Publication Fund for Books

The publication fund for open access books enables the (patial) funding of publication fees for yet unpublished open access monographs and open access anthologies (also special issues of journals, in some circumstances). Single chapters in anthologies are not eligible for funding. Only costs/fees (book processing charges, BPCs) incurred for the production of the digital version of the publication (including typesetting, layout, editing, proofreading) are eligible for funding, but only if the publisher transparently outlines the services associated with the costs/fees. The combination of our funding with other funding and resources is possible.

Funding is provided according to a funding-plus model. The funding amount is up to € 5,000 (including VAT) if the standard, obligatory funding conditions are met. Higher funding is only possible gradually if further, optional funding conditions are met (see below).

funding logo of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation)

The publication fund was established in 2019 with special funds and is administered by the University Library. In addition, funds from the German Research Foundation (DFG) from the funding programme Open Access Publication Funding are available to support open access book publications from DFG-funded projects. The decision on funding and the respective funding amount is the responsibility of the University Library.


Required documents

  • publication offer from the publisher (cf. Overview of services)
  • publication contract or contract draft (cf. in particular Rights and licence)
  • in case of doctoral dissertations: (preliminary) certificate or comparable verification of grading
  • proof of affiliation to Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (link to ZIS record, link to staff webpage, contract of employment (relevant excerpt)

1. Contacting the publication fund

Contact us as early as possible and provide us with basic information about your publication project, such as topic/title, type (monograph/ anthology), co-authors/co-editors, length, number of images, background (e.g. project, dissertation), available publication resources, etc.

It is recommended that you obtain offers from multiple publishers for your publication in order to be able to better compare prices and services. The differences in prices and services between different publishers are sometimes substantial.

Answers to some frequently asked questions concerning funding through the publication fund can be found in our FAQ.

2. Preliminary check for eligibility (non-binding)

Even before submitting an application, you can send us the necessary documents for a non-binding assessment of eligibility. Often, adjustments to both the publishing offer and the contract are necessary to establish eligibility. We gladly advise you individually on this.

We generally advise you not to enter into a contract with a publisher until you have clarified whether the funding conditions are met. Signing a contract prematurely can effectively mean exclusion from funding, because funding conditions can no longer be met and there is no leeway for negotiation with the publisher.

3. Application

You can submit the application at any time and at any stage of the publication process (for the application form, see below). However, it is advisable to first clarify eligibility with us on the basis of the publisher's offer and the draft contract.

If all the required documents and information are available, it takes about two weeks to process the application. A funding approval is valid for a period of 12 months.

4. Publication und invoicing

To conclude the funding, you send us the front matter (title pages), including the imprint page, for approval – before the publication is finalised and going to press. In particular, we check the correct indication of the rights holder, the Creative Commons licence, the funding acknowledgement and the affiliation statement. Only after that, the invoice for the promised funding amount can be paid.

The publisher should issue a separate invoice for the amount we have agreed to pay, i.e. split the total invoice if necessary. The invoice must state the publication and the corresponding services.

Insofar as printed copies are published, the applicants shall provide the university library with a printed copy free of charge; the publisher may also send it directly. This does not apply to monographs, which are required to be submitted to the university library anyway.

All funded publications will be presented online and, in addition to publication by the publisher, deposited for access and archival on the edoc-Server (open access repository of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin).

Funding conditions

The funding conditions are guided by the Quality Standards for Open Access Books of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Universitätsverlage (working group of German-speaking university presses). The applicant must ensure compliance with the funding conditions and clarification of these with the publisher.

Checkliste (Piktogramm)Funding conditions as a check list (PDF)

Conditions for the application

  • You are the author and/or editor of the planned, yet unpublished publication (open access monograph or open access anthology).
  • You are a member or former member of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the research work on which the planned publication is based was mainly carried out at the time of your membership of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. (The membership is defined in accordance with section 43 of the Berlin Higher Education Act (Berliner Hochschulgesetz)).
  • You have not received a funding approval from this publication fund in the last 12 months and there is no open funding approval granted to you.
  • for monographs based on a doctoral dissertation: The dissertation was prepared at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and was graded summa cum laude or magna cum laude.

