Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities

The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities is an international statement on open access and access to knowledge. It emerged from a conference on open access hosted in the Harnack House in Berlin by the Max Planck Society in 2003.[1]


Following the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2002 and the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing in 2003, the Berlin Declaration was a third influential event in the establishment of the open access movement. Peter Suber has referred to the three events combined as the "BBB definition" of open access as the three overlap with and inform one another.[2]

The declaration was drafted at an October 2003 conference held by the Max Planck Society and the European Cultural Heritage Online (ECHO) project. More than 120 cultural and political organizations from around the world attended.[1]


The statement itself was published on October 22, 2003. Acknowledging the increasing importance of the internet and the previous discussions on the need for open access, it offered the following definition of an open access contribution:

Open access contributions must satisfy two conditions: The author(s) and right holder(s) of such contributions grant(s) to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, right of access to, and a license 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 of authorship (community standards, will continue to provide the mechanism for enforcement of proper attribution and responsible use of the published work, as they do now), as well as the right to make small numbers of printed copies for their personal use.

A complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy of the permission as stated above, in an appropriate standard electronic format is deposited (and thus published) in at least one online repository using suitable technical standards (such as the Open Archive definitions) that is supported and maintained by an academic institution, scholarly society, government agency, or other well-established organization that seeks to enable open access, unrestricted distribution, inter operability, and long-term archiving.

It also encouraged researchers and institutions to publish their work in accordance with these principles, advocate for open access and help in the development and assessment of open access related tools and measures.[3]


As of April 2018, there are 609 signatories of the declaration.[4]


At a 2005 follow-up conference, the declaration was refined to two key principles: signatories should require researchers to deposit a copy of their work in an open access repository and encourage the publication of work in open access journals when available. Today these two concepts are often called "Green OA" and "Gold OA, " respectively, and the two combined are referred to as an open-access mandate.[5]

In 2013, on the 10th anniversary of the declaration, a mission statement was published with a goal of ensuring that 90% of research is published within an open access model.[6]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Berlin Conferences". Max Planck Society.
  2. ^ Suber, Peter (2012). Open Access (PDF). MIT Press. pp. 7–8.
  3. ^ "Berlin Declaration". Max Planck Society.
  4. ^ "Berlin Declaration: Signatories",, retrieved 19 March 2018
  5. ^ Jacobs, Neil, ed. (2006). Open Access: Key Strategic, Technical and Economic Aspects. Elsevier. pp. 17–18.
  6. ^ "Mission Statement". Max Planck Society.

External links

Access to Knowledge movement

The Access to Knowledge (A2K) movement is a loose collection of civil society groups, governments, and individuals converging on the idea that access to knowledge should be linked to fundamental principles of justice, freedom, and economic development.

Berlin Declaration

Berlin Declaration may refer to one of the following declarations:

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Berlin Declaration (2007) – signed on 50th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome

Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003)

Berlin Declaration (1945) – "Declaration regarding the defeat of Germany and the assumption of supreme authority with respect to Germany by the Governments of the United States of America, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom and the Provisional Government of the French Republic" ("de:Berliner Erklärung (Alliierte)")

Berlin Declaration (1909) is a theological declaration condemning the Pentecostal movement

Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing

The Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing is a 2003 statement which defines the concept of open access and then supports that concept.

Collegium Artium

Collegium Artium is an independent, non-profit organisation registered in Poland with a charitable status (according to Polish law: a public benefit organization) promoting excellence in the field of humanities.Projects conducted by Collegium Artium are related to cultural heritage in the broadest sense, with particular emphasis on the history of art. The organisation carries out research projects, publishes a book series and awards fellowships and prizes. As a signatory of, among others, the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, it participates in the open science and culture movement and contributes to the creation of the world’s greatest open-access repository of art-historical texts operated by the Heidelberg University Library.Collegium Artium is a member of Polish National Federation of Non-Governmental Organisations (OFOP) and the Coalition for Open Education (KOED). Supervision: Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Poland. The activity of Collegium Artium is managed by the Board, the Council is its controlling body, and the Scientific Committee draws up the programme.

Danish Council for Independent Research

The Danish Council for Independent Research (Danish: Det Frie Forskningsråd; DFF) of Denmark funds research and gives advice to government and parliament. The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation (DASTI) oversees its activity. As of 2012 the council has five sub-councils: Humanities, Medical Sciences, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Technology and Production Sciences.The council signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities in November 2011. In 2014 the DFF initiated a controversial "experimental one-year government research-funding scheme specifically for women."As of 2005, the Danish Research Agency (est. 2004) coordinates the DFF as well as the Danish Council for Strategic Research and the Danish Research Coordination Committee.

History of open access

The idea and practise of providing free online access to journal articles began at least a decade before the term "open access" was formally coined. Computer scientists had been self-archiving in anonymous ftp archives since the 1970s and physicists had been self-archiving in arxiv since the 1990s. The Subversive Proposal to generalize the practice was posted in 1994.The term "open access" itself was first formulated in three public statements in the 2000s: the Budapest Open Access Initiative in February 2002, the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing in June 2003, and the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities in October 2003, and the initial concept of open access refers to an unrestricted online access to scholarly research primarily intended for scholarly journal articles.

Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO Dutch: Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek) is the national research council of the Netherlands. NWO funds thousands of top researchers at universities and institutes and steers the course of Dutch science by means of subsidies and research programmes. NWO promotes quality and innovation in science.

