Berlin 4 Open Access Conference

From Promise to Practice

March 29-31, 2006

Golm (Potsdam, Germany)

Conference web site: http://berlin4.aei.mpg.de/

150+ participants from all over the world, vast majority from universities and research institutes, some from libraries, publishers and funding institutions, some Open Access activists and other activists (Oekonux and the Wikipedia universe)

Report by Stefan Merten


Other reports:

General remarks and impressions

General impressions

Here are some general remarks and impressions from this conference. Of course they are done with an Oekonux perspective in mind.

First day

What really struck me was that neither financial nor license questions played a major role. As far as the financial question is concerned in many countries there is a long tradition that science is funded mostly by the state anyway. So fund raising is a normal activity for scientists and (usually) they don't need to sell their output for re-financing. Therefore the type of problem arising with software or music - how is the creator remunerated? - simply doesn't exist in the scientific community or rather has a standard answer.

The other point I found really striking were that licenses were next to no topic. Here and there there was a reference to CC licenses - and then often without really knowing about them - but except one talk it was actually not a topic. Some comments on this topic make me assume that so far the scientific community just does not see the importance of this topic. This also applies to other types of "intellectual property" like patents or the like. Patents for instance were not mentioned at all. This is indeed in heavy contrast to the patent policies which in many places are forced onto universities nowadays.

However, in some cases the situation for copyright is a bit different than for instance music. With contemporary music you have one or more creators and they are usually clearly determined. But you don't have a creator for an ancient carved stone from Babylon. Also the raw research data which throughout the conference was mentioned quite usually is not published along with the papers and - differently to papers published in a scientific journal - thus has not copyright regulation from a (classic) journal. Also one needs to consider that for science there are exceptions from copyright law in many law systems so in a way scientific use is not as much subject to copyright law then for other uses.

It was also interesting that this whole Open Access thing seems to be mainly a European thing. The USA not only didn't show up much in the program but also is usually not among the early adaptors of Open Access policies.

Second day

This Open Access thing - or Free Science as I like to call it - is really very similar to how Free Software evolved. The most striking similarity to me is that Open Access is not an ideological construct forced down the throats of the real actors but comes directly from the needs of the actors and with the goal to improve their work. This conference clearly was a place to feel the drive of this movement.

Also it is striking how many and which players are promoting Open Access. Big research institutions like Max-Planck Society or funders like the Wellcome Trust welcome and promote Open Access by their respective means. As well state institutions welcome and promote Open Access. To me this looks quite similar to how Free Software is promoted at least if you consider Europe.

Another striking similarity to Free Software - and probably the basis for Open Access - is that scientists think that it delivers higher qualities to them than the traditional publication process. And quality is meant in various respects here - not only the quality of content but also for instance the time some research material is available in the public. Also just as software development in general is changed by Free Software methods especially for the humanities people seem to be convinced that an adoption of Open Access policies will change the face of the humanities.

A couple of talks emphasized that there are a number of scientific methods which are only possible when you have access to the raw data and/or the published papers. There were a number of examples given on the conference (Astronomy, text mining for biology, taxonomy, ...). The Internet and free access as is possible by using Open Access enables these new scientific methods. However, not only pure access is necessary but also ways to locate the information. Interestingly US speakers showed up mostly in this area. They praised the new methods available with computer supported science but said virtually nothing about Open Access.

This enabling of new methods also reminds me of Free Software where the sheer existence of a large body of Free Software enables uses which were not even possible to anticipate. Again the Freedom built into the process enables new and useful applications of the material.

Third day

Several presentations touched the topic of financing Open Access infrastructure. My impression was that paying for publication is the widely accepted model for this. In this model the author - or rather his/her institution - pays for publishing in an Open Access journal rather than the readers paying for reading. A couple of times it were recommended to simply include such cost in the regular funding of scientific projects. The only alternative suggested were sponsoring models where a consortium of funders sponsors Open Access infrastructure. This could be a bridge to include traditional publishers in this whole process. In particular nobody suggested that - contrary to Free Software - setting and keeping up Open Access infrastructure is done during non-paid time.

