The 12th Berlin Conference was held in Germany on December 8th and 9th. ​The focus of the conference was on “the transformation of subscription journals to Open Access, as outlined in a recent white paper by the Max Planck Digital Library”.

In other words, the conference discussed ways of achieving a mass “flipping” of subscription-based journals to open access models.

Strangely, Berlin 12 was "by invitation only". This seems odd because holding OA meetings behind closed doors might seem to go against the principles of openness and transparency that were outlined in the 2003 Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities.

Or is it wrong and/or naïve to think that open access implies openness and transparency in the decision making and processes involved in making open access a reality, as well as of research outputs?

Either way, if the strategy of flipping journals becomes the primary means of achieving open access can we not expect to see non-transparent and secret processes become the norm, with the costs and details of the transition taking place outside the purview of the wider OA movement? If that is right, would it matter?

Some thoughts here:


Richard Poynder