Altmetrics are alternative methods of bibliometrics with which the interaction with scientific products on the Web are collected and analysed. They represent a supplement to traditional, citation-based metrics and enable a more comprehensive measurement of reach and effect. The interactions collected include mentions on social media (such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, wikis) and other online platforms, or the downloading and bookmarking of scientific publications. One of the often mentioned advantages of altmetrics is that they emerge significantly faster than citations. Prerequisite for the measurability is usually classification via a Persistent Identifier (PID).

An APC is a publication/processing fee charged to the author or the respective institution to cover the costs of the publication and dissemination of an article. The article is then available to potential readers free of charge. APCs can apply to both commercial and Open Access publications.

An author addendum is an agreement that supplements or is added to a publication contract. It defines or changes the contractual conditions, whereby the focus is often on the transfer of copyright. For authors of scientific works, an author addendum to the standard publishing contract can be necessary to protect the authors’ own important rights. Authors can, for example, thereby ensure that their own articles and works are published on their personal website or in a digital repository, used in the context of teaching or as the basis for future research.

Bibliometrics is a field of library and information science that encompasses the statistic, quantitative analysis of books, articles or other publications. Traditional bibliometrics is based on citation analysis. Nowadays there are also further methods such as altmetrics.

Book Processing Charges are publication/processing fees for the publication of a book in Open Access. They are charged to the authors by the publishers to cover the costs of the publication and dissemination. The costs are usually born by the research organisation of the authors or by a research funding institution.

Citizen science, also known as community science, describes the integration of interested members of the public into scientific projects, or having projects fully carried out by them. Their participation can take place on a short-term basis or involve an intensive period of free time. An academic education is not a prerequisite for taking part in research projects, even if many citizen scientists have one. It is important to maintain scientific standards, particularly transparency in regards to the methodology of the data collection and the public discussion of the results. Citizen scientists register observations, take measurements or evaluate data. Citizen science can be carried out by voluntary individuals, groups or networks. Large groups of volunteers can help researchers to complete tasks that would be too expensive or time-consuming using standard methods.

cOAlition S is an international consortium that aims to implement Open Access in the context of the Plan S. Members of the consortium include national research funding organisations, and it is supported by the European Commission and the European Research Council.

Creative Commons (CC) is a package of standardised licences with which the owners of copyrights can easily grant some rights to the users. These are widespread, easy to use and machine readable.

DEAL is a project with the purpose of transforming some subscription journals into Open Access journals. It is commissioned by the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany under the leadership of the German Rectors’ Conference. DEAL aims to enter into nationwide license agreements with an open access component (publish and read) for the entire portfolio of electronic journals with the largest scientific publishers on behalf of more than 700 eligible organizations. Members of the participating institutions can publish Open Access in subscription journals of the publishers at no additional cost. Thus, DEAL is a special case of hybrid journals. Members also receive access to the entire journal portfolio. So far, two DEAL agreements have been concluded: with Wiley and Springer Nature.

A DOI is a unique text character sequence that is used to identify digital objects, for example for journal articles, datasets or open source software versions. It is a type of persistent identifier (PID). Further explanations in the video.

The purpose of a document server (also known as a publication server or a repository) is to publish and archive electronic publications. The operators of publication servers also ensure the long-term archiving and indexing of the published documents with the help of bibliographic metadata. Document servers are often used for preprints.

In an embargo period a publication is only available to users for a fee or via an institutional access with a corresponding subscription. After this period, the authors of this publication can also make this publication freely available themselves.

The word FAIR stands for Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable. FAIR data is therefore traceable, accessible, interoperable and reusable, thereby making knowledge exchange easier, because data can be more easily discovered and used – by both people and machines.

Free software is not the same as software that is free of charge. In contrast to Open Source software, free software is defined by four freedoms. There are philosophical differences between the two terms. Free software focuses on the freedoms of end users and the added value for society, while Open Source software tends to have a more practical or economic point of view and focuses on the benefits for software developers, which is usually reflected in the software license used. Free software does not necessarily have to be Open Source, even if this is often the case.

The gold route (gold open access) describes the first publication of scientific works as articles in Open Access journals, as an Open Access monograph, or an article in a volume of collected works or a conference paper published in Open Access. The publishing costs (APC) are not born by the readers in this case (in the scientific field, usually represented by the libraries of the scientific institutions), but from the production side (for example by authors, the publishing institution, publisher, research funding institution).