Several times the motivation of the scientists for promoting Open Access became clear. One speaker said "I want my paper to be read by anyone interested and if s/he sits in the desert of Afghanistan!". Clearly Open Access is the model to make access as barrier free as possible.

Today Open Access infrastructure comes in several forms. Of course there is some self-archiving by the authors but throughout the conference this has not even been mentioned. The next step of concentration are institutional repositories where a scientific institute gathers the publications of that institute. Nearly all of them conform to the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) protocol for metadata harvesting and thus on a technical level they can be searched in a unified way. This is used by search engines so these function as centralized access points to these institutional repositories. In addition there are centralized repositories either on the basis of a nation state or based on a scientific field.

All funding institutions giving talks on the conference had a clear Open Access strategy. They mostly recommended to make an Open Access policy mandatory for the receivers of the funds instead of only requesting it.

One of the speakers spoke out what way my impression whole of the time: Open Access can not be reversed any more. Of course there are still things which can be wished for and there is a lot of work to do to make Open Access as powerful as can be but as of today there is no way to reverse this movement to Open Access.

The very last presentation presented some kind of a vision where Open Access is only a starting point - though a fundamental one. So far Open Access is more or less digitizing paper. However, science in the future has the chance to change dramatically by using the Internet. This includes technical options which need the availability of raw data as well as cooperation. For such scenarios Open Access clearly is the foundation. I guess it can be compared with the universal accessibility of web pages which make search engines like Google possible which - as we know - really make the Web what it is today. Once more this reminds me of Free Software where a relatively simple change in the license gave room to a whole new world.

I'd like to finish with the conclusion that Open Access at the moment delivers half of the Freedom in the sense of Free Software: The freedom to universally access and use the material is the precondition for more Free Science. What is still lacking is that the freedom is also a result of the way science is done. This is probably due to the tradition of science where the single researcher is seen as the genius. However, if science goes further down the road of networked science open cooperation will rise because of its usefulness and then freedom will also be the result of the whole process. Some fields - and physics need to be named here - are already a good way down this road. I'm sure because of the improved quality of this type of networked science the others will follow sooner or later.

Challenges for Open Access

Technical infrastructure

Today an important challenge for the Open Access movement is the availability of a technical infrastructure which offers access and archiving. This challenge is addressed by several initiatives.

Types of publications

There is a lot more behind scientific papers than the content of the actually published paper. In particular there is the raw data from which scientific conclusions are drawn. The Internet offers the chance to publish this material as well which would be valuable for other scientists to prove the conclusions drawn from the data and to draw own conclusions. This type of data, however, comes in many, many formats and is much harder to structure than a set of PDFs.

Actual practice

The availability of Open Access repositories and archives is nice but researchers must actually use Open Access for their own work. Though Open Access is widely accepted as a concept practice is still not as frequent as one would wish for (in particular in the humanities). However, there are a couple of institutional and state initiatives to promote Open Access among researchers.

Central infrastructure

Open Access makes more sense if - at least for a certain field - there is a single entry point to find the material available. This needs cooperations between institutions offering such services.

Open Access Initiatives

Impressions from the poster presentation.

Budapest Open Access Initiative
Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing
Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities

These declaration are also known as the BBB declarations.

Scientific institutions can sign these declarations to demonstrate their support of Open Access.


All three initiatives are very similar. They all include a definition of what Open Access should mean. Basically they end up with describing the rights licenses such as CC or Free Software grant to the general public.

All of the initiatives also emphasize the need to promote Open Access actively. They also emphasize the need to have some technical infrastructure to make Open Access possible at all. With different emphasis they also note that there are possible problems with intellectual property rights which need to be researched further. In particular the BOAI sees copyright as a tool to open access instead of restricting it - just like the Copyleft idea.

Institutional initiatives

The following is from the poster presentation at the conference and only looks at the German scientific scene. Throughout the conference it became clear that there are lots of scientific institutions which promote Open Access.

