Open access publication charges

In its Open Access Policy of April 2016, the Helmholtz Association decided that by the end of 2020 at least 60% of all publications should be available as open access publications. This includes publications in open access journals (golden road) as well as open access articles in subscription-based journals (hybrid journals) and the publication of accepted manuscripts in repositories (green road).

In order to support this goal, the library has created a central publication fund. Moreover, in cooperation with other Helmholtz centers, the library of the Max-Delbrück Center has concluded agreements with several open access publishers preferred by MDC authors, entitling our scientists to receive discounts on article processing charges.

Publication fund

As of 2017 the library will pay the complete article processing charges for papers with the following publishers: BioMed Central, Frontiers und Public Library of Science (PLOS).

Publication charges will be covered by the fund until it is exhausted; for 2017 the total had been fixed at 50.000 Euros. Please contact the library to find out if funds are still available, particularly toward the end of the year.

An agreement was reached with the three mentioned open access publishers that the MDC Library will assume the task of central invoice processing. However, if you still receive an invoice, please forward it to us.

To be eligible for funding, you have to meet the following conditions:

  • The submitting / corresponding author belongs to the MDC
  • The corresponding author has a cost center at the MDC (in case of doubt please contact the library)
  • The MDC is named as the affiliating institute in the address field of the article
  • The MDC has to be stated as the paying institution during the process of submitting manuscripts
    (see agreements with publishers)
  • If the publication has been written in the framework of a third-party project which includes financial support for articles in open access journals, those funds must be drawn on first.

Workflow for authors

Workflow authors

  • Transmit your manuscript to the publisher as usual. During registration you will be asked to identify your institution. As a rule, you will automatically be recognized by your IP-address as an employee of the MDC. If not, enter the data manually. Please indicate that you are the corresponding author.
  • The publisher will send the discounted invoice and details on the author to the library.
  • The library will verify the information on the author, check the accuracy of the invoice and authorise payment out of the publication fund. If the article processing charge should be paid by third party funding, please inform the library.

For further questions, please contact:
Wolf Schröder-Barkhausen: phone 3340 - mail:
Dr. Dorothea Busjahn: phone 2150 - mail:

Agreements with publishers

The following provides detailed information on the individual agreements. For each publisher there is an indication of whether the open access publication fund will cover the costs and if there are discounts on the article processing charges. In order to ensure that the payment process goes as smoothly as possible, try to follow our instructions carefully when submitting your manuscript.

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

BioMed Central


National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Public Library of Science (PLOS)