Helmholtz in Support of Open-Access Publishing
The free access to scientific information via Open Access is a future-oriented publication strategy officially promoted by the Helmholtz Association already since 2004. In order to allow for the uncomplicated financing of scientific publications in Open Access magazines, the Helmholtz Association supports the "Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity".
Open Access improves the visibility of scientific results and facilitates work in digital research environments, for example, by cross-linking articles and research data. In 2004, the Helmholtz Association was the first of the major science organisations in Germany to pass a recommendation in favour of Open Access publishing and it promotes the transformation of the publishing system towards Open Access with many different measures.
Scientists increasingly decide to publish their results in Open Access magazines. Many of these magazines finance the free access to their content by way of publication fees, which are accepted by the authors' institutions. In the context of their Joint Priority Initiative "Digital Information", launched in 2008, the German science organisations agreed to support the further development of business and funding models in the field of Open Access. The Helmholtz Association intends to render publication in Open Access magazines just as easy for scientists as is traditional publication in conventionally financed magazines. "We want to promote the transition towards a sustained and innovative system of science communication. Open Access is the publication strategy of the future", says Dr Rolf Zettl, Managing Director of the Helmholtz Association.
Together with international science organisations, the centres dedicate themselves to promoting Open Access in the framework of the Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity (COPE). The international initiative COPE was initiated by the Harvard University, the MIT and other US-American universities. In 2001, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) was the first German research institution to attach its signature to COPE. Already, funding organisations such as the German Research Foundation and the European Commission allocate funds for financing Open Access publications. Corresponding to these examples, the centres strive to establish mechanisms for accepting appropriate Open Access publication fees. Central protagonists here are the libraries of the Helmholtz centres, which provide authors with information regarding the practice employed at the respective research centre. Accompanied by the Helmholtz Open Access project, the centres thus accept the challenges of open and free access to scientific information.