Open access

  • Access to the digital version of the publication is free and open to the public immediately upon publication, without financial, legal or technical barriers. Any print edition that may appear will not be published/distributed before the digital version (but at most at the same time or afterwards).
  • All formats and editions of the publication are clearly labelled as an open access publication. This also includes the indication of the Creative Commons licence (see Rights and licence) for all formats and editions.
  • The open access version of the publication is made available on the publisher's website or publication platform, if applicable together with additionally offered paid versions. The publisher shall offer and advertise the open access version at least in the same way and shall not treat it in a disadvantageous or subordinate manner.
  • The publisher shall publish the digital version of the publication without the insertion of watermarks and without watermarks, stamps or markings inserted during downloading. (If the publisher cannot guarantee this, it shall make the digital version without such watermarks, stamps or markings available to the university library separately).
  • optional (for higher funding): If the digital version of the publication is published as a PDF, it complies to the PDF/A standard.
  • optional (for higher funding): The publication is published in an additional digital format (e.g. EPUB, HTML).
  • optional (for higher funding): The publication is made available via OAPEN.
  • optional (for higher funding): The publisher ensures the long-term archiving of the publication via an appropriately certified service such as CLOCKKS or Portico.
  • optional (for higher funding): If research data and other additional materials are published, they are archived in a suitable repository and linked in the publication via persistent identifiers. The publication of research data adheres to the FAIR principles and is open access to the extent possible.


  • The metadata contain at least: title, additional title if applicable, author/s (including ORCID iD), editor/s (including ORCID iD), licence information, publication date, publishing body (e.g. publisher or publication service), persistent identifier (preferably DOI), ISBN. For periodicals such as series or annals, the periodical title, volume number and ISSN are also required.
  • The publication is assigned a persistent identifier, preferably a DOI. Other possible identifiers are URN, EPIC, ARK or Handle.
  • The publication is indexed by the publisher in the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB).
  • optional (for higher funding): Self-contained subunits of a work (such as individual chapters in anthologies) are each assigned an individual persistent identifier to ensure the citability of these subunits.
  • optional (for higher funding): The publisher makes the publication's metadata available via Crossref or DataCite.

Overview of services

  • The publisher's offer transparently specifies the individual services associated with the payment of publication fees.
  • The offer is for the publication of a digital open access publication. (This does not exclude the production and publication of a parallel print edition. Accordingly, print-related costs may also be listed in the offer. However, the offer must not primarily assume a print publication and then quote additional fees for the digital version or the open access publication).
  • The publisher's measures for quality assurance are described. (The measures for quality assurance of the content of the publication are described by the applicants as part of the application).

Rights and licence

  • Authors and editors grant the publisher non-exclusive use rights – instead of exclusive use rights. (They thus retain the right to publish their publication or parts thereof elsewhere).
  • The publication is published under the Creative Commons licence CC BY 4.0 to allow for open access compliant re-use. Exceptions are only possible in justified exceptional cases and after consultation, and may be accompanied by a reduction of the funding amount. (more information on licences)
  • The licence is stated and linked in the imprint of both the digital and the print version, and the corresponding licence icon is included.
  • It is ensured that illustrations and other content that are subject to third-party rights do not conflict with the Creative Commons licence of the overall publication.

Affiliation and funding acknowledgement

  • The affiliation of the author/s or editor/s to Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin must be clearly indicated in the publication. The affiliation guidelines must be complied with.
  • The funded publication must include an acknowledgement on the imprint page that it was funded by the publication fund of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.


Before submitting an application, please note the above information on the procedure as well as the funding conditions.

Formular (Piktogramm)Application for funding from the publication fund for open access books