A Joint Project of HIIG and Knowledge Unlatched Receives Funding from BMBF


“An initiative for sustainable journal funding through consortial support structures in small and interdisciplinary subjects” (Scholar-led+)

Berlin, February 25th, 2021: In the joint project, the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) and Knowledge Unlatched (KU) will work together to improve the publication of publisher-independent, non-APC Open Access (OA) journals through a consortial support structure. The focus is on small, transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary subjects, as current funding options have not been effective, and the responsibilities of the subject communities are often unclear. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) will fund the project for 24 months from April 2021 and thus support the transformation of scientific publishing towards OA.

The project develops a sustainable model of publisher-independent, quality-assured OA journals in small, transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary subjects. In this regard, it follows up on a major result of the project “Innovative Open Access in Small Sciences” (2019-2021, DFG-funding). Furthermore, Scholar-led+ improves communication between central actors in the OA ecosystem: funding and research institutions, professional societies, OA journals, and new quality-assured publication projects.

"With this project, a decisive step towards inclusive networking within the scientific publication landscape can be achieved," says Marcel Wrzesinski, OA Officer at HIIG. "It is precisely the diversity of the OA ecosystems and the differences in the various disciplines that have made access to funding particularly challenging so far."

"We are pleased to have the opportunity to contribute our experience with consortial funding of scientific OA content to this project," adds Philipp Hess, Head of Publisher Relations at KU. "It is precisely the diversity of the content and the players involved that will lead to a solution in which everyone comes together for the benefit of the scholarly community."

About Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG)

The HIIG researches the development of the internet from a societal perspective with the aim of better understanding the accompanying digitization of all areas of life.


Marcel Wrzesinski, Open Access Officer


About Knowledge Unlatched (KU)

KU offers every reader worldwide free access to scholarly content. The online platform enables libraries worldwide to centralize their support for Open Access models from leading publishers and new initiatives in favor of Open Access. With Oable, KU supports institutional Open Access Management. KU is a registered BCorp.


Philipp Hess, Head of Publisher Relations