Max-Planck Society
Has a clear policy to promote Open Access and actively does it by providing support and urging researchers to use Open Access models.
Fraunhofer Institutes
Open Access policies are in the making but not as matured as for the Max-Planck Society.
Helmholtz Institutes
There is a commitment for Open Access and they start to implement it.
A project offering technical infrastructure sponsored by DFG.


The following are notes taken from the talks. They are subjective and far from complete. Please refer to the conference web site for a full documentation of the talks.

The talks have been grouped. These groups are used as the general headlines in the following.


Johanna Wanka: Opening

Brandenburg Minister for Higher Education, Research and Culture (Germany)

  • Journals are expensive
    • Resources are no longer available in the universities
    • Damages the Standort
  • Knowledge is generated by public funding
    • Therefore publications are paid for thrice
    • Scientific infrastructure, wages, and publications itself
  • Open Access is useful for the state
    • The turning point has been reached
  • Question: Quality assurance
    • Needs to be similar to existing quality assurance schemes
    • Not as good as it should be but on it's way
  • Open Access publications need to be considered more in the scientific
  • State Brandenburg and other German states actually promote Open Access
    • State has the duty to create the institutional and juridical framework
    • To convince researchers of Open Access is the duty of the researchers themselves
Kurt Mehlhorn: Opening

Vice President, Max Planck Society (Germany)

General state
  • Many, and heavy-weight signatories for Berlin declaration
    • Not so much in the USA
  • Concept of Open Access widely accepted but not yet practice
Max-Planck Society
  • Actively promotes Open Access and furthers Open Access projects
Charles Geiger: The significance of WSIS for OA

World Summit on Information Society (WSIS)

  • Some hints to Open Access made it into the final declaration
    • The spirit of some other points also point to Open Access

Open Access: Overview

Laurent Romary: Publications and digital resources: two complementary models for implementing the Berlin Declaration

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) (France)

Very interesting presentation!

Open Access policy at CNRS
  • Basic principles
    • Open Access as part of an integrated STI policy
    • Global approach considering both publications and research data
  • Research data and meta-data is an essential basis for research in many domains
    • Formats vary largely
    • Copyright issues may be simpler...
      • Data and meta-data is usually not published otherwise!
Offering archives
  • HAL (Hyper Article en Ligne)
  • National MoU: One joint archive for all French research results
    • Archive grew enormously since that
  • So far only 1/4 entries per month with full text
    • But: Researchers get accustomed to the archive
    • Nice service: Can refer to the archive instead of attaching a PDF to a mail on request
  • Not all institutions allow Open Access
  • Should we "require" researchers to self-archive their paper?
    • Policy: Create a spectrum of incentive measures, services and editorial support
    • HAL should become a natural component of the researcher's environment
  • Institutional repositories have disadvantages
    • HAL can offer institutional views
    • Fragmentation introduced by institutional repositories is bad
Publishing data
  • Research data is difficult to handle
    • For instance because of varying formats
  • Incentive to publish research data: Citation of research data is also measured
  • Good technical support is necessary
  • Are in the process of setting up resources for research data
  • Example: Open lexicon for French inflected forms
    • Besides the HTML offers an XML format containing all the meta-data
  • Next step: join efforts in Europe
    • AHDS: Arts and Humanities Data Service (UK)
    • DANS: Data Archiving and Network Services (NL)
    • MPG: Max-Planck Society (DE)
  • Implementing the Berlin declaration at a national level by being pragmatic and systemic
  • Open access should become a natural dimension of any research activity
    • Essential role of supportive actions
    • International collaboration is central
  • Open Access process is already on it's way - it can not be stopped any more
Ulrich Pöschl: Quality assurance and peer review in Open Access

Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (Germany)

Very interesting presentation!

