|Weekly News Digest
September 17, 2012 — In addition to this week's NewsBreak(s), the editors have compiled the Weekly News Digest, featuring stories from the week just past that you should know about. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today.
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Diverse OA Coalition Issues New Guidelines to Make Research Freely Available
In response to the growing demand to make research free and available to anyone with a computer and an internet connection, a diverse coalition issued new guidelines that could usher in huge advances in the sciences, medicine, and health. The recommendations were developed by leaders of the open occess (OA) movement, which has worked for the past decade to provide the public with unrestricted, free access to scholarly research—much of which is publicly funded.
Making the research publicly available to everyone—free of charge and without most copyright and licensing restrictions—will accelerate scientific research efforts and allow authors to reach a larger number of readers. “The reasons to remove restrictions as far as possible are to share knowledge and accelerate research. Knowledge has always been a public good in a theoretical sense. Open Access makes it a public good in practice,” said professor Peter Suber, director of the Open Access Project at Harvard University and a senior researcher at SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition).
The OA recommendations include the development of OA policies in institutions of higher education and in funding agencies, the open licensing of scholarly works, the development of infrastructure such as OA repositories and creating standards of professional conduct for OA publishing. The recommendations also establish a new goal of achieving OA as the default method for distributing new peer-reviewed research in every field and in every country within 10 years’ time.
Today, Open Access is increasingly recognized as a right rather than an abstract ideal. The case for rapid implementation of Open Access continues to grow. Open Access benefits research and researchers; increases the return to taxpayers on their investment in research; and amplifies the social value of research, funding agencies, and research institutions.
The OA recommendations are the result of a meeting hosted earlier this year by the Open Society Foundations, on the 10th anniversary of the landmark Budapest Open Access Initiative, which first defined OA.
SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), with SPARC Europe and SPARC Japan, is an international alliance of more than 800 academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication. SPARC’s advocacy, educational, and publisher partnership programs encourage expanded dissemination of research.
The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. Working with local communities in more than 100 countries, the Open Society Foundations support justice and human rights, freedom of expression, and access to public health and education.
Source: Open Society Foundations and SPARC
Paula J. Hane
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