Leibniz Association's Open Access Publishing Fund: Journal Articles

The Leibniz Association's Open Access Publishing Fund supports authors who intend to publish articles in open access journals that impose article processing charges (APCs). The fund is being financed by the Executive Board's strategic fund (20 percent) and by the participating Leibniz Institutions (80 percent).

At the moment 59 Leibniz Institutions have opted to take part in the Publishing Fund. Scientists of participating institutions can apply online for funding for their publication.

If an article meets the funding criteria the Open Access Publishing Fund will handle the invoice. The application process is set up to relieve the scientists of as much of the burden as possible.

The publication fund is administered by the Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB). TIB staff will process the applications, handle invoices and produce status reports and will be glad to help with all stages involved in submitting and processing applications.

In addition, TIB staff will provide information about open access and free licences and will be happy to advise on choosing a suitable journal. This service is available to researchers as well as to Leibniz Institutions and their libraries.

Application form

Please apply for funding using our online form.

Funding criteria

Articles that fulfill the following criteria are eligible for funding:

  • The article’s corresponding author is a member of a participating Leibniz institution and has an ORCID iD.
  • The article will be published in a genuine Open Access journal that makes all its articles publicly available under a Creative Commons license at the time of publication (no hybrid journals).
  • The article will be published in a journal that has implemented a system of quality management approved within its discipline and that is listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).
  • The article’s processing charge (APC) does not exceed EUR 1,680 net (EUR 2,000 gros). Split invoices are generally not eligible.

New in 2023: Best Practice Criteria

Does your article also meet the best practice criteria? Then we accept a higher APC.

  • The selected journal has been awarded the DOAJ Seal by DOAJ.
  • The article will be made available under the “CC BY” license.
  • The total cost of the APC does not exceed EUR 2,000 net (EUR 2,380 gros).


Articles published in journals or by publishers whose science-supporting functions are under observation by the Leibniz Fund do not qualify for Best Practice Funding. In order to be eligible for funding the total cost for these articles must not exceed EUR 1.680 net – regardless of the best practice criteria mentioned above.

If your institute has made a different arrangement with us you will find this information below in the FAQ (What exceptions apply to the Best Practice Criteria?).

The following publishers are currently under observation:

  • MDPI (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute)


  1. As the article's corresponding author you apply for funding using the online form provided on this website. If your Leibniz institution has assigned someone to act as Open Access Manager you can also apply via her or him.
  2. You can apply for funding as soon as you have submitted your article. (Please be aware that funding granted prior to the article's acceptance is subject to the final costs not exceeding € 2.000, including 19% VAT.)
  3. The team at the TIB considers all applications according to the funding criteria and in the order of their receipt.
  4. If your article meets the funding criteria you will be notified via email. In this mail you will be kindly requested to a) inform your publisher to make the invoice payable to the TIB and b) to add to the acknowledgements a sentence mentioning the Leibniz Association's Open Access Publishing Fund.
  5. The TIB will be handling the invoice for you.
    *** Please note that some institutions without a central budget will re-apportion the institute’s share of the publisher’s invoice retrospectively, e.g. to project funds. In case of doubt, please ask about the arrangement at your institute. The TIB fund team will be happy to tell you who the relevant contact person is at your institute. ***
  6. Following publication all articles funded will be listed in LeibnizOpen, the Leibniz Association's central Open Access portal, as well as on this website.
  7. Should your article not meet the funding criteria the TIB will inform you and the contact person of your Leibniz institution (normally the Open Access Manager). If necessary you can discuss other funding options with her or him.

Articles published in journals or by publishers whose science-supporting functions are under observation by the Leibniz Fund do not qualify for Best Practice Funding – regardless of the best practice criteria mentioned above. This applies currently to journals published by MDPI (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute).

As before APCs for the publisher's journals are eligible via the basic funding conditions. Thus, they may not exceed a total of EUR 1,680 net (EUR 2,000 incl. VAT).

Nota bene

The Leibniz Institutes listed below have made different arrangements with MDPI. MDPI-articles by authors from these institutes are thus fully eligible for Best Practice Funding.

  • BIPS – Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology
  • DIfE – German Institute of Human Nutrition
  • GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences
  • IOW – Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde
  • IPHT – Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology
  • IPK – Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research
  • IZW – Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research
  • LIN – Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology

Not all of the Leibniz institutions are taking part in the Open Access Fund. Participation is open to all but since the individual Leibniz institutions have to cover the major part of the costs they need to formally declare that they will take part. If your Leibniz institution does not appear in the online form, its directors have either decided against joining the Open Access Fund or we have not yet received confirmation that your institution will participate. If you need further information please write to us at publikationsfonds(at)leibniz-gemeinschaft.de or ask the open access manager of your Leibniz institution.

By the way: Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH) does not belong to the Leibniz Association - although both names refer to the Early Modern polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. So, if you are a member of LUH, please apply to the LUH Publishing Fund.

Yes, you can apply for funding as soon as you have submitted your article. Our grant, however, will in this case be subject to the condition that once accepted your article still fulfils all of our funding criteria (the APCs, especially, may not exceed € 2.000, including tax).

Reputable journals state the APCs on their website. Many publishers even send you a preliminary invoice right after you have submitted your article. In these cases the final costs should only vary due to overlength or due to additional editing or such things. Should a publisher leave you in the dark about the costs you will incur throughout the entire review process – which can easily take six months or more – you should exercise caution. Explicitly asking about the APCs is more than justified in this case! We are happy to support you in such matters. Do not hesitate to write to us at publikationsfondsleibniz-gemeinschaftde.

APC prices are usually given as net prices (without VAT) on the publishers' websites. There are only a few exceptions (publishers based in Germany, Royal Society Publishing).

Therefore, the APC for your article would exceed the limit of EUR 1,680 net and the Leibniz Fund would not grant funding.

Unless, of course, your article meets the criteria for the Best Practice Module. In that case, it would still be eligible for funding. Please check if the best practice criteria are fulfilled (CC BY-license; journal has DOAJ Seal).

Of course, we would be happy to help you clarifying those questions. Just contact us (oafondstibeu).

An article with APCs of more than 2,000 euros exceed our funding limit. However, it is always worth asking the publisher for a discount. We are happy to help you with this and would provide you with a letter of confirmation for this purpose.

It would, at least, not be impossible. According to our funding criteria you need to publish in a genuine Open Access journal that has implemented a system of quality management that is accepted within its discipline. We will verify individually whether or not the journal you want your paper to be published in meets these criteria.

Yes - the Leibniz Fund also provides financial support for open access books via a pilot project that runs until Dec. 2020. Please check here if your publication meets the funding criteria.


Jessica Michel