Austria is, notwithstanding some exceptions, rather a late-comer concerning open access with only few OA mandates of research institutions or funding bodies (currently only two), few signatories of the Berlin Declaration (5), few and not encompassing repositories (12), and few OA journals (44). However, the past two years have seen remarkable OA-related activities, including the foundation of the Austrian OA Network, new mandates, dedicated funds for OA publications, and increased activities at the level of research institutions and at the infrastructure level.
For a long time, OA activities were rather low: the 2010 recommendation of Universities Austria (UNIKO) to improve OA policies in Austria had only limited impact; a legal initiative to found an encompassing Austrian repository from 2009 failed due to lack of financing in 2010; the only noteworthy OA activities have been set by the Austrian Research Fund (FWF) and, to some respect, the University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OAW). The FWF is still the only funding agency (and in fact the only institution overall) in Austria with a mandatory OA policy; only two, i.e. a small minority of universities have signed the Berlin Declaration.
The environment changed since 2012:
- On the initiative of the FWF the Austrian OA Network (OANA) has been funded, comprising representatives of all universities, the major research institutions, funding agencies, the ministry of science and research, etc. OANA started to revive OA in Austria with workshops, awareness raising, and networking activities.
- The FWF has expanded its program to finance OA from journals to books; has implemented an OA agreement with EuropePubMedCentral; and founded the FWF e-book library.
- The University of Graz adopted the first OA policy of an Austrian university in 2013, the Institute of Science and Technology (IST Austria) will follow still in 2013 with its policy and heavily invests in a repository.
- The University of Vienna and the OAW are expanding their OA repositories, support OA publications (and series), and set all kind of awareness raising measures, including internal and, partly, public events.
- The Ministry of Science and Research now funds an Austrian-wide e-infrastructure project for three years from 2014 onwards, including setting up university repositories.
- Several institutions, including the University of Vienna, IST Austria, and the FWF (1.8 M€), have or plan to have publication funds for Gold OA.
- The University of Vienna, the Technical University of Vienna and the FWF support the funding of arXiv.org.
- Most target agreements between the Ministry of Science and Research and the universities as well as the OAW now include (soft) measures with regard to OA.
The OA mandate of the EU under the Horizon2020 research framework program is very likely to trigger more awareness and activities.
Many types of barriers seemingly apply to the Austrian situation, among the most important are:
- except for the very active role of the main funding agency, there are neither many nor strong mandates;
- there is an insufficient national infrastructure;
- awareness among scholars is still rather low and a considerable proportion of those aware are skeptical of some aspects related to IPR;
- the financial situation of most single research institutions prevents encompassing OA funding (in particular author processing charges);
- no particularly active role of government so far.
The main OA initiatives are institutional repositories University of Vienna's project started in January 2007 by setting up a FEDORA-based server. Many other universities in Austria - for example Klagenfurt, Linz and Bodenkultur - are building e-theses servers, predominantly hosted by university libraries.
National and Institutional Level Policies/Mandates:
- The Austrian Science Fund (FWF), funding a large part of basic scientific research in Austria, requires OA publication, the cost of which is reimbursed by the Fund. Publications must be archived in an OA depository (preferably an institutional depository) within twelve months of publication; research data should be deposited in OA archives within two years of completion.
- The Austrian Academy of Sciences (OAW), which is both a learned society and a large research institution, has a non-mandatory OA policy favoring the green road; runs an institutional repository; and has a ROMEO green publishing house, which also publishes gold OA books and journals.
- The University of Graz (KFU) is the first Austrian university with an explicit OA policy (non-mandatory) recommending “strongly” both the green and the gold road and has an institutional repository.
- The University of Vienna and the Institute of Science and Technology (IST Austria) may follow soon with their policies/mandates. So far there is no attempt to create a national mandate.
