News & Media

International Berlin 9 conference on Open Access to be held Nov. 9-10

For immediate release
October 31, 2011

Washington, DC – Leaders from science, humanities, research, funding, and policy communities will gather for the Berlin conference on November 9 and 10. This ninth installment in the prestigious international series will be the first to be held in North America. It is designed to address the unique considerations of the North-American community in exploring the transformative impact that open, online access to research can have on scholarship, scientific discovery, and the translation of resulting benefits to the public.

Set to take place at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Chevy Chase, Maryland, the event will focus on six key topics:

  • The Worldwide Policy Environment
  • Transforming Research through Open Online Access to Discovery Inputs and Outputs
  • Creation of Innovative New Opportunities for Scholarship and Business
  • The Impact of Open Access and Open Repositories on Research in the Humanities
  • Open Education: Linking Learning and Research through Open Access
  • Public Interaction: the Range and Power of Open Access for Business, Citizen Science, and Patients

Pre-conferences on November 8 will examine open-access publishing, institutional open-access policy development, and open-access infrastructure. Speakers slated to present during the three-day event include:

  • Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University
  •  Jean-François Dechamp, Policy Officer, European Commission, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation
  • Stephen Friend, President, Sage Bionetworks
  • Chad Gaffield, President, Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
  • Elliot Maxwell, Digital Connections Council Project Director, Committee for Economic Development
  • Cyril Muller, Vice President for External Relations, the World Bank
  • Hal Plotkin, Senior Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Education
  • Bernard Rentier, President, Université de Liege
  • Bernard Schutz, Director, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics
  • Caroline Sutton, President, Open Access Scholarly Publishers’ Association
  • Robert Tijan, President of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • Harold Varmus, Director of the U.S. National Cancer Institute and Nobel prize-winner 

Berlin 9 will be a rallying point for the growing number of leading institutions that have signed The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, issued in 2003. Its goal is to make scientific and scholarly research more accessible to the broader public by taking full advantage of the possibilities offered by digital electronic communication. Signatories support actions that ensure the future Web is sustainable, interactive, and transparent, and that content is openly accessible, in order to realize the vision of a global and accessible representation of knowledge.

Leaders of more than 300 research institutions, libraries, archives, museums, funding agencies, and governments from around the world have signed the Declaration. Signatories include CERN, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Academia Europaea, the Wikimedia Foundation, and Science Commons, among others. Further North American signatories to the Declaration have joined in number in 2011 and will be announced at the conference-wide dinner, November 9.

The Berlin 9 Conference is organized by representatives from the science, humanities, research, funding and policy communities, including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Marine Biological Laboratory, the Max Planck Society, Association of Research Libraries, and SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition).

Full details on the meeting are available at Registration for the conference is full, but representatives of the media are invited to contact Jennifer McLennan at SPARC for details on attending or interviewing speakers and participants.

For more information, contact:

-- Jennifer McLennan, SPARC, (202) 296-2296 ext. 121, jennifer [at] arl [dot] org
-- Christoph Bruch, Max Planck Society, +49 (30) 84 13 37 27, bruch [at] mpdl [dot] mpg [dot] de
-- Avice Meehan, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, (301) 215-8646, meehana [at] hhmi [dot] org
-- Prudence S. Adler, Association of Research Libraries, (202) 296-2296, prue [at] arl [dot] org
-- Andrea Early, Marine Biological Laboratory, (508) 289-7652, aearly [at] mbl [dot] edu


The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, issued in 2003 by international research, scientific, and cultural institutions, promotes the Internet as a medium for disseminating global knowledge. It has been signed by the leaders of over 300 research institutions, libraries, archives, museums, funding agencies, and governments from around the world.

The Berlin Open Access Conference Series supports the continued adoption and realization of the principles of the declaration and has been hosted in Germany, Switzerland, England, Italy, France, and – most recently – China. Berlin 9 will mark the first such meeting to take place in North America.

For more information about the conference and the Berlin Declaration, visit

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Jennifer McLennan

(202) 29602296 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 Laborator
(508) 289-7652
aearly [at] mbl [dot] edu
Woods Hole, ME