More and more scientists are publishing their results online. And as a result, it's becoming easier to link to new knowledge. A Berlin-based platform called ScienceOpen wants to tap into that.
"It's really important for me that everyone gets immediate access to the wonderful work that scientists do," says Stephanie Dawson. The Yale-educated biologist is the managing director for ScienceOpen, a research platform that went live this week.
"Access to this research is like a human right," Dawson told DW. "After all, it's all research funded with taxpayers' money."
But it's not only about who pays - it's also about what gets done with the research, and who is allowed to work with it.
Then there are the traditional publishers of science research. They criticize online open access journals and portals for lacking editorial quality control.
It hasn't stopped the trend towards open access in Europe, though.
The science historian Professor Jürgen Renn has been an advocate of open access for some time.
Renn, who is director of science history at the Max-Planck-Institute, says the only way to achieve groundbreaking insights is through a permanent exchange of ideas between scientists - wherever they are in the world.
"There should be no artificial barriers stopping you from getting from one article to another," says Renn. "We should all be allowed to surf freely in knowledge!"
It would certainly make it easier to do interdisciplinary work. Renn says Darwin and Einstein mastered that approach with their respective theories of evolution and relativity.
"Both of them spotted connections which other scientists - with their specialist's view - may have missed."
He says it's all about "findability and linkability."