14th Berlin OA conference report

Key outcomes are summarized in a conference report

December 13, 2018
The 14th Berlin Open Access Conference, hosted by the Max Planck Society and organized by the Max Planck Digital Library on behalf of the Open Access 2020 Initiative (OA2020), was held as a summit meeting in which 170 participants from 37 countries discussed strategies to accelerate the transition of scholarly publishing to open access.

Underscoring the theme of this year’s conference, "Aligning strategies to enable open access", the strategic discussions revealed strong consensus among the diverse international communities on the need to intensify their efforts, with the vast majority recognizing greater alignment among themselves and across initiatives, institutions and regions as an essential principle to guide them.

Key outcomes can be summarized in three main points:

  • Alignment among open access initiativves
  • Alignment between research funding organizations and research performing organizations
  • Alignment at global scale among research producing organizations

The Final Conference Statement represents the strong consensus of all of those represented at the meeting.

  • We are all committed to authors retaining their copyrights,
  • We are all committed to complete and immediate open access,
  • We are all committed to accelerating the progress of open access through transformative agreements that are temporary and transitional, with a shift to full open access within a very few years. These agreements should, at least initially, be cost-neutral, with the expectation that economic adjustments will follow as the markets transform.
  • Publishers are expected to work with all members of the global research community to effect complete and immediate open access according to this statement.

Having accepted the invitation of Martin Stratmann, President of the Max Planck Society, Ron Mobed, CEO of Elsevier; Guido Herrmann, Managing Director of John Wiley & Sons; and Daniel Ropers, CEO of Springer Nature, participated in a series of individual "Transformation Colloquy" in which they were asked to respond to the collective demand for transformative agreements based on fair and sustainable terms to all customers to enable the transition on global scale. An international panel, speaking on behalf of all conference participants, posed specific questions to the publisher representatives on the need to accelerate the transition to open access for the benefit of society and the democratization of knowledge, on their ability to meet the requirements of Plan S, on their specific commitment to researchers which cannot prescind from complete and immediate open access, on their readiness and willingness to partner with the global research community on transformative agreements which could viably achieve open access on a large-scale within just a few years.

The full conference report is available on the conference website.

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