December 1, 2014
One of the most prestigious scientific societies in the world, Germany-based Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, with 83 research institutes in several countries in Europe, is organizing a conference and workshop for early career representatives from each Max-Planck-Institute.
Even though the event audience is limited to the representatives of Max Planck Institutes, I think it is still worth mentioning. Why?
The Society is an unquestionable leader of the change toward openness. It hosted the conference during which the Berlin declaration on open access emerged, and dozens of other open access events. What is more, the Society keeps advocating for unrestricted access to knowledge for its documents and on its websites. Despite these facts, the Max Planck Society still recognises the need to train their younger staff to become ambassadors of openness in their place of everyday research work, and to strengthen the culture of openness among its employees.
I think it is very good move from the Society and other research networks, academic associations and universities should follow with similar initiatives. I think that a lack of knowledge is one of the biggest obstacles for every change. Dissemination of knowledge on open access, publishing possibilities, funding, open access policies ad tools that help to deal with open data and open notebook science will make openness easier for everyone. In every research institution worldwide there should be at least one person who is familiar with these issues and who can offer his or her colleagues advice. Then promotion of open access will be a piece of cake.