Re: Open Access: Petition to the German Parliament

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Fri, 13 Nov 2009 05:45:58 -0500

On 13-Nov-09, at 4:18 AM, Talat Chaudhri wrote:

      Presuming that all EU citizens can sign the petition,
      there is the slight difficulty that those that cannot
      read German, like me, will find it hard to know how to do
      so. The English translation in the link provided by Prof
      Hilf only provides translation of the text itself. I'd
      appreciate guidance on where to click on the German web
      site, from anyone who does read German. A small matter, I
      know - but an important one!

Yes, citizens of other countries can sign, and fortunately Professor
Hilf has provided the instructions (apologies for not having included
it with his original posting):

How to vote (sorry, it is a little clumsy):

1. register: call the link 
and go for the second line 'registrieren' and register.
[and enter your Country at the line 'Land').

2. you get an email with your permanent Username (Benutzername)
which should be the word 'Nutzer' together with a 6-decimal 

3. you go back to the serverpage and login:
[enter the Username) and the emailed-to-you password.

4.  you find the petition 'Wissenschaft und Forschung - 
Kostenloser Erwerb wissenschaftlicher Publikationen'
by either scrolling to page two or three or by 
using the 'detailed search' button. I typed in 'Kostenloser Erwerb'.

5. vote by clicking on the title and then in the fourth column
you can vote by clicking on 'Petition mitzeichnen' 
[zeichnen means signing]



      Stevan Harnad wrote:
            ** Apologies for Cross-Posting **

            Professor Eberhard Hilf is inviting the
            German and international

            scholarly and scientific community to sign a
            petition to mandate Open

            Access in Germany.

            Professor Hilf writes:

            A Petition to the German Parliament
            (Deutscher Bundestag) for Open

            Access of documents in science and research
            has been launched by Lars

            Fischer, see the English version of the


            It can be signed online at Signing the

            The large and renowned Science Organisations
            in Germany and the

            Coalition for Action "Copyright for Education
            and Research" are

            calling all persons, active in science and
            academic education,

            students and staff, librarians, scientists,
            to sign the petition, SEE

            [Press Release in German].



            Statement of the Workgroup Open Access of the
            Alliance of the German

            Science Organisations (Allianz der
            Wissenschaften): Open Access:

            positions. processes, perspectives; (in
            German): Open Access:

            Positionen, Prozesse, Perspektiven;
            Arbeitsgruppe Open Access in der

            Allianz der deutschen



            Lars Fischer's statement is vague and thereby
            poses some risk of

            having no practical effect unless it is made
            clear exactly what the

            Bundestag is being asked to do, why, and how.

            Fortunately, it can be stated very clearly
            exactly what the petition

            is for, and why, and if this clarification
            can be coupled with the

            text sufficiently prominently, the outcome
            will be a coherent and

            positive one:

            WHAT IS OPEN ACCESS? Free online access to
            all peer-reviewed research

            articles (2.5 million annual articles
            published in 25,000

            peer-reviewed journals, in all fields of
            science, social science and

            humanities, worldwide).

            WHY OPEN ACCESS? To ensure that research
            findings are accessible to

            all their potential users worldwide, so as to
            maximize research

            uptake, usage, applications, impact,
            productivity and process, by

            making it accessible to all its potential
            users worldwide, and not

            just to those whose institutional libraries
            can afford a subscription

            to the journal in which it happened to be

            HOW OPEN ACCESS? All universities and
            research institutions, and all

            funders of research, need to mandate that the
            final, peer-reviewed

            draft of all their research output must be
            deposited in an Open Access

            Repository (Institutional or, optionally,
            Central) immediately upon

            acceptance for publication, making it
            immediately accessible online,

            free for all:

            If these three points could be made, the
            petition will be precise,

            comprehensible, and focussed.


            Here is the petition:

            Petition to the German Bundestag, the
            National Parliament

            Lars Fischer has created a petition to the
            Deutscher Bundestag to

            support Open Access as an amendment to the
            pending legislation.

            Signatures are now invited.


            The German National Parliament (Deutscher
            Bundestag) should decree

            that scientific publications that result from
            public funding, should

            be openly accessible. Those institutions that
            are autonomous should be

            called upon by the Bundestag to set up and
            enforce suitable

            regulations and to install suitable technical
            preconditions to ensure

            that this is the case.


            The Government supports research and
            development -- according to the

            German Ministery for Education and Research
            in the amount of about 12

            Billion Euro annually. The results of this
            research are published, but

            mostly in toll-access journals. It is not
            acceptable that the taxpayer

            should have to pay for research results for
            whose creation he has

            already paid.

            Because of the large costs and the multitude
            of scientific journals,

            research results are accessible only in a few
            libraries. Most citizens

            are thus de facto excluded from access to
            scientific results for which

            they have paid.

            To exclude citizens from science is not only
            harmful, but unnecessary.

            Other countries have already implemented what
            is being proposed here.

            The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) is
            requiring that all

            publications that it has funded should be
            openly accessible within 12

            months at a central server. The general
            structure of the scientific

            publication system is not affected by this


      Dr Talat Chaudhri
      Research Officer
      UKOLN, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, Great Britain
      Telephone: +44 (0)1225 385105    Fax: +44 (0)1225 386838
      E-mail:   Skype: talat.chaudhri
Received on Fri Nov 13 2009 - 10:50:28 GMT

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