13 Oktober 2016, No. 26/2016

The Open Access Strategy of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Joint statement of the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany

The Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany welcomes and supports the aim of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research to establish open access as the standard for scholarly publishing in Germany. Large portions of the science community practice open access which institutions belonging to the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany use as an instrument to improve the dissemination, visibility and application of research findings. In this context, the Ministry’s Open Access Strategy augments and flanks numerous ongoing initiatives in the German science system. It will help efforts to reach the targets that the ministers of the EU’s Competitiveness Council agreed upon in May 2016.

Open access has positive effects for all disciplines. Progress in implementing open access however varies from field to field. For this reason the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany advocates taking a differentiated view of the needs and traditions in the cultures of the individual disciplines. It also endorses the announcement regarding specifically supporting open access for monographs as well.

The institutions belonging to the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany already offer their scientists a wide range of support services for gold open access publications and green open access publications. In addition, it is of fundamental importance for the implementation of open access in Germany that the coordination, networking, expansion and continuation of established services, information platforms and infrastructures be pushed forward on a coordinated basis at federal and state  level as well in future.

From the science organisations’ perspective, efficient coordination and the greatest possible coherence of the rules and regulations at all levels of science policy, from the federal level to the state  level all the way to the individual university, are extremely important. It must be easy and straightforward for scientists to publish in open access with legal certainty and in keeping with the culture of the respective discipline.

Open access should as a whole be anchored in research financing in such a way that ensuring high quality standards and maximum cost transparency has top priority. The aim of the international OA2020 initiative that German scientific institutions support is the broad transformation of subscription periodicals in open access. The continuous and comprehensive monitoring of funding sources and expenditure for scientific information, and the implementation of open access in Germany as announced in the Open Access Strategy of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research can make an important contribution to modelling and implementing this transformation. These monitoring activities should compile performance indicators that can be easily compared at international level. This would make it possible to portray financial flows transparently and comprehensibly, and promote competition in a future open access publications market.

Contact for the media

Caroline Wichmann
Head of Department, Press and Public Relations
German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
Tel.: +49 345 472 39-800
Fax: +49 345 472 39-809
caroline.wichmann(at)leopoldina.org

 

The Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany addresses matters relating to research policy and funding and the structural development of the German science system. Members of the Alliance include the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, the German Rectors’ Conference, the Max Planck Society, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat). The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina is chairing the Alliance in 2016.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Every year, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation enables more than 2,000 researchers from all over the world to spend time researching in Germany. The Foundation maintains a network of well over 27,000 Humboldtians from all disciplines in more than 140 countries worldwide – including 54 Nobel Prize winners.

Contact

Georg Scholl
Head of
Press, Communications and Marketing
Tel.: +49 228 833-258
Fax: +49 228 833-441
presse(at)avh.de

Caroline Wichmann
German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
Head of Department, Press and Public Relations
Tel.: +49 345 472 39-800
Fax: +49 345 472 39-809
caroline.wichmann(at)leopoldina.org