Thursday, October 23, 2003

The Max Planck Society this week issued "The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities." Extract:

"The Internet has fundamentally changed the practical and economic realities of distributing scientific knowledge and cultural heritage. For the first time ever, the Internet now offers the chance to constitute a global and interactive representation of human knowledge, including cultural heritage and the guarantee of worldwide access.

We, the undersigned, feel obliged to address the challenges of the Internet
as an emerging functional medium for distributing knowledge. Obviously,
these developments will be able to significantly modify the nature of
scientific publishing as well as the existing system of quality assurance.

In accordance with the spirit of the Declaration of the Budapest Open
Acess Initiative, the ECHO Charter and the Bethesda Statement on Open
Access Publishing, we have drafted the Berlin Declaration to promote the
Internet as a functional instrument for a global scientific knowledge base and
human reflection and to specify measures which research policy makers,
research institutions, funding agencies, libraries, archives and museums need
to consider.


Our mission of disseminating knowledge is only half complete if the
information is not made widely and readily available to society. New
possibilities of knowledge dissemination not only through the classical form
but also and increasingly through the open access paradigm via the Internet
have to be supported. We define open access as a comprehensive source
of human knowledge and cultural heritage that has been approved by the
scientific community.

In order to realize the vision of a global and accessible representation of
knowledge, the future Web has to be sustainable, interactive, and
transparent. Content and software tools must be openly accessible and

Very noble.

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