  • Improvement of quality assurance is one of the motivations of Open Access
    • Not one of its weaknesses
    • Enhance the quality assurance and evaluation of scholar output is a consequence of the free availability
  • Problems with traditional process
    • Large proportion of scientific publications are careless and faulty
    • Traditional peer review and publication sufficient for efficient scientific exchange and quality assurance today
      • For instance comments from peers are lost
  • Solution by Open Access
    • Two stage open access publication with public peer review and interactive discussion
    • Stage 1: Rapid publication of discussion paper
    • Stage 2: Peer review and official publication afterwards
  • Ending up in an all-win situation for authors, referees and readers
  • Practice shows: Usage of Open Access in "Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics" Journal go up
    • Even after requiring money for publication
    • Uses a CC license
    • Citations are also going up
  • Couple of similar sister journals
  • There exist a couple of alternative concepts of public reviews
    • For instance allowing for comments after publication
  • It is possible to combine traditional and new features
  • Why is this not Free Software?
    • There is a small company behind it which needs to keep it closed
    • Unfortunate but true :-(
  • What about stupid / bad comments?
    • Happen nearly never
    • If so they are removed
    • May be in other areas there are more weirdos

Open Access to cultural heritage

Jürgen Renn: State of the problem - Towards a virtual observatory for culture

Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Germany)

  • Humanities are different to science of natures in many ways
    • For instance: Electronic journals are still unusual in humanities
    • For instance: Careers are more based on books and monographs
  • Legal issues are difficult because holders of source data are not necessarily part of the scientific community
  • There are some scout solutions
    • For instance by some Middle East history scholars (CDLI)
    • Combines physically dispersed artifacts or rather their virtual picture
  • Overarching infrastructure: ECHO (European Cultural Heritage Online)
Norbert Lossau: Existing infrastructures to bring cultural heritage online and new needs for such infrastructures

Bielefeld University Library (Germany)

  • Necessary: Common formats for material and collections
  • Potential obstacles
    • Proprietary format and navigation
    • Institution specific policies for use of digital objects
    • No budget to modify functionality of existing collections
Peter Doorn: DANS: Towards a digital research infrastructure for the humanities in Europe
  • DANS bundles some older activities in a new institution
  • Aim: Boost collaboration with Open Access as the guiding principle
  • DANS works actively on Open Access
    • For instance by abolishing all sorts of payment for digital data
  • Practice: Researchers still want some degree on control on "their" data
Stephen Griffin: Digital representation of cultural heritage material - new possibilities for enhanced access

National Science Foundation (USA)

  • Even for humanities computer technology brings a lot
    • For instance analyzing scrolls, books, paper, etc. by X-rays
    • Not only the original material is interesting but also digital images of it
  • [Said nothing about Open Access]
Johannes Fournier: Funding policies for supporting research and infrastructures projects

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (Germany)

  • DFG promotes Open Access
  • Online availability gives access to past projects
    • Otherwise interested persons need to travel to the locations of the projects
  • Provides central entry points
  • Researchers need special legislation against the copyright of the owners of cultural heritage
Denis Bruckmann: Gallica today and tomorrow

French National Library (France)

Not familiar with Open Access

Gerd Graßhoff: The research of the future

University of Bern (Switzerland)

Very interesting presentation!

  • Topic: Open Access humanities will be different
  • Classical:
    • Individualist working style
    • Book format still preferred
    • Private collection of evidence (private "photo-copy archive") inaccessible to others
  • Crisis:
    • Amount of evidence and references explodes
    • ...
  • Solution: Open Access
    • More cooperation and division of labor
    • Process must emerge from new infrastructures needed by the researchers
    • Infrastructure needed
    • ...
  • Example for Open Access in the humanities: http://www.karmancenter.unibe.ch/pantheon
  • Open Access is important for allowing reliable access to evidence to what the author used
    • Not so much about reliable access to what the author produced

Open Access: Moving Forward

Peter Suber: NIH public-access policy: making it stronger

Public Knowledge and Earlham College (USA)

  • NIH has an Open Access policy
    • However, it is not very effective
    • It is not mandatory (require, not request)
    • 6 month delay allowed
  • Open Access policy must be mandatory to work
Alma Swan: Repository developments

Key Perspectives Ltd. (UK)

