Final Statement of the 16th Berlin OA conference
Strong consensus of all delegations present at the B16 conference.
Building from the foundational call for full and immediate open access, cost-neutrality and transparency, voiced during the 14th Berlin Open Access conference, the B16 Final Statement is an expression of consensus around newly calibrated objectives for transformative open access negotiations with scholarly publishers.
16th Berlin Open Access Conference
Delegations of research performing and research funding organizations from 38 nations and six continents, including ministries of education and research, funders, university and research leadership, libraries and national-level library consortia, scientists and scholars, gathered at the 16th Berlin Open Access Conference, held 6-7 June 2023 in Berlin.
The statement that follows represents the strong consensus of all delegations present at the meeting.
The global open access transition must advance at a far greater pace.
Through its open access negotiations, research communities in all continents are making research outcomes more visible and accessible at no cost to readers or authors, for the benefit of all but want to move faster. Publishers must offer transformative and transitional open access agreements to all as the default and work at pace and scale to effect a full, rapid and permanent transition away from paywalled access to research results.
Inequity is incompatible with scholarly publishing.
Progress in removing subscription paywalls must not risk creating barriers to participation in open science and scholarship. The open access transition must be truly inclusive and reflect the plurality of research disciplines, topics, languages, and outputs. Differentiated regional pricing (geopricing) of open access publishing services, that reflect the cultural, policy and financial positions of all communities, is in the interests of the entire global research community and supports the goals of scholarship. One size fits all open access publishing models based on high publishing charges are inequitable. Pricing for publishing services must be globally fair, transparent, affordable and sustainable.
Academic self-governance is an imperative in scholarly publishing.
Quality assurance in the process of scientific peer review must be clearly separated from the processes associated with the provision of publishing services to prevent practices that lower standards in order to increase publisher revenue. Editorial independence must be guaranteed.
Author choice and author rights must be fully enabled.
We strongly support retention of copyright and all rights therein by authors. Open access agreements with publishers should stipulate that authors only grant “limited” or “non-exclusive” licenses to publishers, and liberal Creative Commons (CC) licenses (e.g., CC BY) should be applied as the default choice. In keeping with the spirit and goals of open access, more restrictive CC licenses (e.g., CC BY-NC, CC BY-ND, and CC BY-NC-ND) should function as originally intended, in respect of the author’s disciplinary needs; consequently, author “license to publish” agreements should not limit the author’s rights in any way. The author’s choice of license should not affect the price of publication services.
Publishers can restore our trust in their commitment to the integrity of scholarly communication by working with all members of the global research community to effect complete and immediate open access according to points stated above.