Berlin Declaration signed

Dr. Jochen Bihn & Dr. Lothar Nunnenmacher

With the signing of the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities by the directorates of Eawag, Empa, PSI and WSL, all four research institutes in the ETH Domain now support the open access idea. The PSI already signed the Berlin Declaration back in 2006. Recently, the directorates of Eawag, Empa and WSL joined the growing rank of signatories. The Berlin Declaration has been signed by the leaders of more than 400 research institutions and funding agencies worldwide, including the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, the Rectors’ Conference of the Swiss Universities (CRUS) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

Open Access aims at making academic research outputs available on the web with no access fees and free of most copyright restrictions. With their commitment to Open Access the research institutes fulfill their responsibility as public institutions to make their research findings available to the public. Open Access also provides benefits for authors and research institutions by improving the worldwide visibility of research, which in turn can lead to greater number of citations per article, potentially giving research more impact than if it was published in traditional journals.

Eawag and Empa already help their researchers to publish in Open Access journals with a publication fund. As a next important step in the realization of Open Access at the research institutes in the ETH domain, the library Lib4RI is currently building the infrastructure for the «green road» to Open Access. Thereby, scientists will be able to archive duplicates of their published articles in a repository and make them freely available. These institutional repositories for the research institutes are expected to go online this autumn. Further measures and recommendations to promote Open Access at Eawag, Empa, PSI and WSL are being discussed and a joint Open Access policy is envisioned.