The green route (green open access) of Open Access describes the secondary publication of publications from access-restricted journals or books on institutional or subject-specific document servers (for instance repositories). This also includes making such works accessible on authors’ websites. The secondary publication can occur at the same time or after the first publication (for example as preprints and postprints of scientific articles, but also as monographs, research reports, conference papers). In the green route, publications are often only freely available after an embargo period, depending on the various Open Access policies of the different publishers and journals.

The H index is a personal number that connects the number of citations with the number of published works of the researcher.

In a hybrid journal, certain articles are accessible in Open Access, whereas others continue to be chargeable. Only those articles for whose publication a processing fee (APC) has been paid are freely accessible. This fee is usually significantly higher than for a completely Open Access journal.

The impact describes the influence or the scope of use of research results both within and also outside the academic field.

The impact factor (IF) is a numerical measurement. It gives the average number of citations to articles that have been published in a journal during the previous two years. It is often used to estimate the relative significance of a journal; applying it to the level of individual articles published in a journal is contentious.

LaTeX is essentially a text typesetting language based on the TeX text typesetting system. LaTeX uses a kind of markup language, which is converted via a so-called compiler into an output format such as PDF. LaTeX is open and there are numerous free software (see or In addition to a compiler, you need an editor to edit LaTeX documents. Some editors already provide direct support for various compilers. By now there are also some online editors for LaTeX documents.

LaTeX offers some advantages, for example with the production of mathematical formulas or in literature administration, and thus established itself as an open and free alternative to Microsoft Word for the production of academic texts. Therefore, some publishers now offer templates for both Word and LaTeX.

Many academic libraries now also publish research works themselves (library publishers) in order to promote Open Access. Sometimes they work together with the scientific university press during the publication process.

A licence gives information about the usage rights of a resource (for instance text, data, source code).

A MOOC is a free online course with no entry or admission restrictions. MOOCs usually have a large number of participants and are usually found in higher education and adult education. MOOCs mostly combine traditional forms of knowledge transfer such as videos, reading material and problem sets with forums and virtual learning groups. Some MOOCs are more like videotaped lectures with a final exam, others more like seminars or workshops. For some MOOCs, participants receive a certificate after meeting certain criteria.

Metadata describes data, texts or other works. It often includes the authorship, title, a summary, key words and licence information, and serves above all the traceability of the works.

Open Access describes the free and open access to specialist literature and other materials (for instance research data) on the internet without financial, legal or technical barriers. Open Access aims to overcome the restrictions of traditional publications. These restrictions include the fact that persons who do not belong to the scientific community in western countries do not receive access to this information.

Open Code generally refers to the practice of making source code available openly and free of charge. In terms of science this refers, for example, to source code for carrying out analyses and simulations. There are major overlaps with the topic of Open Source. In addition to reusability (use, modification, distribution), the opening of source code is also an important building block for the reproducibility of research results. In order to reproduce research results, it is essential that the underlying data and the (source) code are available.

Open Data describes making data freely accessible in an open, free-of-charge way that is free of technical or legal barriers. In the context of Open Research Data, Open Data represents one of the most important fields of Open Science. The field of research data in particular has been able to profit from the possible increases in efficiency and better quality assurance enabled by Open Science; here, much is still locked and thereby not accessible to others. Thanks to better traceability, data can be reused more diversely and duplication of work can be avoided. Comprehensive documentation and publication of data makes it easier to check research results and reproduce them.

Open Education is an umbrella term comprising different concepts. It refers to the goal of making education freely available. In the narrower sense, Open Education often refers to the transfer of knowledge online by means of learning materials that are accessible free of charge (Open Educational Resources – Verweis darauf einbauen) and learning platforms. Behind Open Education, however, there is also the social demand for opening up “education for all”. The term Open Education encompasses various levels, among others

  • strategic decisions,
  • the openness of the learning process itself with links to participatory teaching,
  • teaching methods, such as cooperation between individuals and institutions,
  • the recognition of non-formal learning; and
  • different ways of providing content.

The principles of the Open Education movement are set out in the Cape Town Open Education Declaration.

A well-known contribution to Open Education is the MIT OpenCourseWare programme Verweis auf Eintrag, which was launched by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2002.

Open Educational Resources (OER) refers to online educational material that can be used and reused thanks to an open licence. Open Educational Resources are distinguished by the fact that all users are assigned long-term the following rights, which are described as the 5 Rs: 1. Retain. 2. Revise, 3. Remix, 4. Reuse, 5. Redistribute.

Open evaluation refers to the development of an open, fair evaluation system for research applications that is based on the transparency of the procedure and the persons involved.

In open lab notebooks, researchers write regularly about their research, collect research notes and data, and publish them as soon as they are available.

