Promote research for a wider audience with Open Access.
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Stefan Boere
Eindhoven University of Technology

What can I do as a policy maker or university management?

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What can I do?

 

Berlin Declaration

The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities calls upon researchers to make their scientific material freely available to one and all. This means not only articles, but also raw data and other research material. Users must not only be able to consult these items and disseminate them further, but also to use them for subsequent works. The only condition is that the original author is mentioned.

The declaration was drawn up in October 2003. Since then it has been signed by a large number of prominent scientific organisations all over the world. Since 2005 all Universities in the Netherlands, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science and SURFfoundation have signed the Declaration.

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UKB’s memorandum on Open Access in the Netherlands: the Next Step

At the end of 2008, the UKB (a consortium of the 13 Dutch university libraries and the National Library of the Netherlands) produced a survey of Open Access for the conference of university administrators. That document gives a good idea of national and international trends in the area of Open Access and how Open Access can be taken further in the Netherlands. Click here for the UKB’s memorandum on Open Access in the Netherlands: the Next Step (September 2008) (only available in Dutch).

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Set up an Open Access policy

Worldwide more and more institutions are making a policy on archiving and making their research materials open available. ROARmap (Registry of Open Access Repository Material Archiving Policies) gives an overview of these policies.

Read also 'Funders support sharing': many governments and funding agencies are implementing or exploring policies to facilitate the sharing of information and realize the benefits of digital scholarship.

Or use the Open Access Policies Kit, recommended by the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR).

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Call to Action

In February 2009 amongst others the Association of American Universities and the Association of Research Libraries have identified actions to expand the dissemination of the products of the university community's research and scholarship. Read more inThe University's Role in the Dissemination of Research and Scholarship.

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Take your responsibility in sharing with developing countries

"Since the cost of academic journals is prohibitive for many developing countries, scholarly communication is for them severely restricted.This is a huge problem: A survey conducted by the WHO in 2003, for instance, found that in 75 of the poorest countries, 56% of the medical institutions had been unable to access any journals over the previous five years. urthermore, the cost of printing and distributing local journals means that much developing world research is 'invisible' to the rest of the world, isolating research communities and limiting communication with neighbouring countries.

As a consequence, the incorporation of regional knowledge into international programmes remains minimal. Yet with the growth of global problems — think only of HIV/AIDS, avian 'flu, environmental disasters, climate change or crop failure — it is essential that the countries in which these problems are most commonly experienced have access to research findings, and can contribute their crucial experience to finding global solutions.

Without both improved access and regional visibility, the science base of poorer countries will not be strengthened, and it is well documented that without a strong science base economies remain weak and dependent on others.
But thanks to the profound media developments made possible by the Internet, Open Access has created exhilarating new opportunities for the exchange of essential research information. And while this promises huge benefits for all academic research, it will be especially beneficial for developing nations, by providing equality of access for all." says Barbara Kirsop, of the Electronic Publishing Trust for Development in an interview with Richard Poynder.

 

As a faculty member

  • Work with colleagues in your institution to advance understanding of digital scholarship and foster sharing of research:
  • Encourage your institution to adopt a policy that grants a copyright license from each faculty member that permits deposit of his or her peer-reviewed scholarly articles in the institution’s digital repository.
  • When sitting on grant-review panels or hiring, tenure, or promotion committees, give due weight to peer-reviewed publications. Evaluate new kinds of works on their own merits. And don’t rely solely on prestige or impact factor.
  • Investigate your campus intellectual property policies and participate in their development..
  • If your library is providing publishing services talk about opportunities to work together.
  • Encourage your library to become a member of SPARC Europe, an alliance of European research libraries, library organisations and research institutions, which provides support and tools to bring about.open digital scholarship.

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