May 18, 2022

Report and Presentations From the 14th Berlin Open Access Conference

From a Conference Summary:

The 14th Berlin Open Access Conference, hosted by the Max Planck Society and organized by the Max Planck Digital Library on behalf of the Open Access 2020 Initiative, has just come to an end after two intense days with 170 participants from 37 countries around the world discussing where the research organizations and their library consortia stand in their negotiations with scholarly publishers in transitioning scholarly publishing to open access.


After aligning on the goals and strategies during the first day of the conference, the CEOs of the three largest publishers of scholarly journals, Elsevier, John Wiley & Sons, and Springer Nature, were invited by the President of the Max Planck Society, Martin Stratmann, to discuss the global demand for transformative agreements on the second day. The message conveyed to the publishers was that the global research communities are committed to complete and immediate open access, to retaining author copyrights and to negotiating transformative agreements that are temporary, transitional, and cost-neutral as a means to shift to full open access within just a few years with the expectation that cost savings in scholarly communication will follow as market forces take hold. The publishers were called upon to move towards complete and immediate open access according to these principles.

Read the Complete Summary

Final Conference Statement

Participants from 37 nations and five continents, representing research performing and research funding institutions, libraries and government higher education associations and rectors’ conferences, associations of researchers and other open access initiatives gathered at the 14th Berlin Open Access Conference held 3-4 December 2018 in Berlin. They affirmed that there is a strong alignment among the approaches taken by OA2020Plan S, the Jussieu Call and others to facilitate a full and complete transition to open access. The statement that follows represents the strong consensus of all of those represented at the meeting.

We are all committed to authors retaining their copyrights,
We are all committed to complete and immediate open access,
We are all committed to accelerating the progress of open access through transformative agreements that are temporary and transitional, with a shift to full open access within a very few years. These agreements should, at least initially, be cost-neutral, with the expectation that economic adjustments will follow as the markets transform.

Publishers are expected to work with all members of the global research community to effect complete and immediate open access according to this statement.

Conference Presentations (Posted As of December 8, 2018)

The Urgent Need to Accelerate the Transition to Open Access

Jeong-Wook Seo (moderator), “Introduction & Remarks”
Peter-Seeberger, “The Expectations of Researchers”
Achmed Bawa, “Democratization of Knowledge”
Pastora-Martinez, “Impact for our Institutions”
Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, “Some Economic Considerations for the Transition”

The Real Costs of OA Journal Publishing and the Potentials of a Fully OA Paradigm in Scholarly Communication

Martin Rasmussen, “The Real Costs of OA Publishing & the Potentials of a Fully OA Paradigm in Scholarly Communication”

Delivering Open Access on a Large-Scale to Our Researchers: The Transformative Agreement Strategy

Rich Schneider and Ivy Anderson, “Negotiating Based on Principles: the University of California Approach”
Kai Geschuhn, “Mechanisms for Transformation”
Colleen Campbell, “Increased Potential in Alignment of Strategies”
Ádám Dér, “Impact Trajectory of Transformative Agreements”
Anna Lundén, “Recognizing our Leverage, or Stepping Away From the Table is an Option”

Transformative Agreements and the Principles of Plan S

Robert-Jan-Smits, “Plan S: Making Open Access a Reality by 2020”

Setting in Motion a Wave of Irreversible Change: What We Have Achieved So Far in the Negotiation of Transformative Agreements

Lidia Borell-Damian (moderator), “Introduction and ‘Big Deals Survey 2018′”
Wilma van Weezenbeek, “Open Access, the Dutch Way”
Ralf Schimmer, “Max Planck Society”
Liam Earney, “JISC Collections, UK”

Session 3: Transformation Colloquy

John Wiley & Sons, Guido Herrmann, “Publisher Colloquy Session”
Springer Nature, Daniel Ropers, “To a Faster, Worldwide Transition to Open Access and Open Science”

Media Coverage From the Conference

“China Backs Bold Plan To Tear Down Journal Paywalls” (via Nature)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.