[pdf version of this post: Post_Momentum Building on Open Access_davidrcurry_19Oct2011]
An interesting confluence of actions around the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and the Humanities is at hand.
The Berlin Declaration is both powerful in its intent and elegant in its concision. At its core are a goals statement, a definition of an open access contribution and a discussion of transition actions and support inserted below for those who may not be familiar
Last week, the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) became a signatory to the Berlin Declaration, “encouraging college and research libraries, as well as other campus groups, to follow suit.”
ACRL’s announcement noted that it “has long supported open access to scholarship as a central principle for reform in the system of scholarly communication. The association’s new strategic Plan for Excellence, the goal in the area of research and scholarly environment calls for librarians to accelerate the transition to a more open system of scholarship. Signing the Berlin Declaration is one way college and university libraries can demonstrate their intention to influence scholarly publishing policies and practices toward a more open system…”
The ACRL is a division of the American Library Association (ALA), representing more than 12,500 academic and research librarians and interested individuals.
Also last week, the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) established the IFLA Open Access Taskforce to take act on IFLA’s endorsement of its Statement on Open Access and on becoming a signatory to the Berlin Declaration earlier this year.
The full IFLA Statement on Open Access is available here as a pdf and an abstract is just below:
IFLA is committed to the principles of freedom of access to information and the belief that universal and equitable access to information is vital for the social, educational, cultural, democratic, and economic well-being of people, communities, and organizations.
Open access is the now known name for a concept, a movement and a business model whose goal is to provide free access and re-use of scientific knowledge in the form of research articles, monographs, data and related materials. Open access does this by shifting today’s prevalent business models of after-publication payment by subscribers to a funding model that does not charge readers or their institutions for access. Thus, open access is an essential issue within IFLA’s information agenda.
The IFLA taskforce will work on the following issues [full text from announcement]:
– Advocate for the adoption and promotion of open access policies as set out in IFLA’s Statement on Open Access within the framework of the United Nations institutions (UN, UNESCO, WHO, FAO),
– Build Capacity within the IFLA Membership to advocate for the adoption of open access policies at the national level, through the development of case studies and best practices for open access promotion;
– Furthermore the taskforce will connect to the various organizations working for Open Access – as indicated in the statement -such as SPARC (US/Europe/Japan), COAR, OASPA,EIFL, Bioline International & DOAJ, among others.
The initial task is “…to produce a road map for the work to presented for the IFLA Governing Board in December and as well to begin collecting case studies and best practice related to how national library associations can promote national policies and programs to further foster the progress of Open Access.”
Last, Berlin 9 – part of the The Berlin Open Access Conference Series – will convene of the its first annual meeting to take place in North America in Washington DC on 9-10 November 2011.
This meeting will “convene leaders in the science, humanities, research, funding, and policy communities” to “examine the impact that Open Access can have in advancing the conduct and communication of research and scholarship, with a particular focus on the impact this can have on the public. The program will also feature concrete steps taken by a wide range of institutions to support Open Access, and provide an opportunity to consider additional actions that might be taken – including encouraging institutional sign-on to the Berlin Declaration…”
While I suspect these are not the only announcements and events in this “confluence” they are certainlky of note…we will be monitoring with great interest as they make their respective contributions to building the open access momentum underway.
David R. Curry
19 October 2011
Our mission of disseminating knowledge is only half complete if the information is not made widely and readily available to society. New possibilities of knowledge dissemination not only through the classical form but also and increasingly through the open access paradigm via the Internet have to be supported. We define open access as a comprehensive source of human knowledge and cultural heritage that has been approved by the scientific community.
In order to realize the vision of a global and accessible representation of knowledge, the future Web has to be sustainable, interactive, and transparent. Content and software tools must be openly accessible and compatible.
Definition of an Open Access Contribution
Establishing open access as a worthwhile procedure ideally requires the active commitment of each and every individual producer of scientific knowledge and holder of cultural heritage. Open access contributions include original scientific research results, raw data and metadata, source materials, digital representations of pictorial and graphical materials and scholarly multimedia material.
Open access contributions must satisfy two conditions:
1. The author(s) and right holder(s) of such contributions grant(s) to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship (community standards, will continue to provide the mechanism for enforcement of proper attribution and responsible use of the published work, as they do now), as well as the right to make small numbers of printed copies for their personal use.
2. A complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy of the permission as stated above, in an appropriate standard electronic format is deposited (and thus published) in at least one online repository using suitable technical standards (such as the Open Archive definitions) that is supported and maintained by an academic institution, scholarly society, government agency, or other well-established organization that seeks to enable open access, unrestricted distribution, inter operability, and long-term archiving.
Supporting the Transition to the Electronic Open Access Paradigm
Our organizations are interested in the further promotion of the new open access paradigm to gain the most benefit for science and society. Therefore, we intend to make progress by
– encouraging our researchers/grant recipients to publish their work according to the principles of the open access paradigm.
– encouraging the holders of cultural heritage to support open access by providing their resources on the Internet.
– developing means and ways to evaluate open access contributions and online-journals in order to maintain the standards of quality assurance and good scientific practice.
– advocating that open access publication be recognized in promotion and tenure evaluation.
– advocating the intrinsic merit of contributions to an open access infrastructure by software tool development, content provision, metadata creation, or the publication of individual articles.
We realize that the process of moving to open access changes the dissemination of knowledge with respect to legal and financial aspects. Our organizations aim to find solutions that support further development of the existing legal and financial frameworks in order to facilitate optimal use and access.