Here, you can find answers to the most frequent questions from corporate partners, museums, and private individuals about KOALA. If you have any further questions, please contact koalatibeu.
In a nutshell: Open Access means free access to scholarly literature on the Internet. The most commonly invoked definition of open access comes from the so-called Budapest Declaration (2002).
Thus, the aim of Open Access is to make scholarly literature freely accessible and reusable for everyone – that is, free of charge and, as far as possible, free of technical and legal barriers. The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003) requires that, to qualify as Open Access, a contribution must not only be usable free of charge, but also users must be permitted "to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution." (Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, 2003).
Traditionally, journals and book series are financed through subscriptions or the sale of single copies, which excludes less affluent readers. Some Open Access periodicals are financed through so-called article or book processing charges, which in turn causes difficulties for some authors. Both forms of financing have seen price increases in the past, presenting libraries with difficult choices in literature acquisition.
KOALA is committed to a different approach that gives free access to content to all interested parties ("Open Access") and does not exclude authors from participating in the scholarly debate for financial reasons.
Journals and book series can be included if they meet the requirements, have realistic funding goals and fit into a planned disciplinary bundle. These disciplinary bundles are then offered to interested institutions – especially academic libraries, but also private companies, individuals and other supporters – for joint funding.
During the pledging round, supporters can commit to contributing to the costs. If the specified number of supporters is reached and the pledging target is met, they contribute according to their size and the volume of the bundled periodicals. The editorial boards will then receive funding over three years. If there are not enough supporters, the KOALA funding will not come into effect.
Ambitious research can also take place at institutions with low budgets or even outside formal institutions. With APC models (see Why does KOALA aim to establish consortial financing for Open Access?), there are often high costs for the publication, which the authors themselves or the institution have to pay. However, it should not depend on financial means whether research results are published freely accessible or not. The deciding factor should be scholarly quality.
New supporters can join at the beginning of each year.
It is not possible to exit before the end of a funding period.
The TIB – Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology issues an invoice for the consortium contribution according to the applicable fiscal rules. It is not possible to issue donation receipts, as the contribution is not a donation for tax purposes.
The editorial offices report to KOALA annually on how they have used the funds and which publications were published during the reporting period. The contracts are not subject to any secrecy.
KOALA is a cooperation between the TIB – Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology and the Communication, Information and Media Centre (KIM) at the University of Konstanz. KOALA is receiving project funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (funding code 16TOA039A) to set up the service. Both institutions have extensive and long-standing experience in the field of Open Access. Once the project funding has ended and the first phase has been evaluated, KOALA is scheduled to become a regular service at TIB as a part of their licensing and consortia business. KOALA operates on a not-for-profit basis and is not a service provided by a commercial business.