The opportunities and challenges involved in the national implementation of an international Open Access transition project using the example of high energy physics (CHOAT-HEP)



Dr. Alexander Pöche


Judith Ludwig


Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)


1 January 2018 – 31 December 2019

The aim of CHOAT-HEP is to establish Open Access transition in the field of high-energy physics as routine at German universities and to make those experiences gained from the process usable for other open access projects and for the transition of other subject areas.

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has provided national funding for CHOAT-HEP.



High Energy Physics (HEP) is an early adopter of Open Science and this applies in particular to Open Access publishing. Already today, more than half of the scientific articles published since 2014 are freely accessible and reusable for everyone. The transition from a publishing system based on subscriptions to one based on publication fees (APCs) is not complete in this field, however, but is entering a decisive phase with the inclusion of all HEP articles in the journals of the American Physical Society (APS) from 2018 on. During this process, cost will shift from universities with little or no publications to research intensive universities. In the same way on a higher level causes the research strength of a country like Germany a general increase in costs compared to countries that have less or no article output.

While the international initiative SCOAP³ (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics) is taking care of increasing the open access articles in HEP, the aim of CHOAT-HEP is to support the transition at German universities. In 2019 a cost allocation model based on the number of publications in HEP will be introduced for the first time in Germany.

These cost increases and shifts need to be moderated vis-à-vis the universities. The willingness to support the transition - including financial support - needs to be mobilised, and, if necessary, financing gaps need to be filled in this transitional phase for securing the open access transition.

Open access transition often also means a diversion of financial flows within the institutions. Here it is important to initiate such changes in acquisition structures with pilot projects.

As well as financial aspects, the improvement of work processes plays an important role. A requirement for a successful open access transition is that the amount of work is limited both at the local level (university) and at the central level (consortium management). During the project the experiences shall be used for developing recommendations on how processes could be improved and made more efficient.

Gefördert vom BMBF
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