AG Membership

DeutschMembership in the AG Universitätsverlage

The dynamic evolution of the scholarly communication system is giving rise to  scholarly publishers, publishing services, platforms, and manifold other infrastructures that provide publishing services. For the sake of simplicity, we will refer to them as “publishers”. Institutions providing these services are invited to become members of the AG Universitätsverlage, provided they meet the membership requirements. On this page you will find more information about

Types of membership

  • If all criteria are met, publishers will receive full membership in the AG Universitätsverlage, which includes voting rights and the possibility to participate in the Core Group.
  • If some criteria are not met, especially criteria 1 to 4 or 7, there is the possibility of associate membership, which does not include voting rights or the possibility of participating in the core group. However, criteria 5, 6, 8 a) and b) and 9 are also binding for associate membership.
  • Associate members may apply for full membership at any time if their business model changes and they can fully support Open Access.
  • Collegial cooperation and the opportunity to participate in joint events and fairs are also part of the associate membership.

Membership criteria of the AG Universitätsverlage (as of May 2020)

* Requirement for full membership
** = Minimum requirement for associate membership

  1. Commitment to Open Access and Open Science *
    1. Authors and editors are visibly offered the opportunity to publish Open Access in the sense of the Berlin Declaration.
    2. The Open Access version of the publication will be accessible via the publisher’s website. This is independent of whether the publishing platform is operated by the publisher itself or by another institution.
    3. The long-term availability of such Open Access versions and their metadata is guaranteed by a recognized platform for ensuring long-term availability and/or by a scholarly/public institution.
    4. The publisher is open to new or experimental forms of publishing that support Open Science (links to research data, enhanced publications, annotations, machine readability, etc.).
  2. Science-friendly rights policies *

    A science-friendly rights policy makes it possible for research results to be received and used as widely as possible. This means that scientific authors retain control over their own publications and grant publishers only the rights they need to provide their services.

    1. The publisher provides clear information about the copyright aspects of its services.
    2. The publisher allows authors to grant non-exclusive rights of use for the central distribution formats.
    3. The publisher obtains from authors only those rights of use that it will exercise (e.g. online publication, distribution of print copies, translation if applicable).
    4. In order to grant the general public the broadest possible rights of use, Open Access publications are published under recognized licenses for free reuse. The Creative Commons CC BY license is recommended.
  3. Acting professionally as a publisher *
    1. The publishing services are described on the publisher’s website.
    2. Published publications are presented in all available versions as a recognizable collection.
    3. The publisher follows professional practices for the preparation, delivery, and long-term availability of scholarly content.
  4. Publishing Program *
    1. The publishing program consists primarily of peer-reviewed primary scientific publications.
    2. Secondary or non-peer-reviewed publications (e.g. working papers, reports) and public relations materials for the parent institution are smaller parts of the publishing program.
  5. Target audience of the service *
    1. The service is intended for scientific authors and editors.
    2. The service is open to members of the own institution and/or authors and editors of the focal points represented in the publishing program.
  6. Quality assurance according to scholarly standards *
    1. The publisher takes discipline-specific measures to ensure the high scientific quality of the published content (internal and/or external peer review; scientific quality assurance).
    2. The publisher’s processes support good scientific practice.
    3. The publisher takes measures to ensure formal and technical quality (production, layout, referencing, file formats, metadata etc.).
    4. The publisher provides evidence of the quality of its publishing processes (e.g. description of processes on the website).
  7. Organization *
    1. The publisher is affiliated with an identifiable research or academic institution.
    2. The institution’s recognition of the publisher or publishing service is visible (e.g. naming on the institution’s website).
  8. Business Model
    1. The operation of the publisher is not geared towards profit maximization.**
    2. The cooperation with scientific authors and editors is based on partnership.**
    3. Open Access publication is a central component of the business model and is not intended to be a paid service in addition to print publication.
  9. Collegial collaboration **
    1. The publisher is committed to transparent and collegial cooperation within the AG Universitätsverlage.
    2. This includes, in particular, regular participation in the communication of the working group (forum, mailing list etc.), cooperation in sub-working groups and, where appropriate, financial support for the work of the working group.
    3. The joint web presence (e.g. AG catalogue, website) will be supported.
    4. Joint exhibitions are supported by cooperation in planning, preparation, design and stand supervision.

Membership criteria in German as PDF | Membership criteria in English as PDF

Membership Application

Please comment on each of the criteria listed, and give reasons if your publisher cannot meet all or part of a criterion. If possible, please provide a URL that can be used to verify your information.

If the information we have requested is not available on your publisher’s website, we recommend, as a matter of good publishing practice, that you make this information publicly available in the future, regardless of whether you are applying for full or associate membership in the AG Universitätsverlage.

Please send your completed application to

We will be happy to answer your questions and assist you in meeting the membership criteria prior to your application:

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