Open Access in Business Studies and Economics
In the two economics subdisciplines of political economics (Volkswirtschaftslehre / VWL) and business economics (Betriebswirtschaftslehre / BWL), publication in specialist journals is the most important mode of publication. Books and book essays play a subordinate role here. The most important specialist journals in economics primarily belong to the major specialist publishers such as Elsevier, Wiley and Springer. Some are members of specialist societies such as the American Economic Association, the German Economic Association (Verein für Socialpolitik / VfS) or the German Academic Association for Business Research (Verband der Hochschullehrer für Betriebswirtschaft e.V. / VHB).
The importance and renown of a journal is heavily dependent on its placing in respective rankings such as the one of Forschungsmonitoring.org (the basis for the Handelsblatt ranking, among others) or the VHB-JOURQUAL3 ranking of the VHB. The open access proportion of this most important type of publication is still low.
Nevertheless there is a strong working paper culture. Preprints in the form of working papers play a particularly important role (above all in political economics). Here, research results are published in Open Access (for example, in working paper series) immediately by the scientific institutions, even before they have been externally assessed by specialist journals. This means that almost all papers of the major journals are available simultaneously as freely accessible preprint versions in the Web. In business economics, this preprint culture exists only in a few subdisciplines such as international marketing.
In recent years, however, a moderate increase can be detected. Specialist repositories and networks such as RePEc, SSRN or EconStor play an important role in the dissemination of the working papers.
You can find further information on Open Access in the field of economics in an overview article on the open-access.network website.