Open Access - what?
You have come across the term "Open Access" but didn' know what to make of it? What on earth is the Berlin Declaration about? What stance does the scientific community adopt on Open Access, what the institutions of the Helmholtz Association? Does Open Access take away with the peer review process‡? Please read on. More information on Open Access at HZB is given on our internal page.
Well, you may want to read on, on the site of the Helmholtz Open Access Projects or on the site of open-access.net which, at this time, is still mostly in German. We can't be better here on this page.
Here is just one thing that may get you interested. From the Berlin Declaration: Open Access means that literature should be publicly accessible on the internet for free, […] without financial, technical or legal barriers.
You got it right? It is about literature, your own literature, this should be accessible, with quality control in place and in a durable electronic format, without any barriers except for those which are inherent in using the internet. Notably should your work be accessible for any scientist in the unfortunate case that his library has to discontinue subscriptions of certain journals, be they print journals or electronic journals. Accordigly it is all about access to your work and about citation of your work. It is about you!
Green open access by law: §38(4) UrhG
With the latest amendment to the german copyright law in 2014, a non-excludable republication rights for authors, was introduced in Section 38 of the German Copyright Act (§38 UrhG). It allows them to make publicly available journal articles one year after publication in the adopted version only (not in the publishing house version). This is a form of green open access. For example, the HZB repository is available for republication.
The right belongs to the authors. By the publishing order of the HZB the HZB also obtained this right of use. Therefore, the HZB calls upon all authors to deposit corresponding versions in PASTA. It is not permitted to use the publishing versions of this article.
Around the corner there looms another topic, i.e. free access to research data. There is talk about what access is worthwhile and feasible. There is talk also in our institution. Please join in.
And please stay informed. The Helmholtz Open Access Project issues a Newsletter. It is in German but it covers also developments outside Germany, hence some links are in English. You can get the Newsletter here.
‡ Should you find in yourself a vague idea that the peer review process is linked to commercial journals or that Open Access means government censorship you may have gotten under the influence of a pit bull, see the article in Nature, a commercial journal just in case you doubt it.