Open Access with transcript


Open Access Publishing
Following the growth of free access to research outcomes in STM literature in the form of open access publications, open access formats are now gaining a foothold in the humanities, social sciences and cultural studies as well. We support the aim of achieving the widest possible distribution of academic publications, which is why, as an alternative to paid eBooks, we offer our authors the possibility of making the digital edition of their book freely available. transcript authors can choose between golden and green open access – that is, releasing the free eBook at the same time as the print edition, or with a delay.
All our open access eBooks feature not just the same technical standards as our paid eBooks (gold standard), but also receive the same marketing and sales services as our paid formats, in order to disseminate and communicate their content as widely as possible. To this end, all open access eBooks receive an ISBN and a DOI number, and make their way into international (online) bookstores through our distribution channels. Through measures such as full-text indexing, all transcript titles are guaranteed maximum performance in online search engines. Thanks to our partnerships with library suppliers and discovery services (e.g. Primo Central Index, EBSCO Discovery, ProQuest, ExLibris, OCLC and BASE), our open access titles, just like our paid eBooks, are indexed and added to global library catalogues.
In addition to visibility and reach, it is particularly important – especially for free content – to be embedded in a high-quality academic context. Through our distribution partnerships with renowned academic publishers, the electronic editions of our books are featured on platforms such as DeGruyter Online (and De Gruyter Open) together with other high-class publications from internationally respected publishers. As members of the OAPEN Foundation, we are also committed to securing the highest standard for open access publications. The inclusion of our titles in the OAPEN library and the Directory of Open Books (DOAB) does not only serve to promote distribution – thanks to the quality controls of this non-profit organisation, it also serves as a marker of reliable and high-quality academic content.
We go to great lengths to promote our open access titles. On our website and in all promotional material (newsletters, brochures) we point people towards our open access content in prominent positions and make it easy to find and download the content. Our usage statistics prove the success of our proactive open access strategy: we aim to promote the distribution of the titles as much as possible – and not ‘hide’ the content in databanks.


In the interests of protecting your intellectual property rights, we publish all open access titles with the Creative Commons Licence CC BY-NC-ND. This licence allows private use (so long as the creator is acknowledged), but does not allow any commercial use, alteration, editing or other modification of the content. It is also possible to request more liberal licences for your publication.


Open Access Funding
We are happy to support you in making funding applications through the open access support provided by the SNF and the FWF.

transcript is listed by OAPEN as a book publisher that is compliant with the open access funding requirements of the European Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, and the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).

Our open access program is furthermore fully compliant with the requirements of other funders, e.g. the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).


Self archiving and open access for backlist publications
Alongside the open access models for our new releases and backlist titles, upon request we also offer our authors the possibility of self-archiving of individual chapters, in combination with the paid eBook. Our authors may also contact us for a quote if they wish to make backlist titles from our entire program available as open access publications. 

Visit our Open Library here on our website, which compiles our open access eBooks, sorted by program areas (Main Menu).


Membership with the OAPEN Foundation
transcript at OAPEN

As a professional academic publisher, we view it as our mission to enrich the contemporary discourse of academic research with our publications. This aim applies equally for our paid and our open access publications. To help achieve our goal of ensuring and promoting high qualitative standards for our free academic content and of optimising their distribution, we have joined the OAPEN Foundation. This foundation runs the OAPEN Library, a platform featuring publications in the humanities and social sciences, the quality of which is ensured by the controls and checks carried out by the foundation. For this reason, being represented in the OAPEN Library and the associated Directory of Open Books (DOAB) is taken by researchers across the globe to be a marker of reliability for free content. Additionally, the OAPEN promotes the distribution of quality-controlled content and makes it available internationally in institutions and libraries. The indexing of our free eBooks in the DOAB, a discovery service exclusively for open access publications and a recognised “hub for international open access infrastructure” (Source: maximises the visibility of the publications accepted into it. Further information at: and


Innovative Open Access Projects with transcript
To a large extent, academic communication takes place online. However it is not enough to simply put a text on the internet. As an academic publisher, we can also build on our experience and know-how in the distribution of academic content in the most modern form of publishing: open access. To this end, we utilise indicators such as usage data to offer our authors the greatest possible transparency regarding the effectiveness of our (marketing) activities and operational infrastructure.
In order to reach the widest possible readership for your work in a continually shifting publishing landscape, we consider it our task to always keep up to date by sharing knowledge and experiences with colleagues and by testing out new possibilities and trends. On that note, we would like to present two projects in which transcript is participating:


transcript on OAPEN-CH-SNF

In order to obtain an increased understanding of open access formats and their impacts on book publication and to deepen our collaboration with funding bodies, transcript is participating in the Swiss National Science Foundation’s (SNF) OAPEN-CH pilot project. Together with ten selected publishers, the SNF is researching the effect of open online accessibility on the reception, distribution and visibility of academic research outcomes. Eight transcript publications were able to qualify for participation in the study. In comparison groups, these books provide (usage) data, on which the study is based. Through the sharing of experiences by all parties involved in the publication process, the evaluation of usage data and production costs as well as the disclosure of processes and workflows, the project participants gain a detailed understanding of the open access infrastructure. With the involvement of the OAPEN Foundation, which has carried out similar studies in the Netherlands and Great Britain, the results will be comparable on an European level. Our goal is to implement what we learn from the study and the results of the external evaluation of our processes to develop more effective services as a publisher in promoting your work.
The final SNF-report will be published at the end of 2017. Initial results of the study can be found at:


transcript with Knowledge Unlatched


transcript is one of the first publishers in the German-speaking world to participate in the third round of the innovative open access model of the non-profit organisation Knowledge Unlatched (KU). Out of the 681 publications submitted by 53 international publishers, multiple transcript publications were able to qualify for participation.
We will announce the participants here once they have been made available as open access publications.

About Knowledge Unlatched
Knowledge Unlatched is a global initiative for the promotion of open access in the humanities, and an innovator of an advanced acquisition system for monographs. KU brings together publishers, libraries and readers on a global level in a crowd-funding model for high-calibre work in the humanities. Since 2012, academic publishers have been invited once a year to submit English-language texts for a quality check by a 40-person selection committee made up of international experts. The titles which stand out against the competition are presented to libraries right across the world. The free provision of the works – the ‘unlatching’ – is made possible by a crowd-funding campaign with the libraries. This innovative model has received various awards from the world of academia (including the Curtin University Award for Innovation in Education 2015 and the FLA/Brill Open Access Award in 2014). The attention being generated right across the publishing sector is growing continually. The success can be measured by the usage figures of the participating titles: as of the end of the first quarter of 2016, the titles in the first round have been downloaded more than 80,000 times from over 178 countries. 

Commitment for Open Access
The goal of the Knowledge Unlatched initiative is to promote the distribution of high-quality academic literature through open access of quality-controlled content. By being included in the KU collection, publications reach new readers right across the world. In this way, the KU model promotes the global networking of academic work and the internationalisation of research.
Inclusion in discovery tools and databases such as WorldCat (the world’s largest bibliographic database) as well as renowned platforms like the OAPEN Library guarantees the greatest possible visibility and search engine rankings. Appearing in archives such as HathiTrust ensures long-term availability. This high visibility increases usage and promotes the “impact” of the publication on other research work and broader academic debates. The impact, which is often measured by the number of citations a work receives, contributes to the reputation of our authors. 

  • You can find more information on Knowledge Unlatched and on usage statistics from previous rounds here:

  • KU in 60 seconds: