For free and for everyone – scientific knowledge gained at universities and research institutions should be freely available for the general and scientific public to read and use. This is the basic idea behind Open Access. So far, however, the subscription costs for scientific journals are usually high, and even those who only want to read a single article online often have to dig deep into their pockets. Since 2016, German science organisations have been negotiating contracts with the major science publishers to make the entire portfolio of electronic journals freely accessible. There would only be one-off costs for the publication, but not for access to the published information.
To implement this concept nationally, the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany has established a National Open Access Contact Point (OA2020-DE) as part of the Digital Information 2017 priority initiative. The contact point is jointly managed by Bielefeld University Library and the Central Library of Forschungszentrum Jülich. Here, Jülich is mainly responsible for data collection and bibliometrics, which measure the influence of publications, for example. The project is being funded by the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany for three years. OA2020-DE is the central contact point for universities and non-university research institutions, for example to discuss transition models to Open Access, and acts as a link to the global OA2020 community. Among other things, Open Access financing models and negotiation strategies with publishers are being developed.
As part of the Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation, the Helmholtz Association has set itself the goal of making 60 per cent of its publications of the publication year 2019 accessible through Open Access by the end of 2020. The publications of 2023 are to be 100 per cent freely available. “With Open Access, scientific results could be disseminated much faster,” explains Dr. Bernhard Mittermaier, head of the Central Library of Forschungszentrum Jülich. “This improves transparency and quality assurance in science at the same time.”
PHOTOS: Forschungszentrum Jülich, Forschungszentrum Jülich/Amunts, Zilles, Axer et al.