• Austria: Five leading Universities and most important Funder Unite to Support the Open Library of Humanities

    Austria: Five leading Universities and most important Funder Unite to Support the Open Library of Humanities

    Posted by Paula Clemente Vega on 2019-02-04

We are pleased to announce that five Austrian institutions – the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna as Higher Supporters as well as the University of Graz, the University of Salzburg and the University of Vienna as Regular Supporters – have come together to begin work on a national consortium to support the Open Library of Humanities. This is part of the recently launched OLH Open Consortial Offer, an initiative that offers consortia, societies, networks and scholarly projects the possibility to join the Open Library of Humanities Library Partnership Subsidy system as a bloc. The newly formed consortium is also currently inviting other Austrian universities, extramural research institutions, learned societies, funding bodies etc. to join the group in its mission to support scholar-led, gold open-access publishing initiatives with no author-facing charges.

The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna has been a leading European public university for more than 300 years. Established in the 17th century, the Academy today focuses on providing up-to-date education in the fields of fine arts, architecture, stage design, conservation and restoration, art history and theory, and the natural and technical sciences in the arts. It also houses two of the most significant Austrian art collections, the "Gemäldegalerie" (Paintings Gallery) and the "Kupferstichkabinett" (The Graphic Collection).  

The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) is the most important Austrian funding organization for basic research. It was established in 1967 to support research in the humanities, science and engineering through a large variety of grant programmes, prizes and infrastructure funds. Its funding supports national research clusters, doctoral schools, scholarships for young researchers, awards like the START- and Wittgenstein-Preis. In addition, the FWF invests approximately 1.5% of its annual budget in open access articles and monographs as well as in publication platforms and services.

The University of Graz is Austria's second oldest university and one of the largest in the country. Since its foundation in 1585 the university has been home to many internationally renowned scientists and thinkers, among them six Nobel laureates. The University of Graz covers a broad spectrum of disciplines, encompassing the humanities and law as well as the social and natural sciences. The university´s participation in the OLH consortium is financed with funds from the national AT2OA project.

The University of Salzburg is the largest educational institution in both the city and province of Salzburg. It was established in 1622 and re-established again in 1962, after its closure in 1810. It is formed by four different schools: the Faculty of Catholic Theology, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Natural Sciences. With a research-oriented teaching and a nationally and internationally recognized research, the university is an integral part of the cultural and economic life of the city and a meeting place between teachers and students, scientists and the public.

Founded in 1365, the University of Vienna is one of the oldest universities in Europe. With 175 degree programmes, 47 university continuing education and training programmes and about 94,000 students, the University of Vienna is the largest and most diverse educational institution in Austria.

The Open Library of Humanities is an academic-led, gold open-access publisher with no author-facing charges. With funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the platform covers its costs by payments from an international library consortium, rather than any kind of author fee.

Professor Martin Paul Eve, a CEO of the OLH, said: “we are absolutely thrilled at the initiative taken here by Austrian institutions. OLH has more than demonstrated a model that can work for open access in the humanities. It is also a model that attempts to keep costs as low as possible for libraries. To have institutions uniting, then, to support the platform is truly wonderful.”

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