Open Access Award

The Open Access Award of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin honours outstanding or exceptional achievements by members of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in the area of open access, the free access to research results. The prize seeks to encourage more open access at the university and to make it more visible. The prize enables the funding of further plans and projects on open access.

Announcement and awarding

In 2020, the prize will be announced for the first time during the Open Access Week (19 to 25 October) and will be awarded at the beginning of 2021.

The prize is awarded annually by the Open Access Officer of Humboldt-Universität. From 2021 onwards, the announcement will be issued in the second quarter of each year and the award ceremony will take place the following October during the annual Open Access Week.

In general, one prize will be awarded. However, the awarding committee reserves the right to split the prize and the prize money into two individual prizes if there are two applications with likewise outstanding and equally prize-worthy achievements which are either completely different in nature or which should be distinguished due to the clearly different academic status of the potential prize-winners in the interest of fairness.

Prize money

The total prize money is 5,000 €. It enables the award winner(s) to finance future open access publications or to realise projects that promote the free availability of scientific results or strengthen the open access principle in teaching and research. The funds are administered by the university library and can only be used for non-personnel costs.

Award criteria

The prize can be awarded to individuals as well as to groups of members of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Individuals are only eligible if they are members of Humboldt-Universität. In the case of groups, at least half of the group must be members of Humboldt-Universität.

The requirement criteria for the award are:

  • a special commitment or engagement for open access publishing or in making publications freely accessible (includes both genuine and initial open access text publications, so-called gold open access, and free access to already published but initially not freely accessible text publications, so-called green open access; includes journal articles as well as monographs and edited volumes, and other types of text publications);
  • or, the successful carrying-out of a project or the creation of a product with the aim of implementing and strengthening open access (e. g. founding a genuine open access journal, flipping a closed-access journal into an open access journal, creating a web ressource or a service, developing software or helpful tools);
  • or, a special commitment to communicating and transfering open access and its principles to the public, the scientific community or the wider community of a field/discipline.


The application phase is open from 21 October until 6 December 2020.

Note: If you would like to propose a candidate or group for the prize, please inform the candidate or group directly about the possibility of applying for the Open Access Prize. Such proposals will not be considered by us.


Please contact us if you have any questions:

Open Access Team of the University Library
E-mail: (preferred)
Phone: +49 30 2093-99292
Contact person: Marc Lange