A meeting of international institutions which have signed up to Open Access (OA) could result in a united policy creating a huge growth in free access to research findings.
The Berlin 3 Open Access Meeting: Progress in Implementing the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities will be hosted by the University of Southampton on Monday 28 February and Tuesday 1 March.
The purpose of this meeting, which will include representatives from Europe, the US, India and Pakistan, is to implement the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, which has now been signed by 55 major international research institutes since its launch in Berlin in October 2003, an initiative widely hailed at the time as world-leading.
University of Southampton Professor Stevan Harnad, one of the founders of the OA worldwide movement, comments: 'The Berlin Declaration itself was only an abstract expression of the principle that scholarly and scientific research should be free online to all potential users worldwide. We now need to implement the Declaration so as to make it a practical policy which institutions that have signed can commit to adopting.'
During the two-day event, representatives from some of the world's most prestigious research institutions, including France's CNRS and Germany's Max-Planck Institute, will present their experience of implementing the Berlin Declaration in their organizations. The University of Southampton will be proposing a Unified Open Access Provision Policy, as a practical way to implement the Berlin OA Declaration based on the successful approach it has recently adopted and announced. It will suggest that universities and research institutions worldwide should adopt a policy that all of their published research journal articles (whether in OA or non-OA journals) are deposited - immediately and permanently - in their own institutional OA Archives, freely accessible to all potential users worldwide (rather than just to those whose institutions can afford the access-tolls of the non-OA journals).
The meeting will conclude with a discussion on implementation of the latest Berlin roadmap and a call to new organizations to sign the Declaration.