  • Wellcome Trust
  • Google Base
  • Other universal archives
    • OARA (Peter Suber)
    • Tampere University has opened its own archive (Tampub) to "all scholars"
    • UK universal archive being built in Edinburgh and funded by JISC
  • A couple of places to deposit papers and make it discoverable
  • National developments
    • HAL (Hyper Article on Line) in France
    • NORA and FRIDA (two Norwegian sisters)
      • There is a mandatory policy to put meta-data about papers to FRIDA
    • And a brother, BIBSYS...
      • For the further education sector
      • NORA and FRIDA are for higher education sector
  • Machine-readable CC licenses
  • Services built onto repositories
    • Web Citation Index (Nov. '05)
      • Gathers data from institutional archives
    • NeuroCommons
      • Very interesting
  • Open Access archived register more and more downloads
    • Many come in from Google instead of going to an archive from scratch
Astrid Wissenburg: Research councils UK

Economic and Social Research Council (UK)

  • RCUK is a strategic partnership of 8 research councils, funded by government
  • Starting point
    • Research results must be accessible
    • Funder needs to care for this
    • Researcher needs to be paid
  • Key implementation issues
    • Deposit of results must be ensured
    • Support of author pay models
    • Operate a "level play-field"
  • Licenses need to be flexible to cover different traditions in different scientific areas
Yukido Fukasaku: OECD activity on access to research data from public funding: working towards international guidelines

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (France)

  • OECD Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy (CSTP)
  • January 2004: Declaration on Access to Research Data From Public Funding was adopted by the Ministers
  • Governments and funding agencies recognize mostly more positive than negative impact of Open Access
  • Stakeholders view
    • International guidelines could help in various ways
    • Guidelines need to be flexible to account for various practices
  • There is a recommendation in the making
    • Should be available in October 2006
  • We need to move from subscription models to publication charges
Robert Terry: Open Access and the Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust (UK)

  • Wellcome Trust is one of the world's largest medical research charities
  • From October 1, 2005 a copy of any original research paper published in a peer-reviewed journal must be deposited in PubMed Central (PMC)
    • Wellcome Trust provides additional funding to cover costs for Open Access
    • Must be freely accessible no later than 6 months after official publication date
  • Advantages of PMC over institutional repositories
    • Long-term preservation
    • Accessible under one roof
    • Evaluation process
  • Google has special markup for PMC publications
  • Funders need to care about an Open Access policy
    • Clear policy to mandate their researchers to deposit their papers
    • Make Open Access publishing costs part of the research costs
    • Support and create repositories
    • Talk to publishers
    • Open Access data integration
  • http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/openaccess

Open Access in developing countries

Melissa Hagemann: OSI and eIFL's Open Access programs in developing countries

Open Society Institute (USA)

  • Open Society Institute (OSI) promotes Open Access very much
  • OSI works with local organizations in developing countries
Jennifer de Beer: Open Access in South Africa: Progress report

Sivulile (South Africa)

  • Research funding in South Afrika mostly by business
    • State funding only after business funding
  • Open Access in South Africa today
    • 5 Open Access journals
    • 6 institutional repositories
    • CSIR is Open Access
    • Open Access activity slowly rising
  • Sivulile is a general program for education and also promoting Open Access
Iryna Kuchma: Open Access movement in Ukraine

International Renaissance Foundation (Ukraine)

  • All Open Access activity in Ukraine is linked to OSI
  • Recommendations to promote Open Access are endorsed by government authorities
  • Web-site "Access to knowledge"
  • Creative Commons shall be adopted to Ukrainian law
    • Problem: So far electronic licenses are not permitted by law
  • Ukraine is in the state of elections since 2003
    • May be politicians adopted Open Access policies just to get more votes instead of understanding what they endorse
    • In any case such recommendation is useful for activists
Subbiah Arunachalam: Open Access: Current developments in India

M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (India)

  • India is an emerging scientific power
    • However, India must get better quickly
  • Access and dissemination play together
    • Access is useful for scientists to learn from and base their own work on
    • Scientific journals are expensive, however
Nothing that has happened in the recent past can have as great an influence as Open Access on science and research in the developing world.
  • Dissemination is easier
    • For instance by opening the archives
    • Today ~100 Indian journals are Open Access
    • Open Access is useful for journals for instance by rising the number of citations or papers offered for publication
    • ~20 institutional repositories
  • There is ongoing activity to support and promote Open Access
    • Knowledge Commission is considering actions to be recommended to the government
    • However, so far scientists often do not understand what Open Access is
      • Confuse it with a poor man publication method
      • Do not understand copyright issues involved

