EADI Dossier on Open Access

This online dossier on open access aims to give information on the publication of scientific material on the internet. Based on the assumption, that research must be widely disseminated and read to have and impact, the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2001 developed a definition of Open Access. The Berlin Declaration on Open Access of 2003 supports this initiative.

Definition of Open Access

Establishing open access as a worthwhile procedure ideally requires the active commitment of each and every individual producer of scientific knowledge and holder of cultural heritage. Open access contributions include original scientific research results, raw data and metadata, source materials, digital representations of pictorial and graphical materials and scholarly multimedia material. Open access contributions must satisfy two conditions:

1. The author(s) and right holder(s) of such contributions grant(s) to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship (community standards will continue to provide the mechanism for enforcement of proper attribution and responsible use of the published work, as they do now), as well as the right to make small numbers of printed copies for their personal use.
2. A complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy of the permission as stated above, in an appropriate standard electronic format is deposited (and thus published) in at least one online repository using suitable technical standards (such as the Open Archive definitions) that is supported and maintained by an academic institution, scholarly society, government agency, or other well-established organization that seeks to enable open access, unrestricted distribution, inter operability, and long-term archiving.
Taken from the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities


2001: 34,000 scholars around the world signed "An Open Letter to Scientific Publishers", calling for "the establishment of an online public library that would provide the full contents of the published record of research and scholarly discourse in medicine and the life sciences in a freely accessible, fully searchable, interlinked form". Scientists signing the letter also pledged not to publish in or peer-review for non-open access journals. This led to the establishment of the Public Library of Science (PLoS).
2002: The Open Society Institute launched the Budapest Open Access Initiative.
2003: The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities was drafted and the World Summit on the Information Society included Open Access in its Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action.
2005: Open Access Follow-up-Conference Berlin 3, Southampton, UK
2006: Open Access Follow-up-Conference Berlin 4, Potsdam-Golm, Germany
2007: Open Access Follow-up-Conference Berlin 5, Padua, Italy

Glossary of terms

Open Access Journals are journals that contain freely available articles, that have passed a peer review process to ensure scientific quality.

Open Access Archives/Repositories are archives that contain Open Access Journals and Open Access Articles and are led by universities or research institutes. Open Access Articles can be available in an Open Access Repository in addition to a publication in a commercial journal.

Open Source means that the software can be used and altered by any user and will profit from the joined knowledge of several users.

Creative Commons is a non-profit corporation that offers license-systems to give the author the opportunity to offer his work online keeping "some rights reserved" instead of "all rights reserved". The licenses are made up of three criteria:

1) naming the original author
2) using the work commercially
3) effecting changes on the work

Copyleft means that the altered version of the work will have the same restrictions as the original, e.g. considering commercial use.

Self-Archiving is the expression for the online provision of works by the author himself. This does not request any peer review process or quality check.

Electronic preprints are drafts that are put online before having been published commercially. Often authors that provide preprints online welcome feedback on their work or even changes.

Electronic postprints are works that have already been published in a commercial journal but are now additionnally published according to the Open Access criteria.

The Developing Nations License is a license provided by Creative Commons allowing people from low-income countries, as classified by the World Bank, to have access to the works but leave the original copyright restrictions to users of high-income countries.

News on Open Access

17.11.2010 Signature of Berlin Declaration by EADI

ELDIS dossier: Open Access for development

EADI Newsletter 1-2007 on open access
German platform on open access launched
EU petition on open access
Open access to scientific publishing draws controversy
Scientists push open access for developing nations
Scientific information in the digital age: Ensuring current and future access for research and innovation

EADI events on open access:

June 2008: Interrogating Open Access, Symposium at EADI's 12th General Conference

27-28 September 2007: Annual meeting of the EADI Information Management Working Group, The Hague, The Netherlands
19 April 2007: EADI/UniPID Symposium: Accessing Development Knowledge - Partnership Perspectives, Helsinki, Finland
September 2006: EADI Information Management Working Group Workshop on open access and open archiving

Other events

19 - 21 September 2007: Berlin 5 Open Access. From Practice to Impact: Consequences on Knowledge Dissemination, Padua


SciDev - Science and Development - Views on Open Access
Open access to scientific publishing draws controversy
A plan to make scientific publications freely available to all


Budapest Open Access Initiative
Berlin Declaration on Open Access
Open Access Webliography

Publishers and journals

The International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP)
Directory of Open Access Journals
German Academic Publishers e.V.


EU petition on Open Access
Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA)
Health Inter-Network Access to Research Initiative (HINARI)


The Directory of Open Access Repositories
DRIVER - Digital Repository Infrastructure Vision for European Research
Public Library of Science
Open Archives Initiative (OAISter)
Open Archives Initiative
SHERPA project – UK institutions as part of a worldwide network

Open archives

European Scientific Council Statement on Open Access December 2006 (pdf)
Information platform on Open Access by the German Science Foundation
Research Funders’ Archiving Mandates and Guidelines (Juliet)
ESRC commitment to Open Access

Copyright issues

Creative Commons
Developing Nations License - provided by Creative Commons
Publisher's Copyright Listings (Romeo)

Donor policies

European Scientific Council Statement on Open Access December 2006 (pdf)
Information platform on Open Access by the German Science Foundation
Research Funders’ Archiving Mandates and Guidelines (Juliet)
ESRC commitment to Open Access