The Berlin Declaration on Open Access
In 2003, a landmark meeting organized by the Max Planck Society and the European Cultural Heritage Online project brought together international experts with the aim of developing a new web-based research environment using the Open Access paradigm as a mechanism for having scientific knowledge and cultural heritage accessible worldwide.
As a result of the meeting, leading international research, scientific, and cultural institutions issued and signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, a document that outlines concrete steps to promote the Internet as a medium for disseminating global knowledge.
The Berlin Declaration builds on the widely accepted Budapest Open Access Initiative, which calls for the results of research produced by authors without expectation of payment to be made widely available on the Internet, and to carry permissions necessary for users to use and re-use results in a way that accelerates the pace of scholarship and research.
The Declaration has been signed by nearly 300 research institutions, libraries, archives, museums, funding agencies, and governments from around the world. The geographic and disciplinary diversity of the support for the Berlin Declaration is illustrated by the signatories, which range from the leaders of the Max Plank Society to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, to Academia Europaea. Most recently, both Harvard University and the International Federation of Library Associations added their names to the roster of signatories.
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