The Helmholtz Association was one of the initial signatories of the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities in 2003. This commitment towards open access was then formally approved by its Assembly of Members in 2004 with the decision on the implementation of the Berlin Declaration.
Since 2016, an Open Access Policy offers a clear and predictable framework for the transformation towards open access. According to this policy, all publications by scientists in the Helmholtz Association will be made freely available within at most 6 months (12 months for publications in the social sciences and humanities). Since 2013, a corresponding regulation is ensuring that beneficiaries of the Helmholtz Initiative and Networking Fund make their publications freely available to the public on the internet.
In 2016 a position paper on the management of research data in the Helmholtz Association was adopted by the Helmholtz Association’s Assembly of Members: next to the access to research data, this position paper also raises topics such as the training of data specialists and the resourcing of information infrastructures including their organisational and financial safeguarding. Sustainability concerning research software is also a concern of the Helmholtz Association.