For immediate release | October 11, 2011

ACRL signs Berlin Declaration on Open Access

CHICAGO - The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) recently joined the growing ranks of signatories to the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and the Humanities. ACRL encourages college and research libraries, as well as other campus groups, to follow suit.

The declaration builds on the significant progress of the Budapest Open Access Initiative, calling for Open Access to knowledge in the humanities as well as in the sciences. It also moves beyond the scope of primary literature, indicating, “Open access contributions include original scientific research results, raw data and metadata, source materials, digital representations of pictorial and graphical materials and scholarly multimedia material.”

Signatories commit to the principle of Open Access as well as to pursuing solutions that advance the Internet “as an emerging functional medium for distributing knowledge.”

While the Berlin Declaration has garnered signatures from research institutions, libraries, archives, museums, funding agencies and governments worldwide, the organizers are seeking more signatures prior to the Nov. 9, 2011 Berlin 9 Meeting. This will be the first Berlin Conference held in North America, and the organizers hope to clearly demonstrate strong support for the declaration in conjunction with the conference, which research funders, policymakers and other influential communities are expected to attend in force.

“On the momentous occasion of Berlin 9 being held in the US, it is important to join our European colleagues in their efforts to advance open access initiatives,” said ACRL President Joyce L. Ogburn, dean of the University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library.

ACRL has long supported open access to scholarship as a central principle for reform in the system of scholarly communication. The association’s new strategic Plan for Excellence, the goal in the area of research and scholarly environment calls for librarians to accelerate the transition to a more open system of scholarship. Signing the Berlin Declaration is one way college and university libraries can demonstrate their intention to influence scholarly publishing policies and practices toward a more open system. Earlier this year, ACRL demonstrated its own commitment to open access by removing price barriers to online version of the scholarly research journal College and Research Libraries (C&RL), which is now available from 1997 to the present at no charge.

More information on the Berlin Declaration is available at Contact ACRL Scholarly Communications and Government Relations Specialist Kara Malenfant at kmalenfant@ with questions.


ACRL is a division of the American Library Association (ALA), representing more than 12,500 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.


David Free