Berlin Declaration on open access released. The long-awaited Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities was released today by the Max-Planck Society, European Cultural Heritage Online (ECHO), and the participants in the conference on
Open Access to the Data and Results of the Sciences and Humanities (Berlin, October 20-22, 2003). The signatories include representatives of the major scientific and scholarly societies in France and Germany. Institutions that did not participate in the drafting may still sign it by contacting Dr. Stefan Echinger.
Excerpt: “The Internet has fundamentally changed the practical and economic realities of distributing scientific knowledge and cultural heritage. For the first time ever, the Internet now offers the chance to constitute a global and interactive representation of human knowledge, including cultural heritage and the guarantee of worldwide access….Our mission of disseminating knowledge is only half complete if the information is not made widely and readily available to society. New possibilities of knowledge dissemination not only through the classical form but also and increasingly through the open access paradigm via the Internet have to be supported.”