28. February 2023

B16 conference


Harnack House, Berlin, 6–7 June 2023

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the seminal Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. With the 16th Berlin Open Access Conference, organized by the OA2020 Initiative and hosted by the Max Planck Society, we will return to the setting where the Berlin Declaration originated. There, we will refine and renew our approaches to achieving the vision for an open information environment in the service of science and society, with a particular focus on transformative agreements (TAs).

The global research community first introduced TAs as a cost-neutral pathway to accelerate the open access transition in scholarly publishing for the benefit of science and society at the 14th Berlin Open Access Conference in 2018. At the next conference, not three years later, participants presented results validating the effectiveness of TAs in eliminating access barriers for readers everywhere, reducing costs and securing financial efficiencies, and elevating the visibility and impact of the research produced at their institutions.

Today, the growing body of TAs negotiated worldwide—from Peru to Canada, from South Africa to Norway, and from Australia to China—demonstrates that this approach to dismantling the deficiencies and inequities of the subscription-based system in scholarly publishing is both viable and scalable. With the first movers to integrate TAs into their national open access strategies now nearing their goals of open access to 100% of their research outputs and setting their sights on broader open science objectives, the way is paved for the global research community to swiftly forge ahead, together.

Scholarly publishing is increasingly open, and the ecosystem is complex; with each step forward, the expectations of the global research community for an open paradigm in science communication come into sharper focus. From cost-neutrality to affordability, from accessibility to global equity, from an article-economy to a service-based market—more than a linear pathway for transitioning business models—open access negotiations are an instrument to shape the emerging paradigm and generate the preconditions for real transformation in science communication.

In this context, the 16th Berlin Open Access Conference: Together for Transformation, will bring together national-level delegations, including scientists and scholars, senior library, higher education, funder and government leaders from around the world. Together, they will assess the performance of scholarly publishers in meeting the objectives and expectations set out by the research community engaged in transformative open access negotiations and formulate collective next steps to shape an open scholarly publishing paradigm in the service of science that is transparent, inclusive, sustainable and financially equitable on a global scale.