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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Brazilian bill to mandate OA

A bill introduced in the Brazilian Parliament would mandate public universities to mandate OA to their research output, and a new petition supports the bill.  Details from Stevan Harnad:

Hlio Kuramoto of IBICT has helped to formulate a Proposed Law (introduced by Rodrigo Rollemberg, Member of Brazil's House of Representatives) that would require all Brazil's public institutions of higher education and research units to create OA institutional repositories and self-archive all their technical-scientific output therein.

There is a petition in support of this Green OA Mandate. I urge all in favor of OA in Brazil (and worldwide) to sign....

Below is an English translation of the petition. Bravo to Helio and Rodrigo for this timely and welcome step, setting an excellent example for all.

Stevan Harnad

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To:  The Brazilian Scientific Community

On May 23 of 2007, Rodrigo Rollemberg, Member of Brazil's House of Representatives, introduced Proposed Law n 1120/2007 concerning the dissemination of Brazil's technical-scientific output.

This is a pioneering initiative for this country and indeed for all of Latin America. Brazil can become the first Latin American country to establish a legal mandate for the deposit and distribution of Brazil's technical-scientific output. This Proposed Law represents a decisive and courageous step toward providing open access to Brazilian scientific research. If approved, the Law will contribute to eliminating access barriers to scientific information worldwide. In addition to being beneficial to the national economy, the Law will allow greater transparency in Brazil's investment in its scientific research, generating quantitative metrics to guide the planning and support of science and technology.

The first article proposes that all Brazil's public institutions of higher education, as well as all research units, should be required to establish institutional repositories in which all the technical-scientific output of their academic and researcher staff must be deposited. The intention is to ensure that this content will be made openly accessible on the Web.

The article proposes creating a High Level Committee co-ordinated by IBICT to design and direct whatever actions need to be taken to provide open access to scientific research. This Committee will have the mandate to discuss and formulate a National Policy of Open Access to Scientific Research Output.

It is incumbent on all members of the scientific community to promote open access in Brazil by fighting for the approval of Law n 1120/2007 by the National Congress.

We hereby request all those who support the Proposed Law to sign this petition.

Comments 

  • This is the first national OA initiative I've seen directed to public universities rather than publicly-funded research through the public funding agencies.  It's also the first national OA policy initiative from Brazil.  The So Paolo Declaration of December 2005 was from IBICT, not the government, and the OA journal directory LivRe is hosted by a government agency but not a policy initiative.
  • Kudos to all involved in drafting the bill and circulating the petition.
  • The petition is open to all, not just to Brazilians.  Please consider signing it.