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.

The statement

On 11 April 2003, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute held a meeting for 24 people to discuss better access to scholarly literature.[1] The group made a definition of an open access journal as one which grants a "free, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual 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" and from which every article is "deposited immediately upon initial publication in at least one online repository".[2]


Along with the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) and the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, the Bethesda Statement established "open access" as the term to describe initiatives to make information more widely and easily available.[1]

The Bethesda Statement builds on the BOAI by saying how users will enact open access.[3] Specifically, open access practitioners will put content online with a license granting rights for reuse including the right to make derivative works.[3] The BOAI does not mention derivative works.[3]


  1. ^ a b Crawford, Walt. Open access : what you need to know now. Chicago: American Library Association. pp. 11–15. ISBN 9780838911068.
  2. ^ Statement on Open Access Publishing, by Patrick O. Brown, Diane Cabell, Aravinda Chakravarti, Barbara Cohen, Tony Delamothe, Michael Eisen, Les Grivell, Jean-Claude Guédon, R. Scott Hawley, Richard K. Johnson, Marc W. Kirschner, David Lipman, Arnold P. Lutzker, Elizabeth Marincola, Richard J. Roberts, Gerald M. Rubin, Robert Schloegl, Vivian Siegel, Anthony D. So, Peter Suber, Harold E. Varmus, Jan Velterop, Mark Walport, and Linda Watson. 20 June 2003
  3. ^ a b c Bailey Jr., Charles W. (2006). "What Is Open Access?". Retrieved 9 March 2012.

External links

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.

Gratis versus libre

The English adjective free is commonly used in one of two meanings: "for free" (gratis) and "with little or no restriction" (libre). This ambiguity of free can cause issues where the distinction is important, as it often is in dealing with laws concerning the use of information, such as copyright and patents.

The terms gratis and libre may be used to categorise intellectual property, particularly computer programs, according to the licenses and legal restrictions that cover them, in the free software and open source communities, as well as the broader free culture movement. For example, they are used to distinguish freeware (software gratis) from free software (software libre).

Richard Stallman summarised the difference in a slogan: "Think free as in free speech, not free beer."

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.

Max Planck Society

The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science (German: Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e. V.; abbreviated MPG) is a formally independent non-governmental and non-profit association of German research institutes founded in 1911 as the Kaiser Wilhelm Society and renamed the Max Planck Society in 1948 in honor of its former president, theoretical physicist Max Planck. The society is funded by the federal and state governments of Germany.According to its primary goal, the Max Planck Society supports fundamental research in the natural, life and social sciences, the arts and humanities in its 84 (as of December 2017) Max Planck Institutes. The society has a total staff of approximately 17,000 permanent employees, including 5,470 scientists, plus around 4,600 non-tenured scientists and guests. The society's budget for 2015 was about €1.7 billion. As of December 31, 2016, the Max Planck Society employed a total of 22,995 staff, of whom 14,036 were scientists, which represents nearly 61 percent of the total number of employees. 44.3% were female employees and 27% of all of the employees were foreign nationals.The Max Planck Institutes focus on excellence in research. The Max Planck Society has a world-leading reputation as a science and technology research organization, with 33 Nobel Prizes awarded to their scientists, and is widely regarded as one of the foremost basic research organizations in the world. In 2018, the Nature Publishing Index placed the Max Planck institutes third worldwide in terms of research published in Nature journals (after the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Harvard University). In terms of total research volume (unweighted by citations or impact), the Max Planck Society is only outranked by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Russian Academy of Sciences and Harvard University in the Times Higher Education institutional rankings. The Thomson Reuters-Science Watch website placed the Max Planck Society as the second leading research organization worldwide following Harvard University in terms of the impact of the produced research over science fields.The Max Planck Society and its predecessor Kaiser Wilhelm Society hosted several renowned scientists in their fields, including luminaries such as Otto Hahn, Werner Heisenberg, and Albert Einstein.

National Platform Open Science

The National Platform Open Science (NPOS) – (in Dutch: Nationaal Platform Open Science) – in The Netherlands is a collaboration of 17 Dutch organisations of higher education and research intent on realising Open Science. Among its members are the Umbrella organisation of Dutch universities (VSNU), the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the National Library of the Netherlands (KB), and the like. The Platform brings together the parties that have initiated, formulated, or support the National Plan Open Science, that has been presented to the Dutch government in the beginning of 2017.

Open access

Open access (OA) is a mechanism by which research outputs are distributed online, free of cost or other barriers, and, in its most precise meaning, with the addition of an open license applied to promote reuse.Academic articles (as historically seen in print-based academic journals) have been the main focus of the movement. Conventional (non-open access) journals cover publishing costs through access tolls such as subscriptions, site licenses or pay-per-view charges. Open access can be applied to all forms of published research output, including peer-reviewed and non peer-reviewed academic journal articles, conference papers, theses, book chapters, and monographs.

Timeline of the open-access movement

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

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