Open access to scientific findings is essential. This conviction is shared by both the Executive Board of TU Berlin and the University Library. To this end, the Technische Universität Berlin approved an open access policy at the start of this year, thus lending its explicit support to its academics and researchers wishing to publish their papers as open access documents. Open access ensures that publications are freely accessible, while maintaining the highest academic standards. TU Berlin is also one of approximately 200 academic institutions in Germany actively engaged in the DEAL project, which seeks to prevent the big academic publishing houses from establishing a monopoly. In a further step, the TU Berlin University Library is now initiating the founding of a consortium for the development of the “DSpace” open source software. The consortium consists of 25 academic institutions.

“We wish to ensure the development of the ‘DSpace’ software through the consortium, while also helping to shape the strategic focus of this software,” says Jürgen Christof, executive director of the TU Berlin University Library. “DSpace” is the most used software for operating open access repositories. Such repositories serve to make publications, research data and documents available to everybody, free of charge and on a permanent basis. As such, “DSpace” is not only the software behind TU Berlin’s “DepositOnce“ repository, it also forms one of the technical bases for open access publishing in general.

“DSpace“ open source software

“DSpace” is supported by the US non-profit organization DuraSpace, under whose aegis the “DSpace” community is organized. The new “DSpace Konsortium Deutschland” raises funds for the development of the software, forwards the funds to DuraSpace and in return is given a say in the administration of the project. The founding of the new consortium in Germany makes the focus of the project much more international. Previously, 50 percent of “DSpace” members were from the USA. Currently 28 members are from the USA, 25 from Germany and 34 from the rest of the world – including Finland, the United Kingdom, Peru, Portugal and Switzerland. In addition to TU Berlin, the Berlin “DSpace” membership also includes FU Berlin, HU Berlin and the Medical Library of the Charité.

“The founding of the consortium is another important step for us towards achieving open access,” says Jürgen Christof. “It enables us to make a significant contribution to the financing and development of the open source community. This reflects the commitment to contribute actively to open source projects which the TU Berlin University Library made in its open access policy.”