14th Berlin Open Access Conference

Kyle Brady
Wednesday 16 January 2019

Last month the 14th Berlin Open Access Conference was held, with the title ‘Aligning strategies to enable Open Access’. Over 170 participants from 37 countries and 5 continents attended the event, and delegates came from a range of organisations including universities, libraries, research funders, and government agencies. This diverse spectrum and the resulting consensus on the conference outcomes clearly shows the strength of the current drive for Open Access. The international appeal of the event is a clear sign too that the concerns around subscription pricing and the slow progress to open access are global and international.

(c) Georg Botz, Creative Commons Licence (CC-BY-SA)

“As it became clear from statements made by representatives from Japan, the United States, South Africa and others, that readiness to adopt this approach is now extending beyond Europe, where it originated, and is currently being adopted in several countries; in particular, this was emphasized in a bold statement from China, the nation with the largest share of research publications.” (Max Planck Digital Library)

The second day of the conference provided an opportunity to hear from three major publishers: Elsevier, Wiley, and Springer Nature. They were invited to hear from the global research community about the consensus reached on the previous day.

“The message conveyed to the publishers was that the global research communities are committed to complete and immediate open access, to retaining author copyrights and to negotiating transformative agreements that are temporary, transitional, and cost-neutral as a means to shift to full open access within just a few years with the expectation that cost savings in scholarly communication will follow as market forces take hold.” (Max Planck Digital Library)

These are the final conference outcomes that were agreed by the delegates:

  • Authors should retain copyright
  • Research articles should be published with full and immediate open access
  • Agreements with publishers should be transformative and temporary, with a complete shift to Open Access within a few years.

It was also noted that there was strong alignment between OA2020, Plan S, and the Jussieu Call.

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