open access.

The State and University Library Bremen is a pioneer in internet publishing. The library has been offering this service for 20 years. At the beginning of 2020, the usability was made considerably easier, underscores Blenkle.

Theses Can Also Be Published

At the moment, the majority of the texts are dissertations and other open access publications. The SuUB is now working on the publishing of final theses: “In contrast to dissertations, bachelor’s and master’s theses are not bound by any publishing obligations, as it is assessed work. For this reason, libraries usually do not collect and keep bachelor’s and master’s theses. We think that that is a shame and therefore offer graduates from the Bremen universities the chance to publish their work that has received a very good grade, if their supervisor explicitly recommends it.”

Theses can be submitted online by the authors themselves. Blenkle and his colleagues are there to provide support during the publishing process: “If anyone has a question or is uncertain: We are happy to help.”

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