Open Access

Publish Open Access with Nomos

Nomos Publishing recognises the challenges with which the publishing industry has been confronted following the move towards Open Access. More importantly, however, we see the opportunities Open Access offers for the promotion of research. We believe that in times of Open Access, professional publishing houses play an important role in guaranteeing that high-quality research is published and disseminated in a way that scholars as well as the general public get access to these publications. We therefore support Open Access publishing and, in cooperation with authors and librarians, are looking for ways to develop sustainable Open Access publishing models.

As a renowned professional academic publisher, we make sure to accept only such works for publication that have passed a thorough process of quality control. The same applies for our imprints Academia and Ergon. Learn more about our Editorial Policy and Publication ethics.

Nomos is OAPEN compliant.

Open Access Journals

Nomos currently publishes three Open Access journals: „Recht in Afrika/Law in Africa/Droit en Afrique“ (RIA), „Studies in Communication and Media“ (SC|M), and „African Law Study Library“ (KAS ALSL). In 2017, fifty-two articles have been published in these journals. The journals are published under a CC-BY-NC-ND license. This license was chosen in accordance with the authors who wish to avoid plagiarism or any unauthorized use of their intellectual work. However, Nomos is open to publish journals under a less restrictive license in so far as its editors and authors wish to do so. While these journals use the "Golden Way" of Open Access and are available ony electronically and open access, Nomos allows all authors to use the "Green Way" of Open Access by self-archiving their contributions. You will find further information on self-archiving here.

Open Access Books


Up to now (July 2019) Nomos has published more than 200 monographs under a CC license. The number is steadily growing and there are more and more books published online under a CC license in addition to the printed version.

On the "Golden Way" of Open Access the electronic version is published simultaneously with the printed version. In other cases the electronic version is unlocked some time after the publication of the printed version ("Green Way").

Publication needs funding: To ensure that high quality research gets the recognition it deserves, we help researchers to prepare their works in a way that they can be found through catalogues, indexes, search engines and an ever-growing number of other services. It’s not enough to upload a PDF file on a server and wait until one of Google’s crawlers comes along. We undertake great efforts

  • to ensure the high quality of the books and journals,
  • to ensure that the ensuing publications are easily accessible,
  • to collect metadata like abstracts, keywords, classifications and to deliver these metadata to all relevant services.

We believe that in academic publishing, marketing is less about selling a few more copies of any journal or book – but to make sure, that the content of these publications is visible and brought to the attention of the worldwide scientific community and to practitioners willing to use academic research.

Compared to these efforts, the actual cost of printing and binding books and journals is almost negligible. Thus, publishing Open Access costs almost as much as publishing a printed version of the same content – but the revenue generated by selling books and subscriptions decreases significantly or (if there is no printed version anymore) even dries out completely. To cover the cost of doing everything necessary to disseminate the findings of their authors, professional publishers need subsidies in the form of Book Processing Charges (BPCs).

Academic institutions and research organizations recognize the need for financing academic publications. Funds which had been used for the acquisition of books and journals in the past are slowly redirected to funding Open Access publishing and there are more and more institutions which sponsor Open Access publishing. We provide our authors assistance in finding such a sponsor and advice on the best way to publish their work:

  • which type of publishing suits my work best: Is it advisable to publish an electronic version or do I also need a printed book?
  • when should my work be made available Open Access?
  • what is a Creative Commons licence – and which of these licences should I use?

We believe that professional publishers play a vital role in ensuring that Open Access publications are of the same high quality as other publications and that they are equally visible. At Nomos we work together with all partners in the publication cycle to find sustainable publishing models based on the common understanding that excellent research output must not stay behind closed doors.

When we publish a work online Open Access, it will first and foremost appear in the Nomos eLibrary. In addition to this, we place all Open Access publications in major Open Access directories, such as the DOAB, or in other relevant specialist repositories, such as SSRN.

If the work is published in collaboration with other publishers, especially those abroad, which acquire the exclusive rights to market and distribute an electronic edition of those works in a particular region, Open Acces may not be a viable option. The same applies if the publication of a work is financed by a third party that precludes the work being published via Open Access at the same time as its printed edition.

Two models of Open Access publications

We currently offer two options in this respect: either in tandem with a printed edition (hybrid) or via eOnly. The following terms give you an idea of the services and costs involved in an Open Access publication. But please note that each project is calculated individually.

Open Access in tandem with a printed edition (the hybrid option) 

Authors and editors who publish their works with Nomos have the chance to make an electronic version of those works available online via Open Access at the same time as their printed editions are published (hybrid publication). Nomos believes that such hybrid publications best suits the interests of all parties in the foreseeable future, at least in the case of monographs:

The high-quality printed edition has a value all of its own: it offers a different form of ac-cess to a work’s content than the electronic version and is better suited to making others aware of the work and its findings by the author personally addressing them or presenting the work at relevant events.  Furthermore, a printed edition can be easily archived and is stipulated in many doctoral degree regulations. Finally, the revenue generated by the sales of the printed version can contribute to reducing an author’s need to seek additional funding.

If we ar attributing particular importance to printed books ad epescially to printed monographs in the age of Open Access we feel vindicated by the so called "Stavanger-Declaration" from October 2018:

"Research shows that paper remains the preferred reading medium for longer single texts, especially when reading for deeper comprehension and retention, and that paper best supports long-form reading of informational texts."

The "Stavanger-Declaration summarizes the results of a long term research initiative "Evolution of Reading in the Age of Digitisation (E-READ)" conducted by more than 200 scholars and scientists of reading, publishing and literacy from across Europe.

Publishing a work via Open Access occurs under a so-called Creative Commons licence. We rec-ommend a CC-BY-NC-ND licence (currently CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0), which precludes, among other things, third parties using the work for commercial purposes. First and foremost, however, we comply with the stipulations of the authors and, where applicable, any institutions that have agreed to fund them. In some cases extra charges for the printed edition may be necessary, especially for a particular layout or features, a minimum number of copies of the printed edition being produced  or any time-consuming typesetting work. On the other hand discounts may apply in some cases. In the end the cost for publication may need to be calculated individually.

Publishing online with Open Access only (the eOnly option)

In addition to our hybrid option, we offer authors and editors the chance to publish their works online and with Open Access only, i.e. without a parallel printed edition. There is a special funding scheme for this type of Open Access publication that stipulates that Nomos cannot earn any more revenue from the marketing and sales of a work, which means that the funding received must cover the entire costs of publication. However, for this to be the case, Nomos must conserve some of the usual printing costs (usually, a small print run will be produced in order to advertise a work’s content in the most effective way possible, for example at book fairs and other events, and also to appeal to potential reviewers). However, these savings will not offset the expected decrease in revenue from sales. All in all, therefore, the need for funding here is greater than with the hybrid option.

Usually, all works published via the eOnly option will usually be done so under the most current version of a Creative Commons attribution licence (CC-BY licence, currently CC-BY 4.0). However, authors are also free to choose another CC licence if they wish.

Special conditions for specific groups

Special conditions apply to certain groups of people, such as members of publicly funded German academic institutions or those people whose Open Access versions of their works are financed by the Max-Planck-Digital Library. You can obtain more information on these special conditions from our editors or just get in touch with open-access(at)

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