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On OA and mandates 28 January 2009


Hélène Bosc, Open access to the scientific literature: a peer commons open to the public, presented at Copyright Regulation in Europe – An Enabling or Disabling Factor for Science Communication (Berlin, November 14-15, 2008); self-archived January 19, 2009. (Thanks to Fabrizio Tinti.) Abstract:

Ninety percent of research worldwide is publicly funded, hence the results of these research should be made publicly accessible online. Research publications, a common good, created by researchers for researchers, need to be freely accessible to all. Immediate “open access” can be provided through author self-archiving in the growing number of institutional repositories (IRs) (1100) created in recent years. But these IRs currently contain only about 15% of global research output today and are not filling rapidly and reliably enough. Self-archiving mandates by funders and institutions are accordingly needed. Arthur Sale has shown that if deposit mandated, IRs achieve 100% self-archiving within 2 years. The number of mandates is steadily increasing worldwide, particularly from research funders. In 2008, the library association SPART (together with Creative Commons) called on universities, in particular to adopt IR deposit mandates. In Australia, September 2008, at the Brisbane Conference on Open Access, academics and politicians called for the adoption of both funder and institutional mandates, stressing especially the benefits to industrial R&D applications and progress from the open online sharing of access to research results. Open online access to research is creating a distributed “cognitive commons” that endows the human mind with a new power to accelerate research progress at the speed of thought (Dror and Harnad).



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