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Helmholtz Association supports open-access publishing

Open access, the free access to scientific information, is an advanced publication strategy that has been officially promoted by the Helmholtz Association since 2004. To facilitate straightforward funding of scientific publications in open-access journals, the Helmholtz Association is now supporting the Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity (COPE).

Open access improves the public perception of research results and facilitates working in digital research environments. In 2004, the Helmholtz Association was the first of the large German research organisations to approve recommendations for open-access publishing and is supporting the transformation of scientific publishing towards open access in many ways. Scientists of the Helmholtz Association are increasingly publishing in open-access journals. These journals are often financing free access to their content by publication fees that are covered by the authors' research institutions.

The research centres of the Helmholtz Association have now declared their support of the Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity (COPE) and their willingness to establish sustainable mechanisms for the payment of reasonable open-access publishing fees. It is of primary concern to the Helmholtz Association that publishing in open-access journals will be as easy for its scientists as in journals with conventional financing. "We would like to press ahead with the change towards a sustainable and innovative system of scholarly communication. Open access is the publication strategy of the future", says Dr. Rolf Zettl, managing director of the Helmholtz Association.

The international initiative COPE has been started by Harvard University, the MIT and other leading US universities to advance open-access publishing. In October 2011, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has been the first research institution in Germany to sign COPE. The setting-up of a publication fund to finance open-access publishing fees at KIT is an example for the open-access activities of the Helmholtz Centres. With the support of the Helmholtz Open Access Project, the research centres have already entered several open-access contracts with international scientific publishers.

Contact for open access: Heinz Pampel Helmholtz Open Access Project Tel.: +49 (0) 331 288-1948 <open-access@helmholtz.de>

Further information: <http://www.oacompact.org>

The Helmholtz Association contributes to solving major challenges facing society, science and the economy with top scientific achievements in six research fields: Energy, Earth and Environment, Health, Key Technologies, Structure of Matter, Aeronautics, Space and Transport. With 31.000 employees in 17 research centres and an annual budget of approximately 3.3 billion euros, the Helmholtz Association is Germany's largest scientific organisation. Its work follows in the tradition of the great natural scientist Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894).

idw :: 14.12.2011