8. September 2020

B15 Conference


September 28 – October 01, 2021
Co-Hosted by the University of California and the Max Planck Society’s Open Access 2020 Initiative

Stakeholders and decision-makers in research and scholarly communication from 46 countries came together at the 15th Berlin Open Access Conference (B15) to reflect on their progress in transforming the current subscription-based system of scholarly journal publishing to a system based on open dissemination of research results for the benefit of science and society. 

In recent years, institutions and national consortia globally have successfully negotiated transformative agreements (TAs) with a range of publishers to (1) empower authors to grant free and universal access to their peer-reviewed research while retaining their copyright, and (2) empower institutions to integrate, rationalize and rein in their financial investments in scholarly publishing. 

Reflecting on insights shared by panelists from Australia, Colombia, Germany, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Nepal, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden, the United States of America and the United Kingdom, the B15 cohort discussed current challenges and highlighted opportunities for further adapting, improving and advancing their transformative negotiation strategies to foster a scholarly publishing system that is open, sustainable and equitable.

Key insights affirmed at B15

Open access to scholarly journals is essential for progress in science and society. 
Open access is advancing thanks to transformative agreements. 
Negotiations with scholarly journal publishers are a pathway to openness and equity. 
Open access publishing must be enabled under equitable economic conditions. 
Increasing transparency of funding flows and reorganizing just a tiny share of investments can have immeasurable impact.
Further open access developments require bold new partnerships. 
Scholarly publishers are embracing open access. 
Mature open access strategies include different synergistic approaches.

The enormous progress made in open access, since the cohort of the last (14th) Berlin Open Access Conference first affirmed transformative agreements as a viable pathway, is the result of the individual and collective efforts of librarians, scholars and scientists, consortium leaders, university rectors/presidents, and research funders who utilized their agency to drive positive change.

Individuals and organizations can find a summary of key insights emerging from B15 and opportunities for action to advance transformative agreements that drive openness, sustainability and equity in scholarly publishing in the B15 Executive Summary.

Conference welcome remarks
Martin Stratmann, President, Max Planck Society
Michael V. Drake, President, University of California