Open Access in information science

Information science is not a widely studied subject in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The German Academic Association for Information Sciences (Hochschulverband Informationswissenschaft) lists only 21 universities in the said countries at which this subject is taught. Most of these institutions are universities of applied sciences. The German-language publication landscape in information science is therefore of modest dimensions. Moreover, it cannot be described as having an affinity with open access (OA). Hence, neither the German Academic Association for Information Sciences nor the German Society of Information Science and Information Practice (DGI) has signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. 

Open Access journals

Genuinely OA journals in information science are almost impossible to find in the German-speaking area. Relevant journals such as the DGI’s Information – Wissenschaft & Praxis are closed access. Internationally, the same goes for the Proceedings der Association for Information Management (ASLIB), for all publications of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (asis&t), and for the Journal of Information Science. Other very important journals in this field, such as Information Processing & Management, the Journal of Documentation and Scientometrics are also closed access.

Important OA journals in information science are Information Research and First Monday, and in Germany LIBREAS. However, LIBREAS has a stronger library-science focus than the two other journals mentioned.

Unfortunately, information science cannot be browsed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Therefore, readers and authors who wish to familiarise themselves with OA journals in information science must find such journals via a keyword search for “information science”.

Disciplinary repositories

The server INFODATA-eDepot operated by the Informationszentrum für Informationswissenschaft und -praxis Potsdam can be regarded as a German-language disciplinary repository in information science. Internationally, the eprints in library & information sciences (e-Lis) repository is worthy of mention. It was established by members of the library- and information science community and is supported by institutions such as the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), the University of London Computing Center (ULCC), the International Centre for Research in Information Strategy and Development (CIEPI) and the Agriculture Information Management Standards (AIMS) portal of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Although the disciplinary repository Digital Library of Information Science and Technology (DLIST) is still in existence, its holdings are hardly growing at all.

Literature searches in information science

There are no access points specifically for information science. Anyone searching specifically for literature in this field is obliged to have recourse to general services such as the Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE) and to filter the search results according to discipline-specific criteria (in the case of BASE, the Dewey Decimal Classification Code 020).


Rainer Kuhlen & Christa Womser-Hacker: Antrag an die Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft aus dem Programm Wissenschaftliche Literaturversorgungs- und Informationssysteme: Einrichtung einer Open-Access-Zeitschrift/Publikations-, Informations- und Kommunikationsplattform EIS – European Information Science. Online at:


Content editor of this web page: Ulrich Herb, SULB Saarbrücken.