Open Access in Media Science

Media studies is a discipline, or field of study, that deals with the theory, history, and aesthetics of media and media systems. The scholarly society for media studies Gesellschaft für Medienwissenschaft (GfM)) lists 36 bachelor and 51 master programmes in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in which the discipline is taught either alone or in combination with other disciplines (theatre studies, communication studies, literary studies, art history, etc.). Film studies is sometimes offered as a degree in its own right and sometimes as an integral part of a media studies degree programme.

Although culturally based media studies developed in Germany in the 1970s mainly in the fertile soil of German literary studies, it also borrowed terminology and methods from theatre studies, art history, and philosophy. Media studies differs from the social-science- and empirically oriented disciplines journalism and communication studies, although overlaps may occur in some institutes and degree programmes.

Open Access journals

As in most disciplines in the humanities, the changeover to open access on a broad front got underway in media studies only in the last few years. One of the first journals to be made freely available online after an embargo period was the film studies journal montage AV. The following journals, among others, are freely available online (albeit not always under a Creative Commons [CC] licence):

Disciplinary repository

The disciplinary repository Repositorium für Medienwissenschaft media/rep/ has been online since October 2018. It collects publications from the field of media studies and makes them available in open access. Its collection includes journal articles and other contributions, monographs, publication series, and complete journal archives. The journals that are openly accessible in the repository include, among others: montage AV, AugenBlick, Navigationen, Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft, Digital Culture & Society, and NECSUS European Journal of Media Studies.

Open access books

The Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) currently lists almost 200 titles under the keyword "Media and communication". A search under the keyword "media" in the OAPEN (Open Access Publishing in European Networks) repository yields a total of approximately 500 titles, of which more than 80 are German (as at December 2018).

De Gruyter, Springer, transcript, and Schüren are among the main German publishers that publish titles in open access. Meson press, which arose from a project conducted at the University of Lüneburg, publishes its entire portfolio under a CC licence.

The following publication series make a selection of their titles available under an open access licence:

Literature searches in Media Science

The specialist information service for media, film, and communication studies,, at Leipzig University Library is the central search portal for media studies.

Literature and blogs