The Leibniz Association signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities as early as 2003, along with other large scientific organisations, and committed itself to actively supporting and promoting the open access model. Other important milestones include setting up the Open Access Working Group in September 2005, approving the first Open Access Guidelines in 2007 and the current Open Access Policy valid since 2016.
The policy is implemented through a wide range of activities, in particular, since 2011, through LeibnizOpen, the central open access portal for all Leibniz Institutes. Through LeibnizOpen, the Leibniz Association intends to maximise the number of publications that are freely accessible online as full texts. LeibnizOpen offers optimum visibility and searchability, as well as making the research output of the Leibniz Institutes permanently available.
Tried and tested principles for quality assurance, especially peer review processes, are applied in full in the context of digital open access publishing. For this reason, in 2018, the Leibniz Association developed a leaflet on predatory academic publishing to inform people about the extent of predatory publishing and the necessary safeguards. A new section was also added to the current Leibniz Association Guidelines on Good Scientific Practice, defining the knowing misrepresentation of quality standards in publications as a form of scientific misconduct.
The Leibniz Association promotes open access in the political arena too, e.g. as part of the Digital Information initiative of the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany, and at European level in the context of Science Europe, the main association of European research funding organisations and non-university research institutions.
In addition, many Leibniz Institutes act as publishers or service providers for open access journals or run specialist repositories that provide open access to specialist literature.