open_access_tage_hamburgJust two weeks before the 7th international Open Access Week and ten years after the Berlin Open Access Declaration, the German Open Acces Days 2013 took place in Hamburg.

On 1st & 2nd October 2013 the german speaking Open Access Community came together to discuss about and promote Open Access (OA) as a new norm in scholarship and research communication. The discussions have been broad but focused mainly on the institutional basis.

The following ten aspects of the German Open Access Days 2013 attracted my interests:

  1. The merger between Research Information Systems and Open Access Repository are wise and can be an important push for openness in science (and therefore OA). It has to be really simple for scientists and other stakeholders to open up and publish information about their research.
  2. The funding associations have to oblige scientists and research institutions to publish Open Access in order to receive funding. Unfortunately, the German Society for Research (DFG) “will not be able to do so soon” – due to political and institutional issues.
  3. There are significant differences between the scientific disciplines with respect to researchers’ awareness of and experience with both Open Access and self-archiving.
  4. The Open Access community should encourage the government to launch a National Open Access Statement, as was the case in Ireland.
  5. Lambert Heller demanded of the conference guests to find the “cyberscientists” in their institutions, associations, or decision bodies. They “usually like to play” and might be a good ressource to get digital transition problems solved.
  6. There is no point in having a fight about digitisation between universities’ IT centres, the help desk and the library.
  7. The university library of the future should not just refund APCs, but also fund the operation and the establishment of journals and platforms for Open Access. It should also see itself as an Open Acces Service institution.
  8. Most universities have repositories and most journals endorse deposit, but so far too few universities mandate the use of repositories. This has to change!
  9. Scientists have to realize that they should keep the rights to their work in the public domain. And “Open” is not always Open: all stakeholders have to be aware of rights aspects and the definition of open.
  10. We should confront the students and early stage researchers with the idea of Open Access (like in discussions with leading figures in the Open Access movement). We need to appeal to older researchers to not just accept the actual system and not just think about reputation but about alternative metrics, dissemination and advantages of open access publishing. We all need more (persuasion) activities and less talking. The shift to Open Access must come from the scientific community…

This event was hosted by the beautiful Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg and the ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft. The German Open Access Days 2014 take place from 8th to 9th September 2014 in Cologne.

Christian Heise


Research Associate at the Hybrid Publishing Lab and Member of Board of the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany, currently working on his Ph.D thesis about Open Science. More about me...

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