From 1985 to 2015, the Center for the Promotion of Women’s and Gender Studies had a Publication Support department (led by Dr. Anita Runge), which supported scholars’ publication of their findings and conducted projects to professionalize and modernize the publication process. This department is now continuing its work at the Margherita von Brentano Center.
The department’s experiences are also informing the efforts towards Support for Young Researchers at Freie Universität, including workshops in publishing essays professionally and in professional training at the Dahlem Research School and elsewhere.
The establishment of an interdisciplinary book series for qualifying scholarly works (doctoral dissertations and habilitation theses), back in 1985, aimed at creating visibility and drawing scholarly attention to Gender Studies through quality-assured (peer-reviewed) publications put out by a well-regarded press. The authors who published their work in the 60-volume monograph series called “Ergebnisse der Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung an der Freien Universität Berlin” (Findings in Women’s and Gender Studies at Freie Universität Berlin) received intensive consultation and funding for their printing fees.
Beginning in 1996, the series was joined by an annual interdisciplinary review: Querelles. Jahrbuch für Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung (Querelles: Yearbook of Women’s and Gender Studies), of which 15 editions were published through 2010.
The launch of the book-review journal querelles-net, in 2000, began a transition from printed to electronic publications. querelles-net, originally a spin-off of the printed yearbook’s review section, grew into a pioneer project for modernizing and shifting the publication support program as a whole.
The 2009 conversion of the querelles-net book review magazine from an electronic publication to a genuinely open-access periodical was the first step toward a thorough realignment. The aim was not only for Gender Studies to participate in the latest technical and legal trends in publishing, but for it to be instrumental in shaping these trends in the interests of the scholarly field and the scholars who work within it.
The project “Gender Studies and Open Access: A Publication Model for an Inter-/Trans-Disciplinary Field of Research,” funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) – proposed by Dr. Anita Runge and Prof. Dr. Bettina Hannover, lasting from May 2011 to November 2012 – explored the possibility of creating a primary open-access publication space for Gender Studies monographs and essay collections as well. The results were presented and discussed at a number of workshops (German content) and summarized in a concluding report for the DFG.
At the final workshop of the “Gender Studies and Open Access” project, the plans for a follow-up proposal were cemented with veterans of disciplinary repositories and libraries, Gender Studies researchers, equal opportunity experts, and magazine editors. Based on Gender Studies’ persistent lag in incorporating new publishing possibilities, as demonstrated by the DFG project, it was decided to initiate open-access flagship projects and to focus on establishing a disciplinary repository. Three jointly applying partner institutions (Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt Universität Berlin, and Technische Universität Berlin) collaborated under Freie Universität leadership on a DFG application, which was later approved. The plans for a repository were presented in various forums (including at the 2013 Open Access Days in Hamburg and at a meeting of the Conference of Women’s and Gender Studies Institutions in German-Speaking Areas [KEG] during the 2014 annual convention of the Gender Studies Association (German content) and were broadly well-received and supported.