As a signatory of the Berlin Declaration, opens an external URL in a new window, TU Wien supports open access to academic knowledge. In line with the TU Wien open access policy, opens an external URL in a new window, an extensive portfolio of services and infrastructures has been established at TU Wien Bibliothek for the implementation and promotion of open access.

Open access includes a range of benefits: Rights of use usually remain with the authors, publications can be distributed more swiftly and the use of Creative Commons licences, opens an external URL in a new window ensures publications can then be used in compliance with the applicable legislation; this in turn facilitates cross-disciplinary and international collaboration. Academically sound information can be accessed around the world, free of charge.

Options for open access publishing

There are several options for publishing under the terms of open access:

Gold open access (OA) refers to initial publication in an open access journal or open access book. Access is open and free of charge around the world upon publication. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), opens an external URL in a new window provides an overview of the aforementioned open access journals. The Think Check Submit, opens an external URL in a new window platform is ideal for selecting an open access book. Publications often incur a publication fee, known as the "Article Processing Charge (APC)" or "Book Processing Charge" (BPC), which is usually borne by authors or their institutions. At TU Wien, there is a publication fund, which covers the open access costs for journal articles.

Green open access refers to the secondary publication of documents in an institutional or disciplinary repository. This usually comes later than, though ideally at the same time as, the initial publication. As this is done by the author, it is also referred to as self-archiving. The TU Wien reposiTUm, opens an external URL in a new window is available to you for secondary publication. There are varying degrees of willingness amongst journal publishers and publishing houses to permit self-archiving of postprints or preprints. The directories SHERPA/RoMEO, opens an external URL in a new window and How Can I Share It, opens an external URL in a new window provide an overview of what authors are permitted to do by the various publishing houses.

Our web page on reposiTUm gives additional information on your secondary publication right.

Open access publication in conventional subscription journals is a special case. Here it is necessary to "buy the freedom" of a publication so that it can be made freely accessible on the internet. This means a doubling of the costs (open access publication fee and licence fee), and for this reason this model is seen as problematic. To avoid additional costs, TU Wien Bibliothek, together with other Austrian libraries, negotiates transformation agreements with publishers.

What is Plan S?

As part of Plan S, opens an external URL in a new window, funding bodies require all recipients of funding to publish all project results under the terms of open access. One of the core aspects of this is to create greater levels of transparency in academic publications.

The rules apply for projects with a start date on or after January 1, 2021. A Journal Checker Tool, opens an external URL in a new window is now available to help researchers to identify journals that comply with Plan S. The tool is run jointly by the members of cOAlition S, opens an external URL in a new window. FWF supports Plan S and has implemented the principles in its Open Access Policy, opens an external URL in a new window.

 In projects supported by Plan-S-compliant funders, authors use a rights retention strategy, opens an external URL in a new window to ensure open access to their publication. The manuscript includes a specific provision at the time of submission for publication to a journal that safeguards authors' right to later apply a CC BY licence to their accepted manuscript or the published version. The funder specifies the wording to be used for this provision.

An overview of requirements is given in the  Plan S & Rights Retention-Handout by Coalition S (PDF), opens an external URL in a new window

Copyright and licences

The assignment of Creative Commons licences (CC licences) provides authors with a simple way of making their work available to the public in return for a flat usage-rights fee. The licence model is modular in structure, enabling various combinations of components.

The CC BY component always forms the basis of the Creative Commons licence. CC stands for the licence (Creative Commons) and BY for the mandatory citation of the author(s). Other elements can then be applied on top of this:

  • SA = share alike / circulation under the same terms and conditions
  • ND = no derivs / no editing
  • NC = non-commercial

It is important to note that only the two "most open" licences (CC-BY, CC-BY-SA) comply with what is known as the Berlin Declaration and thus the basic principles of access to academic knowledge that is as open as possible (open access).

Click here for further information about Creative Commons licences, opens an external URL in a new window and an online licence-allocation tool, opens an external URL in a new window.

No. With a CC licence, you are assigning usage rights (such as permission to read, edit) to the general public.

NC (subsequent use must not be for commercial purposes) gives you a particular advantage if you wish to use the work yourself for commercial purposes. However, assigning commercial usage rights to a publishing house can also result in restrictions for you (for example, when it comes to sharing via social networks such as or ResearchGate). If the commercial usage rights rest with the publishing house, and there is no exclusion clause in the agreement, you may not share work with the CC component NC via commercial platforms.

To begin with, select a licence using the Creative-Commons-Chooser, opens an external URL in a new window. For online documents, you need to embed the HTML code of the result in the CC chooser. For offline documents, such as PDFs, you should either incorporate an image of the CC licence with the licence URL or add a text description, such as "This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY), opens an external URL in a new window". In the Creative Commons Wiki, opens an external URL in a new window, you will find some attractive examples of how to correctly mark works with Creative Commons licences.

Providing that you cite the source correctly, opens an external URL in a new window, you can reuse the CC BY-licensed content. Works with the CC components NC, ND and SA may only be reused in compliance with the respective provisions. If you use a work illegally - for example, by inadequately referencing the source - the Creative Commons licence for this use is rendered invalid. In these cases, the copyright holder may contact you to request amendment. If no amendment is made, there may be legal consequences.

Yes, the CC BY licence is also suitable for data. You can find further information on free licenses for research data on the Center for Research Data Management website.

Further information

For further information on legal issues associated with publishing academic works, please refer to the following: