Press Release (May 2007)
Information platform open-access.net now online!
Open-access.net, an online information platform on open access issues is going online now. The Universities of Bielefeld, Goettingen, Constance and the Free University of Berlin jointly operate the platform and have received funding from the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG). The platform intends to inform on the growing scientific and political significance of open access issues. At the German E-Science Conference 2007 hold on 2 May 2007 in Baden-Baden the online information platform will be launched to the public for the first time.
The new platform enables not only scientists to gain comprehensive information about open access. Open access literature is defined as free of charge for users providing online access to digital scholarly material worldwide. Since the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities in 2003 open access has gained increasing significance within the academic world. Various academic institutions, research funding agencies as well as a growing number of universities have already signed the Berlin Declaration. Accordingly, the German Research Foundation (DFG) encourages scientists to provide an open access version of the research it has funded. The publications are either to be deposited in discipline-related or institutional electronic archives (repositories) following conventional publication, or to be published in a recognised peer-reviewed open access journal. Meanwhile, the advantages of worldwide free and unrestricted access to scientific research are beyond controversy. For researchers, using open access maximises their research impact, increases their visibility and raises their reputation. Users are benefiting from open access as well: They can access relevant information on the Web worldwide at any time.
Open-access.net is the first online platform providing information on open access in German language. Since 2006 the platform has been funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) supporting scientists and research institutions to implement open access in practice. Open-access.net offers information on publishing strategies, costs and legal aspects. Additionally, it presents convincing arguments for the use of open access not only for researchers but also for research institutions, universities, professional associations, libraries and publishing houses.
The Universities of Bielefeld, Goettingen, Constance and the Free University of Berlin who belong to the pioneers of the open access movement in Germany jointly operate the platform open-access.net. It is also supported by the German Rectors' Conference, the Volkswagen Foundation and the German Initiative for Networked Information (Deutsche Initiative für Netzwerkinformation e. V., DINI). Moreover, the Helmholtz Association (Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft) and the Max Planck Society (Max-Planck-Gesellschaft) provide additional information on their open access policies. An academic advisory council will regularly evaluate the platform to meet the needs of researchers.
Open-access.net starts to offer a broad variety of information materials and practical assistance. However, discipline-related information pages are still under construction. As a result, specific information on open access is currently not available for every discipline. But all users are explicitly invited to contribute to the platform by submitting additional news, information and suggestions. Therefore, the category ?News? will present submitted contributions and information on new developments concerning open access that can be subscribed via RSS-feed. Additionally, a moderated mailing list will provide an opportunity to discuss open access issues.
Website platform: www.open-access.net
Dr. Norbert Lossau (Director of the State and University Library Goettingen)
Anja Kersting (Library of the University of Konstanz)
Rubina Vock (Center for Digital Systems, Free University of Berlin)
Thanks to Friederike Glaab (translation)