NWO is an independent administrative body under the auspices of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The organization receives about 400 million euros per year, of which approximately 300 million comes directly from the ministry. NWO directs the 300 million budget toward Dutch universities and institutes, often on a project basis. Also, the NWO has its own institutes.

NWO is also known for the annual Spinoza Prizes, and the National Science Quiz for Dutch television.

Nijmegen professor Stan Gielen is president of NWO as of October 2016. Former NWO presidents include Peter Nijkamp en Jos Engelen.

Open-access monograph

An open-access monograph is a scholarly monograph which is made freely available with a creative commons licence.

Open access in France

In France, open access to scholarly communication is relatively robust and has strong public support., a digital platform for social science and humanities publications, launched in 1999. Hyper Articles en Ligne (HAL) began in 2001. The French National Center for Scientific Research participated in 2003 in the creation of the influential Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. Publishers EDP Sciences and OpenEdition belong to the international Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association.

Open access in Germany

Open access to scholarly communication in Germany has evolved rapidly since the early 2000s. Publishers Beilstein-Institut, Copernicus Publications, De Gruyter, Knowledge Unlatched, Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information, ScienceOpen, Springer Nature, and Universitätsverlag Göttingen belong to the international Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association.

Open access in Italy

Open access to scholarly communication in Italy has grown since the early 2000s. During an academic conference in Messina in November 2004, Italian universities joined the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, in Italy thereafter known as the "Declaration of Messina".

Open education

Open education is education without academic admission requirements and is typically offered online. Open education broadens access to the learning and training traditionally offered through formal education systems. The qualifier "open" refers to the elimination of barriers that can preclude both opportunities and recognition for participation in institution-based learning. One aspect of openness or "opening up" education is the development and adoption of open educational resources.

Institutional practices that seek to eliminate barriers to entry, for example, would not have academic admission requirements. Such universities include the Open University in Britain, and Athabasca University, Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning in Canada. Such programs are commonly (but not necessarily) distance learning programs like e-learning, MOOC and OpenCourseWare. Whereas many e-learning programs are free to follow, the costs of acquiring a certification may be a barrier. Many open education institutes offer free certification schemes accredited by organisations like UKAS in the UK and ANAB in the United States; others offer a badge.

Outline of open educational resources

This outline of open educational resources provides a way of navigating concepts and topics in relation to the open educational resources (OER) movement.

Rektorenkonferenz der Schweizer Universitäten

The Rektorenkonferenz der Schweizer Universitäten (CRUS; English: Rectors' Conference of the Swiss Universities) was an organization that represented universities in Switzerland. It began in 1904 as the Schweizerische Hochschulrektorenkonferenz (SHRK), becoming in 2001 the Rektorenkonferenz der Schweizer Universitäten. On January 1, 2015, the CRUS, along with the Rektorenkonferenz der Fachhochschulen der Schweiz (Rectors' Conference of Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences; KFH) and the Rektorenkonferenz der pädagogischen Hochschulen (Swiss Conference of Rectors of the Universities of Education; COHEP), merged to form the Rektorenkonferenz der schweizerischen Hochschulen (Rectors' Conference of Swiss Universities).

Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch University (Afrikaans: Universiteit Stellenbosch) is a public research university situated in Stellenbosch, a town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Stellenbosch is jointly the oldest university in South Africa and the oldest extant university in Sub-Saharan Africa alongside the University of Cape Town which received full university status on the same day in 1918. Stellenbosch University (abbreviated as SU) designed and manufactured Africa's first microsatellite, SUNSAT, launched in 1999.Stellenbosch University was the first African university to sign the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities.The students of Stellenbosch University are nicknamed "Maties". The term probably arises from the Afrikaans word "tamatie" (meaning tomato, and referring to the maroon sport uniforms and blazer colour). An alternative theory is that the term comes from the Afrikaans colloquialism maat (meaning "buddy" or "mate") originally used diminutively ("maatjie") by the students of the University of Cape Town's precursor, the South African College.

Stellenbosch University is the second-highest ranked African University according to the 2017-2018 QS World University Rankings.

The Open Definition

The Open Definition is a document published by Open Knowledge International (OKI) (previously the Open Knowledge Foundation) to define openness in relation to data and content. It specifies what licences for such material may and may not stipulate, in order to be considered open licences. The definition itself was derived from the Open Source Definition for software.OKI summarise the document as:

Open means anyone can freely access, use, modify, and share for any purpose (subject, at most, to requirements that preserve provenance and openness).

The latest form of the document, published in November 2015, is version 2.1. The use of language in the document is conformant with RFC 2119.The document is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which itself meets the Open Definition.

Timeline of the open-access movement

The following is a timeline of the international movement for open access to scholarly communication.

TÉLUQ University

TÉLUQ University (French: Université TÉLUQ) is a public French-language distance learning university, part of the Université du Québec system. Originally founded in 1972 as the Telé-université, Université du Québec commission to develop distance education courses, TÉLUQ University is now a full university which offers programs in undergraduate and graduate studies. Though it is based in Quebec City, about two thirds of its professors work from its Montreal offices.

University of the Andes Library Services

The University of the Andes Library Services, officially known as SERBIULA (from the acronym in Spanish for Servicios Bibliotecarios de la Universidad de Los Andes), is the organization responsible for managing and directing all the different libraries of its parent institution, the University of the Andes, one of the main universities in Venezuela.

The University of the Andes is not located in a single central campus, but in rather smaller campuses and branches; most of which are scattered across the andean and singularly university city of Mérida, while the others are located in different states of the country, with their respective library alongside.

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