Re: Open Access: Petition to the German Parliament

From: Richard Poynder <>
Date: Fri, 13 Nov 2009 20:34:03 -0000

An interview with Lars Fischer, the person who drafted the German
petition, can be read here:


Richard Poynder



From: American Scientist Open Access Forum
On Behalf Of Stevan Harnad
Sent: 13 November 2009 10:46
Subject: Re: Open Access: Petition to the German Parliament


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

      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 Petition:


      It can be signed online at Signing the petition:;sa=details;petiti


      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

      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

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

      Positionen, Prozesse, Perspektiven; Arbeitsgruppe Open
      Access in der

      Allianz der deutschen Wissenschaftsorganisationen.




      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

      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

      to the journal in which it happened to be published.


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

      funders of research, need to mandate that the final,

      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

      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

      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

      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

      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

      publication system is not affected by this petition.



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 - 20:43:27 GMT

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