Open Access


In October 2003 the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and other renowned German and international research institutions signed up to the principles of open access in the Berlin Declaration.

In concrete terms, this means:
  1. A free, worldwide and irrevocable right of access should be granted to all research results. The work may be copied, used, distributed and transmitted.
  2. The complete version of the work including supplementary materials and the declaration on the usage rights will be deposited in at least one online archive ("institutional repository").

As a research institution, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is reliant on the free access to and exchange of knowledge that is essential for innovative research and development. Therefore, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is in full support of the open access principles. In this respect, the public shall possess the right to access information and results of researches or projects which are run on public funding.

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft also sees the potential of open access in promoting other areas of interests:

  • The exchange of knowledge within the scientific community, and the scientific reputation of the individual institutes or the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft as a whole are strengthened. Scientific communication is accelerated.
  • The research results obtained by the Fraunhofer institutes attain a considerably greater visibility. Studies have proven that open access publications are cited more frequently (higher impact factor) than those published conventionally (cf.
  • An increased public awareness of the innovation achievements of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Institutes and employees are therefore more readily identified as experts, especially by our new (potential) customers.


The technical foundations were laid in 2005 when the Fraunhofer-ePrints full-text server was set up. The number of electronic full-texts posted is projected to rise considerably over coming years. In order to actively support this within the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, a comprehensive support programme on the general publication process, copyright and technical issues has been put in place. Through the dissemination of information materials, regular seminars (presentations) and ongoing development of the technical infrastructure, we hope to create a positive shift in the publication culture within the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Our aim is to establish Fraunhofer-ePrints as the standard publicly available repository for publications of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft that have already been published elsewhere. Additionally, we strive to promote publication in purely open access journals.

Further Information

For further general information on the topic of open access, please see