scholar-led Open Access: Manifesto for fair publishing points out problematic issues in the current publishing system and wants to initiate a debate on the role of scholar-led Open Access

In its manifesto, the focus group, which was established within the framework of the project, criticises the current scholarly publishing system in the German-speaking world and, at the same time, provides fields of action for the development of a fair, planned and bibliodiverse publishing culture.

The authors of the text identify a journal crisis in the course of the Open Access transformation. This is reflected, among other things, in the monopoly position of major publishers who demand high publication fees from authors - so-called APCs (Article Processing Charges) and BPCs (Book Processing Charges). According to the Manifesto, this leads to new inequalities and exclusions. In order to make the Open Access transformation fairer and more diverse, scholar-led publishing models that do not charge such fees can be strengthened (Diamond Open Access). However, the current situation of scholar-led projects is deficient, partly due to a lack of funding.

Based on its critique, the focus group formulates concrete fields of action in which scholars, research institutions, libraries, research funding institutions, professional societies and other parts of the scholarly community must jointly get involved in to strengthen a diverse, independent and fair publication ecosystem. The fields of action are:

  • Networking, collaboration and strategic frameworks.
  • Sustainable funding structures for Diamond Open Access
  • Promotion of bibliodiversity in academia

You can access the manifesto via this link:

The is an initiative for self-published journals and editor collectives of royalty-free OA publishing projects independent of major publishers. The focus group seeks to engage with the academic community, science politicians, funding organizations, university administrations and libraries in order to improve the environment for scholar-led projects in German-speaking countries. If you have any questions or suggestions, please send an email to: fokusgruppescholar-led(at)