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Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge

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

The Internet has fundamentally changed the practical and 
economic realities 
of distributing scientific knowledge and cultural 
heritage. For the first 
time ever, the Internet now offers the chance to 
constitute a global and 
interactive representation of human knowledge, including 
cultural heritage 
and the guarantee of worldwide access.
We, the undersigned, feel obliged to address the 
challenges of the Internet 
as an emerging functional medium for distributing 
knowledge. Obviously, 
these developments will be able to significantly modify 
the nature of 
scientific publishing as well as the existing system of 
quality assurance.
In accordance with the spirit of the Declaration of the 
Budapest Open Acess 
Initiative, the ECHO Charter and the Bethesda Statement 
on Open Access 
Publishing, we have drafted the Berlin Declaration to 
promote the Internet 
as a functional instrument for a global scientific 
knowledge base and human 
reflection and to specify measures which research policy 
makers, research 
institutions, funding agencies, libraries, archives and 
museums need to 

Our mission of disseminating knowledge is only half 
complete if the 
information is not made widely and readily available to 
society. New 
possibilities of knowledge dissemination not only 
through the classical 
form but also and increasingly through the open access 
paradigm via the 
Internet have to be supported. We define open access as 
a comprehensive 
source of human knowledge and cultural heritage that has 
been approved by 
the scientific community.
In order to realize the vision of a global and 
accessible representation of 
knowledge, the future Web has to be sustainable, 
interactive, and 
transparent. Content and software tools must be openly 
accessible and 

Definition of an Open Access Contribution
Establishing open access as a worthwhile procedure 
ideally requires the 
active commitment of each and every individual producer 
of scientific 
knowledge and holder of cultural heritage. Open access 
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 
well-established organization that seeks to enable open 
unrestricted distribution, inter operability, and long-
term archiving.

Supporting the Transition to the Electronic Open Access 
Our organizations are interested in the further 
promotion of the new open 
access paradigm to gain the most benefit for science and 
Therefore, we intend to make progress by
    * encouraging our researchers/grant recipients to 
publish their work 
according to the principles of the open access paradigm.
    * encouraging the holders of cultural heritage to 
support open access 
by providing their resources on the Internet.
    * developing means and ways to evaluate open access 
contributions and 
online-journals in order to maintain the standards of 
quality assurance and 
good scientific practice.
    * advocating that open access publication be 
recognized in promotion 
and tenure evaluation.
    * advocating the intrinsic merit of contributions to 
an open access 
infrastructure by software tool development, content 
provision, metadata 
creation, or the publication of individual articles.
We realize that the process of moving to open access 
changes the 
dissemination of knowledge with respect to legal and 
financial aspects. Our 
organizations aim to find solutions that support further 
development of the 
existing legal and financial frameworks in order to 
facilitate optimal use 
and access. 

<{HYPERLINK "http://www.zim.mpg.de/openaccess-

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