Focus Group on Information Budget


Concerning the open access transformation, academic libraries and institutions in Germany are faced with the challenge of implementing information budgets. The goal is an institution-wide and transparent publication and cost monitoring, e.g. the systematic recording and evaluation of an institution's publication volume as well as the centrally and decentrally incurred costs for publishing and literature supply. Tools and processes must be adapted and developed in close collaboration with many other organisational units, e.g. budget and third-party funding departments and controlling.

There have been calls for transparent cost and publication monitoring in the context of the open access transformation for several years. With the DFG funding programme "Open Access Publication Costs" launched in 2021 and the recommendations of the German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat) on the transformation of scientific publishing to open access published in 2022, the topic is getting more important to libraries and science policy.

In 2022 five workshops were offered by under the title "Budget development in the context of the OA transformation". During the Open Access Days 2022 in Bern, a hands-on workshop was held on the topic of information budgets. Two current DFG projects also address the topic: OpenCost has been working on a standardised metadata scheme for (OA) publication costs, while Transform2Open will be dedicated to the conceptual issues of cost monitoring.


Aims and objectives

The focus group fosters as a practical exchange of experiences between academic libraries that are facing the challenge of information budgeting and/or have already taken the first steps towards an own information budget. Together we want to identify similar needs and requirements and discuss necessary fields of action. The group plans concrete measures and organises their implementation. Therefore, active participation of the individual members of the group is very important.

Among other things, the following aspects are addressed:

  • Agreement on the elements of information budgets and the standardisation of their presentation
  • Summarising the necessary steps to introduce an information budget (target group: library and institution managers)
  • Sharing best practices

Organisational information

You can sign up for the mailing list here.

The group uses a pad as a protocol. If you would like to work in more depth, you can also apply for a user account for the group's MediaWiki. To make it easier for us to assign you, please indicate that you are interested in working in the focus group "Information Budget". In addition, the group is working on a collection of literature and sources on the subject. Publications of the focus group will be collected in a Zenodo Collection.

The organising team of the focus group: Irene Barbers (Forschungszentrum Jülich), Karolin Bove (Sächsische Landesbibliothek - Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek), Steffi Grimm (Freie Universität Berlin), Sascha Lauer (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz), Henriette Rösch (Universität Leipzig), Margit Schön (Forschungszentrum Jülich) and Agnieszka Wenninger (Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research). For questions around the topic of the focus group, please contact Irene Barbers (i.barbers(at) and Karoline Bove (Karolin.Bove(at), for technical issues Linda Martin (linda.martin(at)

Kostentransparenz und Informationsbudget

Schön, M., Barbers, I., Ferguson, L. M., Meistring, M., & Schultze-Motel, P. (2023). Kostentransparenz und Informationsbudget: Projekte, Initiativen und Infrastrukturen, die die finanzielle Dimension der OA-Transformation in den Blick nehmen. Zenodo.

Exchange with other projects

The focus group has a steady exchange with various BMBF and DFG-funded projects.


A sub-project of the BMBF-funded project is focussing on new approaches to open access financing and ways for a sustainable Open Access transformation.


The BMBF-funded project focusses on further developments of budgets, criteria and competences at scientific institutions relating to the financial dimensions of the Open Access transformation.


The DFG-funded project focusses on the creation of a technical infrastructure with which publication costs can be accessed freely via standardised interfaces and formats.