Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, January 15, 2004

President of the Max Planck Society on open access

Peter Gruss, in a letter titled Open Access to Science and Culture, Science 303, 311 (16 January 2004) (access restricted to subscribers), remarks on German scholarly societies and other European institutions efforts to promote open access publishing, particularly with the Berlin Declaration. He references European Cultural Heritage Online (ECHO), which encourages holders of cultural resources to make such material freely available. Admitting questions about how dissemination of scholarly literature should be supported in an open access environment, Gruss writes: "But is it really necessary to answer every question before supporting the right idea? Like the Web, science cannot be steered by central organizations. Good science finds its way forward, which means that good science finds efficient and effective instruments to be successful. However, science alone might not be strong enough to break existing legal and financial barriers, which is why research organizations like the Max Planck Society feel obliged to give the vision of open access a chance."