ERCIM has signed the 'Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities' on 30 October 2006. The Berlin Declaration states that, "Establishing open access as a worthwhile procedure ideally requires the active commitment of each and every individual producer of scientific knowledge and holder of cultural heritage".
Open access contributions include original scientific research results, raw and metadata as well as source materials and digital representations of pictorial and graphical materials. The authors and right holders grant to all users a free, irrevocable, and universal right of access to these contributions and allow their work to be used, reproduced, or disseminated in digital form (provided correct attribution of authorship or copyright owner is given). Together with supplemental materials and the declaration of the right of use, the complete version of the work is to be made accessible in at least one electronic online archive.
The Berlin Declaration is in accordance with the spirit of the 'Bethesda Declaration on Open Access Publishing' and the 'Budapest Open Access Initiative'. Both also endorse fundamental changes to the practice of scientific publishing.
The Berlin Declaration was preceded by a conference at the the Max Planck Society in Berlin in 2003 where leading, international experts discussed new ways of accessing scientific knowledge and cultural heritage via the Internet. By January 2007, 193 organisations from all over the world have signed the declaration including the individual ERCIM members CWI, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, INRIA,
Berlin Declaration: http://oa.mpg.de/openaccess-berlin/ berlindeclaration.html
ERCIM News 64, European Scene: The Routes to Open Access Publishing: http://www.ercim.eu/publication/Ercim_News/enw64/