Details of Key Organizations:
- Austrian Science Fund / Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF)
- Universities Austria / Universitätenkonferenz (UNIKO)
- Austrian Open Access Network / Open Access Netzwerk Austria (OANA)
- University of Vienna / Universität Wien
- University of Graz / Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
- Austrian Academy of Sciences / Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften (OAW)
- Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria)
- For more institutions and details see http://oana.at/ansprechpersonen
- Open Access Days of the German-speaking countries in 2012 and international Open Access Week 2013 at University of Vienna.
- SCOAP cooperation of several Austrian universities and other actors with a view to contribute to financing OA in high-energy physics from 2014.
- Foundation in 2012 of an Austrian-wide network of representatives in all relevant institutions in research and funding, libraries and politics.
- Several FWF initiatives in 2012/2013: funding the conversion of journals to Gold OA; implementation of OA e-books library; open access testimonials;
- e-Infrastructure Austria initiative (2014-2016): government funds OA repositories and exchange on research data at Austrian universities.
Thematic Open Access projects/Initiatives
Architektur-Informatik is a German-language repository on Computer Science
European Research Papers Archive: This site is an aggregating repository that contains a collection of research papers from ten European institutions:
The site contains working papers on European Integration.
Elektronische Publikationen der Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien/Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration (WU). This is an institutional repository specifically holding working papers and theses on Economics and Business Administration.
Ludwig Boltzmann Institut für Health Technology Assessment is an institutional repository holding Articles; Conferences; Books and unpublished material in the fields of health and medicine.
Past and Future OA Related Activities:
2008: Austrian Academy of Science hosted a working group meeting on Open Access, chaired by Michael Nentwich, Director of the Institute of Technology Assessment and author of the book "Cyberspace - Research in the Age of the Internet". Austrian Academy of Science participated in the German Volltextsuche-Online platform organised by the Borsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels.
2010: Open Access Information Day at University of Vienna: Internationally renowned experts addressed the two routes to Open Access – OA self-archiving and OA publishing concluding with a panel discussion entitled 'Open Access – quo vadis Austria?' during which representatives of the Austrian research community gave their views on the development of Open Access in Austria.
Open-access.net platform organises events for the “German-speaking triangle”: Germany, Switzerland and Austria open to members of the scientific community (especially scientists themselves), university and research-facility managers, infrastructure service providers such as libraries and data-processing centres, as well as funding agencies and political decision makers.
2011: Open Access Days for the German-speaking OA-Community took place at University of Regensburg 4.-5. October.
List of Publications
- Austrian Government (2013) Chapter on “Open Access” in the Austrian Research and Technology Report 2013
- Kratky, C. (2013) A coordinated approach is key for open access, Nature
- Reckling, F. (2012): Free research needs the free circulation of ideas. On the current development of Open Access at the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)
- Several contributions to special issue 2/2012 of the VÖB-Mitteilungen on "Open Access in Österreich"
- Bauer, B., & Stieg, K (2010) Open Access Publishing in Austria: Development and Future Perspectives, 2010. In Bulletin of the Transilvania University of Brasov, Series IV: Philology and Cultural Studies: 271-278.
- Swan, A. (2010) Open Access - what it can do for researchers, universities and Austria. In: Austrian Open Access Conference, 25 March 2010, Vienna, Austria.
- Carbon, C-C (2009) European publication issues from an Austrian perspective Psychology Science Quarterly, Volume 51, (Supplement 1), 69-87.
- Bauer, B (2005) Medical Libraries: The Net Grows Convention of the Consortium for Medical Librarianship (AGMB) Graz, September 26 - 28, 2005. Zeitschrift für Bibliothekswesen und Bibliographie; Jan/Feb2006, Vol. 53 (1): 23-29.
- Rantasa, P (2005) Mica – Music Information Center Austria. Presentation at the conference Open Access to Digital Archives and the Open Knowledge Society organized by the Democracy Center (Demokratiezentrum Wien), 21-22. October 2005
- Turnovsky, P. (2004) Die Open Access – Bewegung und ihre Rezeption an wissenschaftlichen Bibliotheken in Österreich, 2004. (Unpublished) [Thesis].
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