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The â€śBerlin Processâ€ť is the name given to the tradition of inviting the signatories of the Berlin Declaration and the scientific public to an annual conference on Open Access.
The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities dating from 22 October 2003 is one of the milestones in the Open Access Movement. Indeed, it is still the benchmark for the future approach to research literature and data.
The declaration was initiated by the Max Planck Society. It is the result of a Conference on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, where it was signed by Germanyâ€™s largest scientific organisations and leading international research and cultural institutions. The list of signatories from all over the world has grown continually ever since.
The declaration was written in English. The wording of the English version shall prevail. The declaration is currently available in the following languages: : Arabic, Chinesisch (simplified), (traditional), English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
The main concern of the signatories is to promote scientific discussion and make it accessible to the broader public through the consistent use of the ever-expanding possibilities offered by electronic communication. The definition contained in the Berlin Declaration of the content that should be published under the principles of Open Access is correspondingly wide:
Open access contributions include original scientific research results, raw data and metadata, source materials, digital representations of pictorial and graphical materials and scholarly multimedia material.
In this context, scientists from signatory institutions are called upon to publish their work so that it is permanently accessible to all individuals, free of cost. Accordingly, cultural institutions are encouraged to make their collections digitally available to the public. This is a way of making mankindâ€™s cultural legacy, including the latest research findings, available to all, free of charge and in digital form.
In an ongoing process, the signatories endeavour to identify solutions to the dominant problems such as quality assurance and the acceptance of Open Access publications. The Berlin Follow-up Conferences arose out of these efforts.