Open Science

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 access was then formally approved by its Assembly of Members in 2004.

Since 2016, an Open Access Policy offers a clear and predictable framework for the transformation towards open access. According to this policy, all publications by scientists in the Helmholtz Association will be made freely available within at most 6 months (12 months for publications in the social sciences and humanities).

Since 2013, a corresponding regulation is ensuring that beneficiaries of the Helmholtz Initiative and Networking Fund make their publications freely available to the public on the internet. In 2016 the Helmholtz Association published a position paoer on the management of research data.

The Helmholtz Open Science Coordination Office

Since 2005 the Helmholtz Open Science Coordination Office supports the scientists as well as the respective Helmholtz Centres in the realisation of open science. The Helmholtz Open Science Newsletter and the Helmholtz Open Science Workshops are only two examples of how the Helmholtz Open Science Coordination Office informs and advises employees about new developments, strategies, and ideas.

One example of the successful work 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 Helmholtz Centers.

Open access to research data will 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.

Position paper on the management of research data in the Helmholtz Association

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 Coordination Office:

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