SAFE Open Access Policy


The Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE strives for a broad interdisciplinary understanding of the national and international financial architecture. It is committed to contributing to the strengthening of a sustainable and resilient financial system that promotes innovation and serves the needs of the economy and its citizens.

A high degree of visibility and reusability of its research results is an important requirement to live up to this mission. Therefore, SAFE supports Open Access which stands for unlimited and free access to quality-controlled academic information on the internet. By removing technical, financial, and legal barriers, Open Access contributes to accelerating academic innovation processes, maximising the benefits of publicly funded research, and supporting those who work in academia in their research and publication processes.

As a member of the Leibniz Association, SAFE is committed to Open Access. It thereby adheres to the "Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities" and the "Open Access Policy of the Leibniz Association".

Recommendations and obligations

SAFE encourages its academic staff to publish its research results in accordance with the principles of Open Access. This can be carried out via publications in Open Access publication media or – within legal limitations – by making the publications accessible via document servers (repositories) either in parallel or retroactively as soon as possible. For immediate Open Access publications, the institute recommends publishing under a standardized, open licence (currently e.g. Creative Commons Attribution).

In order to assure the option of a parallel or retroactive Open Access publication, the academic staff of SAFE is asked not to grant exclusive rights of use to publishing companies when entering a publishing contract, but instead to – as far as possible – secure their own permanent right of use and transfer non exclusive rights of use to SAFE for a subject-specific repository. This is the only means by which to secure Open Access use in addition to all forms of commercial use by publishing companies. SAFE recommends to its academic staff that they also apply for third-party funding for open-access publication fees when submitting project proposals.

SAFE also views research data as a valuable result of its research activities. By creating the Financial Data Repository FiF, the SAFE Research Data Center aims to bundle existing data which were developed in the context of individual research projects, to standardize them, and to make them permanently usable. In accordance with the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Re-usable), a growing Open Science Repository is to be installed in this way over time which will be available to financial market researchers worldwide. To this aim, SAFE researchers and scholars who cooperate with SAFE are strongly encouraged to make their data accessible via the FiF repository.


SAFE supports its researchers in implementing the ideas of this Open Access Policy by

  • participating in offsetting agreements with scientific publishers. These include the DEAL contracts with the publishers Elsevier, Wiley, and Springer Nature, as well as ZBW consortia with other publishers such as Taylor & Francis. These agreements offer SAFE researchers to publish their research papers open access in these publishers’ journals even if the business model of the respective journal is access-restricted;
  • funding open access fees for all SAFE publications in top journals (according to the SAFE internal lists of A+ and A journals as well as top Law journals) that are not part of the DEAL contracts;
  • strongly encouraging its researchers to publish all their research output as a SAFE Working Paper and to make sure that this is updated until the last version before being published in a journal; all SAFE Working Papers are published on and distributed via SSRN; together with the SAFE Policy Publications they are also published on the subject-specific document server EconStor where they are archived permanently and securely on a certified server. From EconStor, all publications are delivered to the document server IDEAS/RePEc and to LeibnizOpen, the central Open Access Portal of the Leibniz Association;
  • operating the Financial Data Repository FiF where SAFE research output is augmented with meta data information (e.g., linked to research data, visualization of connectiveness to other publications) and long-term archived;
  • advising its researchers on Open Access, in particular by providing information on the different Open Access publication standards and by raising awareness about the researcher’s rights when selecting a publication medium (online, print, closed access, open access, hybrid journals);
  • informing its researchers about the guidelines of (third-party) funding organizations regarding Open Accessand encouraging them to include open access funding in their applications for external grants;
  • collecting information on Open Access policies and best practices and sharing this in the SAFE intranet.

In order to do justice to the importance of the topic, SAFE creates the position of an Open Access Officer who will take care of the implementation of the above-mentioned responsibilities.

SAFE will regularly evaluate this policy and adapt it if necessary.

Version: April 2024