Enabling new science

John Wilbanks: Reusing open literature: The NeuroCommons

Science Commons (USA)

  • Creative Commons machine readable licenses have unexpected outcomes
    • For instance search engines offer search restrictions according to license regulations
  • Semantic Web techniques can help to find out what impact some work had
Wolfgang Voges: Data behind publication - An astronomer's view

Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (Germany)

  • Raw astronomical data is huge and manifold
  • Analysis tools often run on the site holding the data
    • This way the data needs not be copied
  • Access to this data makes possible something like a "virtual observatory"
  • Conclusions
    • Open Access have been treated within the astronomy community for a long time
    • Open Access is a cultural issue which needs to be resolved
    • Virtual Observatory and GRID make data and services available
Lars Jensen: Open Access: Making the most of biomedical literature mining

European Molecular Biology Laboratory (Germany)

  • Literature mining is necessary to handle the enormous amount of publications
  • Text mining
Anna Weitzmann: Integrating DNA bar-coding and taxonomic data. INOTAXA: how new technology can facilitate Open Access to 300 years of vitally important information

Smithsonian Institute, NMNH (USA)

  • Lots of data and information exist
    • Formats differ widely
    • Include even things like cabinets with file cards
  • INOTAXA project tries to create a taxonomic literature standard (taXMLit)

Open Access: Learning from new models

Patrick Scherhaufer: Innovative publishing of state of the art articles: the concept of Living Reviews

Institute for Advances Studies (IAS) (Austria)

  • Important characteristic: Article is updated constantly
    • Version history is available
  • Three Living Review journals exist currently
    • Journals are rather successful
  • Editorial concepts similar to classical concepts
    • Articles are invited
  • Publication uses features of WWW much more than a dump for PDFs
    • For instance clicking on a picture (can) give a picture with higher resolution
  • Living Reviews in the Social Sciences
    • Have a rather different publishing culture
    • Introducing a new concept is not a trivial task
    • Different technical infrastructure needed adaption
      • Format in physics is LaTeX
      • So is format of Living Reviews
      • Social scientists use Word...
  • http://www.livingreviews.org/
    • Takes time to get off
  • Copyright regulation noted on the page is outdated
    • They are working on a solution
Vanessa Proudman: Economists Online: researchers and libraries collaborate. A subject-specific service model

Tilburg University (Netherlands)

Susanna Mornati: Open Access policies: bottom-up and top-down approaches in universities

CILEA (Italy)

  • Bottom-up approach
    • Universities offer Open Access facilities
    • However, they are empty :-(
  • Domestic lobbying
    • November 2004 a lobbying campaign started
    • Now there are about 80 signatures of Italian universities under the Berlin declaration
  • Combine top-down and bottom-up approach
    • National policy
    • local support and promotion (Institutional Repositories)
  • Inter-institutional layer:

Open Access publishing

Martin Hicks: The Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry

Beilstein Institute (Germany)

Very interesting presentation!

Open Access means moving from the ordered world of print to the chaotic world of the Web
  • Internet changes a lot in scholarly publication
    • Presents challenges to all involved parties
  • Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry (BJOC)
    • Beilstein-Institut is very old and well-known
    • Mission: Serve researchers in Organic Chemistry
    • Open Access is the natural solution in the world of today
    • http://bjoc.beilstein-journals.org/
  • Beilstein-Institut: Maintain the journal
    • For instance organize editing
  • BioMed Central
    • Carrys over 150 journals
    • Act as publishing service provider
    • Provides a couple of useful technical facilities
  • Journal is listed in a couple of places
Eberhard Bodenschatz: New journal of Physics: An Open Access journal serving the whole physics community

Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (Germany)

