The FWF is delighted to have received the “Free Knowledge Award”, which was bestowed for the first time by Wikimedia Austria. The award ceremony took place in the presence of Federal Minister Leonore Gewessler and Vienna's Mayor Michael Ludwig in the festive setting of the Vienna Science Ball.
“For many years, the FWF has been considered a pioneer in the field of free knowledge and open access,” the jury said, and continued: “One of the FWF’s priorities is to make as many results from funded research projects as possible available for subsequent use by others free of charge and without complications. In this way, the Austrian Science Fund—the central institution for the promotion of basic research in Austria—sets an important example for Austria and Europe.”
The award endorses the FWF in a policy it has consistently been pursuing since 2003: “Access to scientific knowledge for all is a prerequisite for a fruitful dialogue with society,” says FWF President Klement Tockner. “This award acknowledges and validates our efforts; it is, after all, our responsibility to promote independent research.” Moreover, the FWF is pleased to note that the new government’s programme also supports the issue of free access to publications and research data. In the future, the Austrian Science Fund FWF will step up its activities in cooperation with the Open Science Network Austria (OANA) to achieve a further opening up of the sciences, with the aim of making scientific results more accessible, reproducible and useful for scientific as well as practical purposes.
Open science pioneer
Having pursued an open-access strategy for more than 15 years, the FWF is considered a pioneer among funding institutions. Today, 92 percent of the publications resulting from FWF-funded projects are freely accessible thanks to the FWF’s targeted funding models. In 2003, the FWF was one of the first supporters to sign the Berlin Declaration, which is now regarded as one of the founding documents of the international Open Access movement. Since then, the FWF has brought to fruition a number of prerequisites for opening up the system of scholarly publications, most recently as a supporter of "Plan S". This international initiative aims to make all scholarly publications based on publicly funded research projects freely accessible as of 2021.
Free Knowledge Award
With contributions from thousands of individuals, the Wikipedia knowledge platform has become an indispensable and independent source of information for millions of people around the world. In recognition of the multifaceted commitment to free knowledge, Wikimedia Österreich - the local non-profit association behind Wikipedia - has endowed the first Austrian Free Knowledge Award in 2020. In addition to the FWF, the award was also bestowed on the “Open Knowledge Maps” association and the Graz-based computer scientist Hermann Maurer.
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