Publishing Advice: FAQs

This page contains a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the topics of academic publishing and open science, esp. open access. 

We are steadily expanding the list of FAQ topics, so if you have any feedback on aspects which you feel should be included or tackled in more depth, please contact us to let us know.

You can also contact us if you have any questions on the issues raised here. Please get in touch via email:

General information on open science

What is open science?

General information on open access

What does the term 'open access' mean?
Gold open access and green open access: what's the difference?
Finding out more: where can I get more information on open access?
How do I search for open access articles?

Information on Gold Open Access

Electronic publishing: what are the key issues to consider when publishing articles in open access journals?
What do Creative Commons licenses offer?

Information on Green Open Access

Electronic self-archiving: what are the key issues to consider when self-archiving publications in open access repositories (including document servers and online archives) or on websites?
Policies on self-archiving: where can I find information on journals issued by different publishers?
What are the differences between preprint and postprint versions?
Repository (document server or online archive): which is the most suitable repository for your publication?

General information for authors

Open access vs. closed access: what's the difference between publishing in open access journals and publishing in non-open access journals?
Selecting a journal: how to find a suitable journal for publishing research results
Publication fees: what are the different ways of covering publication costs?
Funding: what requirements do funders impose in regard to open access?
DOI, ORCID and ROR: What makes persistent identifiers so useful?
Why researchers should check their institution’s affiliation policy before publishing their work
Author agreements (publication agreements): which aspects are relevant?
The role of an academic author: key tips for researchers
Preparing a manuscript for journal submission: key points to consider

Information on further publication types

Monographs, contributions to edited volumes and conference papers: what open access publishing options are available for these formats?
PhD theses: what should doctoral candidates take into account when publishing their thesis?
Research data: what are the key issues to consider when publishing this kind of material?​​​​​​​

Information on quality assurance and scientific reputation

Journal quality and standing: which aspects are relevant to open access?
Journal Impact Factor and alternatives: what are the key issues involved here?
Peer review: Why is it important?
Predatory or bogus journals in open access publishing
Preregistration and registered reports: what are the key facts you need to know?
Faster dissemination of research findings – key facts about preprints
Reputation and research assessment in academia – a brief introduction

Information on copyright and good research practice

Copyright and academic research: what are the key issues that affect you as an author?
An introduction to good research practice, research misconduct and academic integrity
Academic referencing and citations: key points to consider


Important note: The information and links provided here do not represent any form of binding legal advice. They are solely intended to provide an initial basis to help get you on the right track. ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences has carefully checked the information included in the list of FAQs. However, we are unable to accept any liability whatsoever for any errors it may contain. Unless indicated otherwise, any statements concerning individual statutory norms or regulations refer to German law (unless otherwise noted FAQs were updated 11/2017).


Jasmin Schmitz,

Dr. Jasmin Schmitz
Head of Publication Advisory Services

Phone: +49 (0)221 478-32795
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