Using open research materials together is a further form of Open Science.

The term Open (Peer) Review includes a series of possibilities on how Peer Review models can be brought into line with the aims of Open Science by opening up the assessment procedure. They include revealing the identity of assessors and authors as well as the publication of assessment reports and enabling stronger participation in the Peer Review process. You can find further information on Open (Peer) Review on the website of the university library of the Technical University of Chemnitz.

Open research software refers to software developed in research, for example for research data processing, which is free and usually available as Open Source. This allows others to use, copy, modify and redistribute it, which promotes transparency, reproducibility and collaboration and reduces duplication of work. There is also a trend towards greater consideration of scientific software as a research achievement. Open research software includes, for example software tools, software libraries and scripts and applications developed to support research work. 

Open Science encompasses procedures with which the scientific process is opened. In an ideal situation, everything from the initial idea to the final publication is made openly accessible, replicable and reusable via the internet. Behind this lies the conviction that scientific findings should be openly shared as early as possible. As many people as possible should be able to participate in knowledge and the creation of it, even those people outside the scientific community.

Open Science badges are visual markings that provide information rapidly and easily on the extent to which a publication or a project is following Open Science practices. One example is the Open Science Badge of the Center for Open Science.

During the history of Open Science, the most varied organisations and persons have published joint declarations on Open Science or different aspects of it, which represent the milestones of its development. Among the most important of them are:

You can find a list of further Open Science declarations on the internet.

The Open Science movement began in the 2000s, thanks to the initiative of dedicated researchers. Open Science is now part of many funding programmes and declarations published jointly by a wide variety of organizations and individuals. They cover either Open Science as a whole or specific aspects of it and represent milestones in its development. The pioneer in this respect was often the Open Access movement. It is closely related to the development of the Internet and improved opportunities for access to and dissemination of research results resulting of it.

Open Source is when the source code for a piece of software is made available together with an Open Source licence that allows the reuse, adaption and other dissemination under certain framework conditions (for instance non-commercial and commercial use).

Open Source licences contain the legal framework for Open Source software and the associated source code. They regulate the reuse, adaptation and further distribution of the source code, as well as the use of the software created from the source code itself. 

Frequently used Open Source licences are, for example, the MIT licence, the GNU General Public License (GPL) and the Apache licence.

ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a non-profit initiative for establishing and operating a global register of unique identifiers for individual persons, particularly those who perform scientific research, produce collective knowledge, and contribute to this. Each person can enter its own unique ORCID iD, a 16-figure number in the form of a unique resources identifier (URI) free of charge at The role of ORCID iDs is to act as digital identifiers to differentiate individual researchers from each other, thereby ensuring that they receive recognition for their entire work. This occurs because ORCID iDs make it easier to assign electronically the publications and other research activities and results to the researchers. This is not always possible on the basis of a person’s name alone because some people can have the same name, can change their name and because names can be written in different ways.

Research data management describes all measures relating to digital data that are created or processed during the research process. This begins with the planning, and includes their creation, use and processing in the research project up to their permanent archiving or their deletion.
Measures of research data management include uniform data collection, documentation, denotation and data organisation, and the assigning of access rights. This also ultimately includes secure storage during the research process as far as the sustainable publication and long-term archiving of the data beyond project completion. Research data management thereby includes all sustainable methods and procedures that can be used to secure research data and guarantee their long-term reusability.

A restriction of access to scientific publications through financial barriers (paywalls) that are demanded by publishers. The paywall can be removed by paying access fees or a personal/institutional subscription.

Plan S is an Open Access initiative that was established in September 2018. Plan S arranges the publication from 2021 onwards of scientific publications that have arisen thanks to public funding in open repositories and/or Open Access journals. Plan S is sponsored by the international consortium cOAlition S. Further information on Plan S.

Plan S ist eine Open-Access-Initiative, die im September 2018 gegründet wurde. Plan S sieht vor, dass wissenschaftliche Publikationen, die dank öffentlicher Förderung entstanden sind, ab 2021 in offenen Repositorien beziehungsweise Open-Access-Journals veröffentlicht werden. Getragen wird Plan S von dem internationalen Konsortium cOAlition S. Weiterführende Informationen zu Plan S.

