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Developing the Berlin Open Access strategy into the Berlin Open Research strategy

The Berlin Open Access strategy was passed by the Berlin Senate in October 2015 and by the Berlin House of Representatives in December 2015. The strategy aims to have all scientific publications, research data and cultural (heritage) data published open access, to allow wide reusability.

One of the goals was that by 2020, 60% of scientific journal articles (published by scientific institutions in the State of Berlin) should be published open access. From 2013 until 2020, the Berlin university libraries and the Open-Access-Büro Berlin monitored the open access status of published journal articles. In 2020, 63.6% of scientific journal articles from the nine publish-strongest Berlin scientific institutions were published open access, which meant the goal was exceeded. The report is available here (in German, with a summary in English).

Another goal is to significantly increase the proportion of Open Access monographs and Open Access anthologies.

Guided by national and international OA strategies, the State of Berlin is also committed to openly available and re-usable research data. The digitization of Berlin’s cultural heritage, which already started before the Open Access strategy was implemented, will be continued and expanded. The State of Berlin continues to advocate for increased usability of openly accessible cultural (heritage) data.

The Berlin Open Access Strategy includes several comprehensive courses of action. In addition to the establishment of the Open-Access-Büro in 2016, these include: strengthening existing Open Access stakeholder groups and providing support in designing framework conditions. At state level, the goal is to embed Open Access in university contracts and to promote Open Access as an indicator for the performance-based allocation of funding. Open Access publications should also be included as relevant criteria in research institute evaluations and in recruitment and appointment procedures. Beyond embedding these framework conditions, the development of research infrastructures should also be pushed with state support: This should ensure long-term digital availability of publications, including access to research and cultural data.

The strategy is implemented in close collaboration with all involved institutions, coordinated by the Open-Access-Büro Berlin. Implementation is also supported by additional stakeholder groups and multiple events

Developing the Open Access strategy into an Open Research strategy

Over the last years, Open Research (opening up all steps of the scientific process), has become increasingly important and relevant Open Access topics are discussed at an international level. To address these developments, the Open-Access-Büro Berlin has developed a “Recommendation for a State Initiative Open Research Berlin” in 2020. The recommendation has been developed in collaboration with the Berlin Open Access Strategy working group, headed by the State Secretary for Science and Research, Steffen Krach (until 2021), and the Executive Director of the University Library of Freie Universität Berlin, Dr. Andreas Brandtner. It promotes further development of the successful Open Access strategy to strengthen Open Research at all scientific and cultural institutions in the State of Berlin.

The recommendation proposes a long-term, cross-institutional "Open Research Berlin State initiative". It will promote and increase existing Open Research activities and initiatives at Berlin institutions, increase their visibility, and support Berlin institutions in addressing challenges towards Open Research.

The recommendation addresses various topics that are key to Open Research. These include: recognizing Open Research practices in the context of recruitment, appointment and job evaluation procedures, sustainability and long-term outlook, and the values associated with openness in science. The recommendation’s first draft expands on the Open Access strategy and proposes practical steps to accelerate Open Research implementation in Berlin:

  • Development of an Open Research strategy for the state of Berlin

  • Embedding Open Research into Berlin’s law on higher education institutions

  • Development of Infrastructure, Training and Services at state institutions (collaboratively), specifically for Research Data Management

  • Supporting the Open Access and Open Research transformation by providing funding within the framework of higher education institutional contracts

  • Developing the Open-Access-Büro Berlin into a coordination office for Open Research Berlin

In 2021, Open Research was included in the Berlin law for higher education institutions. It was decided that the Berlin Open Research Strategy should be developed in close collaboration with Berlin's scientific and cultural state institutions. The basic principles and values, and fields of action should be composed under participatory and transparent conditions. The development of the recommendation was coordinated by OABB’s Berlin Open Research project.

You can find a short version of the recommendation in this blog post (in German).

To initiate the development of the Open Research strategy, the Berlin Senate temporarily funded one additional FTE at the Open-Access-Büro Berlin in 2023. The OABB initiated strategy development in November 2022 and since then, all Berlin higher education institutions and several cultural heritage institutions were visited. In 2023, several events were organized to discuss the Berlin Open Research strategy. Based on these - and other - discussions, a report on Open Access and Open Research in Berlin is currently (November 2023) being prepared. This report will be the foundation for the Berlin 2030 Open Research strategy.

The OABB continuously publishes reports on its activities on the Open Access Blog Berlin (in German).