Best Practice Recommendation on Open Access

Digitization is associated with the question of free access to content on the Internet. The Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation) established a recommendation in 2013 that outlines a proposal for how public cultural institutions should deal with Open Access.

The Foundation pursues the goal of making knowledge as easily accessible as possible on the Internet. It draws a line at the commercial use of content. Public cultural institutions invest considerable financial resources to digitize their holdings. For that reason, the Foundation takes the view that appropriate fees should be charged for the commercial use of digitized materials.

Joining the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities

In November 2013, the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz signed the “Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities” of October 2003. The Berlin Declaration was initiated by the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften (Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science) and other research institutes. It pursues the goal of supporting free, simple, comprehensive access via the Internet to scholarly knowledge and cultural heritage. That does not, however, mean that the available data should be provided for every purpose including commercial use.

The Guidelines of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz for Dealing with Open Access

On the occasion of the signing of the Berlin Declaration, the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz agreed on a best practice recommendation with the Stiftung Preussische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg (Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg), the Bundesarchiv (Federal Archives), the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (German Archaeological Institute), and the Stiftung Jüdisches Museum Berlin (Foundation of the Jewish Museum Berlin). It concerns approaches to content being made freely available by public cultural institutions. The guidelines developed by the SPK recommend making scholarly and cultural content available according to the principle of Open Access but only under certain conditions. These conditions are:

  • The publication of digitized materials includes all the associated data, including the relevant legal provisions. It should be published in an online archive according to Open Archive rules.
  • The author and copyright holder grant all private and scholarly users free, worldwide right to access these publications.
  • Digitized materials can be used for commercial purposes on payment of a fee based on Creative Commons licenses.

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