Peer Review (assessment by colleagues) describes a process in which for instance a research article or an Open Educational Resource is reviewed by experts from the community before publication.
There are different subcategories of Peer Review:

  • Post-publication Peer Review / Peer Review after publication: Here, Peer Review takes place in the standard manner but first after a research article has been formally published.
  • Transferable Peer Review / also known as Portable Peer Review: The reviews travel together with an article, if it is turned down by a journal, in order to avoid duplication of work in the Peer Review process.
  • Open Peer Review: Reviews are made openly accessible, usually together with the article.
  • Signed Peer Review: The individual reviews are publicly signed by the respective assessors.
  • Double Blind Peer Review: The assessors do not know who the authors are, and vice-versa.
  • Single Blind Peer Review: The assessors know who the authors are, but not vice-versa.
  • Registered Reports

A persistent identifier (PID) is a code that uniquely identifies a digital resource such as a journal article. The PID code makes the resource permanently identifiable and traceable.

Predatory publishing is a fraudulent business model pursued by certain Open Access publishers. They appear to be fully fledged scientific specialist journals. They collect the publication fees that are customary in the Open Access segment from the authors, but do not carry out any editorial and journalistic services, such as a proper Peer Review, that one would expect from a reputable specialist journal.

A preprint is a manuscript draft that has not yet been formally assessed by specialist colleagues but has already been shared, in order to receive early feedback on the research from specialist colleagues. Preprints are often also published subsequently or simultaneously to the article being submitted to a journal. There are dedicated preprint servers for preprints. The first was arXiv for physics.

There is there is a strong working paper culture in economics. Particularly in political economics, preprints in the form of working papers play an important role. Almost all journal articles are also available in parallel as freely accessible preprint versions.
For better findability and for ensuring long-term access, preprints should ideally be deposited in a repository.

In pre-registration, researchers communicate important information about their study such as the research fundamentals, hypotheses, design and analysis strategy to a public register before they begin the study. Pre-registration is intended to prevent the distortion of a publication or its fundamental research results from occurring. The distortion or manipulation of research results by subsequently adjusting the test parameters is thereby prevented.

If researchers announce their hypotheses and research design in advance, this minimises the risk that research results are interpreted or selected in a way that supports the hypothesis, no matter what the result of the study is. Pre-registration thereby makes an important contribution to remedying the replication crisis.

A manuscript draft is referred to as a postprint or a post-print if it has gone through a Peer Review procedure.

Resources are in the public domain if they are not subject to any intellectual property rights, especially copyright, for example because it has expired. The Anglo-American term “public domain” is similar to the European concept of public domain, but not identical. Whether something is in the public domain is regulated by the respective applicable national legal system.

The term “public domain” from the Anglo-American legal sphere denotes works that are not or no longer protected by copyright. This can also be the case because an author has voluntarily waived copyright and marked a work as “public domain”. In contrast, in Germany it is only possible to grant the general public an unrestricted right of use.

Scientific organisations contribute to the financial support of Open Access publications through the Open Access publication funds, among other things. With the publication funds, they finance the Open Access publication fees for their authors. They often refund the APCs or BPCs, but also take on the funding of offers from consortia, Open Access infrastructures or a transformation from subscription journal to Open Access journal.

Registered reports are an expanded form of pre-registration that include a Peer Review of the suggested method, even before data collection and analysis take place. If the authors keep to the registered and accepted method, it is guaranteed that their papers are published in the journal.

The repeatability or test-retest-reliability provides information on the extent of the consensus between the results of successive measurements, in which the same measurement size is used and that are carried out under the same measurement conditions.
The measurements are carried out by a single person or a single machine on the same object under the same conditions and within a short space of time. If the test-retest-reliability is not perfect, then a test-retest-variability exists. This variability can for example be created by intra-individual variability and intra-observer-variability. A measurement can then be defined as repeatable if the variation is smaller than a previously defined acceptance criterion.

The term Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is used by the framework programmes of the European Union. It requires scientific research and technological development processes to be described and the (potential) effects on the environment and society to be taken into consideration.

The term repository is used in various contexts. A repository is defined as the infrastructure and associated service for long-term, efficient and sustainable storage of digital objects such as documents, data and source codes. A repository can also specifically mean a document server on which manuscripts are archived. Relating to the field of software, a repository is a collection of files that are managed with the help of software on version control.

Reproducibility refers to the methods and analysis, and describes the similarity between the results of a study or an experiment and the independent results of third parties, achieved with the same methods and under identical conditions.

Self-archiving is defined as providing a copy of a manuscript via a personal website, an institutional repository or another repository.

Version control is defined as the logical and permanent management of changes to documents, computer programmes, website or other information collections. It allows changes to be followed and also means that the information can be reversed to an earlier status.

The term “version of record” or publishers’ version refers to a text that has already been assessed and accepted for publication. It is identical to the version published in a journal of the publishers, both editorially and in terms of its layout.

Share this page: