Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities
What is the 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 was drawn up at a conference initiated by the Max Planck Society in Berlin in October 2003 and is regarded as one of the milestones of the open access movement. It promotes open access to scientific knowledge and cultural heritage. Governments, universities, research institutions, funding agencies, foundations, libraries, museums, archives, learned societies and professional associations who share the vision expressed in the Berlin Declaration are invited to join the over 350 institutions that have already signed it.
The signatories of the Berlin Declaration agree to the principles of the Open Access movement, which include the following:
- To encourage researchers to make their materials available in open access (through self-archiving in open access repositories or publishing in open access journals);
- To encourage the holders of cultural heritage to support open access by providing their resources on the Internet;
- To develop means and ways to evaluate open access contributions to maintain the standards of quality assurance and good scientific practice;
- To advocate that open access publications be recognised in promotion and tenure evaluation;
- To advocate the intrinsic merit of contributions to an open access infrastructure by software tool development, content provision, metadata creation, or the publication of individual articles.
Open access contributions include original scientific research results, raw data and metadata, source materials, digital representations of pictorial and graphical materials and scholarly multimedia material.
Open access contributions must satisfy two conditions:
1. 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.
2. 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 organisation that seeks to enable open access, unrestricted distribution, interoperability, and long-term archiving.
What are the benefits of signing the Berlin Declaration?
Signing the Berlin Declaration offers an institution a unique chance to profile itself as a progressive institution that is visible to the outside world and which recognises and adds value to research output.
The following African Institutions have already signed the Berlin Declaration:
- Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) (South Africa)
- Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia)
- Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Egypt)
- Ifakara Health Institute (Tanzania)
- Institut Pasteur de Bangui (Central African Republic)
- Jimma University (Ethiopia)
- Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana)
- Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) (South Africa)
- Makerere University (Uganda)
- Maseno University (Kenya)
- Mbarara University of Science and Technology (Uganda)
- National Institute of Oncology (Morocco)
- National University of Lesotho (Lesotho)
- National University of Science & Technology (Zimbabwe)
- Stellenbosch University (South Africa)
- Universidade Pedagógica Moçambique (Mozambique)
- Université de Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso)
- University de Yaounde I (Cameroon)
- University of Cape Town (South Africa)
- University of Ghana (Ghana)
- University of Johannesburg (South Africa)
- University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa)
- University of Nairobi (Kenya)
- University of Pretoria (South Africa)
- University of Science Techniques and Technologies of Bamako (Mali)
- University of South Africa (South Africa)
- University of the Free State (South Africa)
- University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)
How to go about to become a signatory?
Stellenbosch University wishes to invite other African institutions to become signatories and demonstrate your support for opening access to research output by your individual researchers. It is the first time that this prestigious conference will be hosted on the African continent, and through signing the declaration, we can demonstrate our commitment to share our valuable research output with countries worldwide.
If your institution wants to sign the Berlin Declaration, your highest representative needs to send an e-mail or letter to the president of the Max Planck Society, indicating his or her wish to be listed as a signatory of the Berlin Declaration:
Prof Peter Gruss
Please provide the following information:
If possible, please do also provide the name and details of a contact person on operational level, working with open access, in your institution. Thank you.
Further information on the Berlin Declaration and its history can be found on the Internet under:
We are looking forward to welcome many new signatories at the Berlin 10 Open Access Conference!