The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge
in the Sciences and Humanities
and the Berlin 9 Open Access Conference

The history of the Berlin Declaration

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. Learn more

The Berlin Open Access Conference Series

In order to support continued adoption of the principles outlined in the Berlin Declaration, as well to track progress on their implementation, the original signatories agreed to support regular follow-up meetings.  As a result, Berlin Open Access conferences have been convened annually since 2004.  The conference series now takes place in locations around the world; to date Germany, Switzerland, England, Italy, France, and – most recently – China – have hosted this prestigious gathering. 

The upcoming Berlin 9 Open Access Conference will mark the first such meeting to take place in North America. The meeting will be held at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Washington, D.C. on November 9 & 10, and is currently being organized by representatives from groups representing stakeholders in the science, humanities, research, funding and policy communities.

The Berlin 9 Conference program will examine the impact that Open Access can have in advancing the conduct and communication of research and scholarship, with a particular focus on the impact this can have on the public. The program will also feature concrete steps taken by a wide range of institutions to support Open Access, and provide an opportunity to consider additional actions that might be taken – including encouraging institutional sign-on to the Berlin Declaration.  The Conference is an international forum, and this year’s location provides a unique opportunity for U.S. and Canadian organizations to fully participate in shaping the program and ensure a lively, inclusive, and productive conference. Learn more


Berlin 9 is being organized by representatives from the science, humanities, research, funding and policy communities. Learn more about the coalition behind the meeting.

Learn about how your institution can sign the Berlin Declaration.

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November 9-10, 2011 - Washington, DC - Pre-and Post-Conferences planned

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Jennifer McLennan

(202) 296-2296 ext. 121
jennifer [at] arl [dot] org
Washington, DC

Christoph Bruch

The Max Planck Society
+ 49 (30) 84 13 37 27
bruch [at] mpdl [dot] mpg [dot] de

Andrea Early

Marine Biological Laboratory
(508) 289-7652
aearly [at] mbl [dot] edu
Woods Hole, ME