Expression of Interest in the Large-scale Implementation of Open Access to Scholarly Journals
Building on the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities and on the progress that has been achieved so far, we are pursuing the large-scale implementation of free online access to, and largely unrestricted use and re-use of scholarly research articles.
We recognize and endorse various ways of implementing open access (OA), including the development of new OA publishing platforms, archives and repositories. In scholarly journal publishing, OA has gained a substantial and increasing volume. Most journals, however, are still based on the subscription business model with its inherent deficiencies in terms of access, cost-efficiency, transparency, and restrictions of use.
To gain the full benefits of OA and enable a smooth, swift and scholarly oriented transition, the existing corpus of scholarly journals should be converted from subscription to open access. Recent developments and studies indicate that this transition process can be realized within the framework of currently available resources.
With this statement, we express our interest in establishing an international initiative for the OA transformation of scholarly journals, and we agree upon the following key aspects:
- We aim to transform a majority of today’s scholarly journals from subscription to OA publishing in accordance with community-specific publication preferences. At the same time, we continue to support new and improved forms of OA publishing.
- We will pursue this transformation process by converting resources currently spent on journal subscriptions into funds to support sustainable OA business models. Accordingly, we intend to re-organize the underlying cash flows, to establish transparency with regard to costs and potential savings, and to adopt mechanisms to avoid undue publication barriers.
- We invite all parties involved in scholarly publishing, in particular universities, research institutions, funders, libraries, and publishers to collaborate on a swift and efficient transition for the benefit of scholarship and society at large.
Specific steps and milestones for the transformation process shall be outlined in a roadmap to be further developed in the course of this initiative. We see the initiative as one element of a more profound evolution of the academic publishing system that will lead to major improvements in scholarly communication and research evaluation.
Berlin Declaration (2003):
Berlin Mission Statement (2013):
MPDL White Paper (2015):