Focus Group on Self-Archiving

Self-archiving (green open access) continues to play a significant role in the transformation of the scholarly publication system to open access.

Self-archiving in repositories is sometimes the preferred or even the only available open access strategy. Scholarly journals are not the predominant publication medium in all disciplines. Especially in the case of edited volumes and conference proceedings, a direct gold or diamond open access option via the publisher is still frequently lacking. In addition, there are cases where gold open access fees are not covered by institutional funds or transformative agreements. Green open access also plays an important strategic role, for example in securing archival access to back issues of former subscription journals that have “flipped” to open access.

Tools like Unpaywall, and services like DeepGreen have successfully contributed to making green open access more convenient for publishers and readers.

Users, on the other hand, often perceive the process of self-archiving to be laborious; they also face technical and legal uncertainties. In order to overcome these obstacles, many academic libraries offer services such as legal checks, publisher enquiries or full-text uploads to their institutional or disciplinary repositories.

These services are also known as self-archiving services. As the German word for “self-archiving is Zweitveröffentlichung, self-archiving services are often referred to in German as “ZVS”, the abbreviation of Zweitveröffentlichungsservices. These services are resource-intensive for providers, and frequently raise practical and legal issues.

In view of these challenges at the working level, the Focus Group on Self-Archiving aims to provide a space for all providers of and parties interested in ZVS to, among other things,

  • exchange views on ZVS-related issues and central topics;
  • reflect on and further develop their own approaches in the context of this exchange;
  • pool resources so that common interests can be advanced, for example with regard to publishers without self-archiving policies;
  • use the insights gained into the workflows of other institutions to make their own work practices more effective;
  • exchange views on legal issues;
  • build and maintain a common knowledge base of generic questions, answers and information;
  • explore and exploit opportunities for cooperation.

You can sign up to the focus group mailing list here. If you would like to actively participate in the group, you can also request a user account for the group's MediaWiki. To make it easier for us to assign you, please indicate that you are interested in participating in the Focus Group on Self-Archiving (Fokusgruppe "Zweitveröffentlichung").

If you have any questions about the focus group, please contact: Arvid Deppe ( or Sonja Härkönen (

German Copyright Law (UrhG) for Scientists and Scholars

German copyright law (UrhG) for scientists and scholars