Open Science, the unrestricted access to scientific publications (Open Access), scientific data and software, is an ongoing and future trend in the scientific landscape worldwide. Research publications and other digital objects such as research data will thus be publicly available on the internet.
The Helmholtz Association was one of the initial signatories of the “Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities” in 2003. This commitment towards Open Science was then formally approved on by its Assembly of Members (assembly of the directors of the Helmholtz Centres): ”Publications from the Helmholtz Association shall in future, without exception, be available free of charge, in so far no conflicting Agreement with the publishers or others exists.” (Agreement of the Assembly of Members, 27.09.2004).
An Open Access Policy of the Helmholtz Association is ensuring that publications originating from funded projects will be made freely available to the public on the internet.
The Helmholtz Open Science Coordination Office
Since 2005 the Helmholtz Open Science Project supports the scientists as well as the respective Helmholtz Centres in the realisation of Open Science. The project´s Newsletter and the Helmholtz Open Science Workshops are only two examples of how the project informs and advises employees about new developments, strategies, and ideas.
One example of the project’s success is that most Helmholtz Centres now run institutional repositories. These open accessible databases contain a significant and steadily growing share of the scientific output of the Helmholtz Association.
Regularly organised workshops support the establishment of a Helmholtz Open Science community. This community includes dedicated scientists who act as editors and/or members of the Review Board of Open Access Journals and who, in addition, continue to develop the idea of Open Science in their individual Research Centres.
The open access to research data will in the future be an indispensable part of scientific culture and will generate a considerable added value to science. Even today, “data sharing” already has a high relevance for the many Centres within the Helmholtz Association. A growing number of data centres with open access - including three of a total of four ICSU-World Data Centres in Germany - are run by Helmholtz Centres. Helmholtz scientists are actively involved in national and international initiatives related to open data.
If you would like to know more
You will find more information e.g. on the advantages of Open Science and on current project activities, on the website of the Helmholtz Open Science Project: http://oa.helmholtz.de/