The exchange of ideas, findings, and arguments is a key driver of scholarship. Digital change has given rise to entirely new forms of knowledge exchange in addition to the structures that have developed over the centuries. Today, researchers across the globe are making use of high-speed digital communication. That is why digitalization is a major factor in shaping research. Our goal is to tap its potential even more. The Federal Government’s Digital Agenda is therefore aimed at enhancing the framework conditions for the unhindered transfer of knowledge within the research community.
Open online access to academic publications is important for achieving this transfer of knowledge. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research is strengthening open access under its Open Access Strategy in response to the research community’s request for more openly accessible publications. The Strategy includes diverse measures to promote open access as a standard for academic publishing in Germany. We rely on the impetus provided by the research community itself, industry, and libraries. We will only be able to meet the high standards of academic publishing in the digital era through joint efforts. Our goal is to ensure that sustainability, long-term availability, and high quality standards will continue to distinguish academic publishing in the future. Researchers must be able to draw on an extensive and easy-to-use range of tools to publish their research findings.
Digital academic publishing is already much more a thing of the present than a thing of the future. It is now a question of shaping this development with all the opportunities and challenges it presents. That is why I am pleased that you are addressing the implications of these current changes for the guiding principles of academic publishing. APE 2017 on ‘Publishing Ethics’ is an excellent opportunity for publishers, researchers, research organizations, and librarians to discuss the digital transformation of research communication and its impact on research collaboration.