  • New journal of Physics
    • http://www.njp.org
    • Open Access journal for physics
    • Objective is to exploit all the advantages of Open Access
  • Editorial board and two independent referees assess every submissions
    • 70+% of submissions are rejected
    • Accomplish very few weeks to publication if useful
  • Journal is doing well
    • Submission numbers rise
    • At the moment 50 submissions / month
    • Download numbers rise
  • Advantages
    • Free for all readers worldwide (everyone)
    • Broadest possible distribution of knowledge
    • Market oriented model
      • Is the impact / service oft the journal worth my money?
    • Institutional support - per article or flat rate
    • Stability guaranteed through DPG and IOP
      • Learned societies
  • Disadvantages
    • May become more expensive for large producers with a huge number or articles per institution
      • Reply: "Carry your share"
      • If you publish much then you have to pay much
Rüdiger Voss: Open Access publishing in particle physics - A practical approach

European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) (Switzerland)

  • CERN Convention (1953) is an early Open Access manifesto:
the result of its (i.e. CERN's) experimental and theoretical work shall be published or otherwise are generally available.
  • Transition to Open Access needs transition period and transition scenario
    • Here: A sponsoring model
  • Made a survey among publishers whether they are ready for Open Access
    • Positive replies from many key publishers
      • This is: if there is a business model
      • Such as a consortium funded sponsoring model
    • A few negative replies
    • Some replies missing
  • Sponsoring all "OA ready" journals in particle physics would cost 5-6Mil.EUR / year
    • Seems a lot but compare this to traditional journal subscriptions
  • Conclusion: Propose a "Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics" (SCOAP3)
    • Funding agencies would be among the natural supporters
  • Long-term goal: All relevant journals in the field convert to Open Access - or disappear ("publish OA or perish")
  • Transition scenarios would involve funders and publishers

Closing session

Bernhard Schutz: Impressions of Berlin 4 Open Access

Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Germany)

  • Core areas of the Open Access movement: archives and publishing
    • Gets used more and more
    • Archiving seen as one part of a larger research and information system
    • Working with publishers leads to real advances
    • Impressive progress in achieving acceptance of new forms of peer review
    • Open Access journals can become prestige journals
    • Increased awareness in political systems
Promise indeed turning into practice!
  • Open Access as a global issue
    • Seems as key issue in WSIS, OECD, UNESCO
    • Vital for developing countries
  • Open Access is a larger issue than just publishing
    • Access to scientific data, supporting collaborations
    • Access to cultural heritage
    • New research tools than can be built in an Open Access environment
  • More signatures on Berlin declaration
    • Lyon University
    • Creative Commons(!)
  • Berlin 5 in Padua
    • Probably March 2007
  • Open Access is maturing
    • Not yet there but maturing
    • Needs to be seen as part of a larger scientific system
Jürgen Renn: Next steps

Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

  • Berlin Road-map
    • Advances in extension (across the digital divide)
    • Concretization (impressive)
    • Coordination (still a challenge)
  • Road-map needs some enhancements
  • Working groups shall be established
  • Open Access is a paradigm shift in science!
    • The features of the Web can and should be used much more
    • Open Access is a precondition for a global representation of human knowledge
Rick Luce: Some conclusion thoughts - focusing on the road ahead

Los Alamos National Laboratory (USA)

Very interesting presentation!

  • From ideas to practice - a bit success
    • Open Access took off in rather short time
  • Driving while navigating through the rear view mirror
    • Paper = linear mode
    • Networked world = multi-dimensional model
    • The driver is communication and enhanced understanding
  • So far we have merely digitized paper
    • This needs to change
    • Needs to adopt the possibilities of the Web
  • Openness movement
    • Open digital repositories
    • Open Source Software
    • Open standards
    • Open content
    • ...
  • Problems of the world like climate catastrophe require close collaboration between scientists of different sorts
  • There are a lot of challenges
    • Open Access is only one (important) step on this way

Bits and pieces

Some things mentioned in a talk but not belonging to one.

Google Scholar
  • What is Google Scholar?

    Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations. Google Scholar helps you identify the most relevant research across the world of scholarly research.

  • http://scholar.google.com/

Open Archive Initiative

Oekonux/Research/ReportBerlin4 (last edited 2006-04-26 17:48:26 by StefanMerten)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License (details).
All pages are immutable until you log in