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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Seoul Declaration calls for OA to publicly-funded research

Civil society organizations participating in the OECD 2008 Ministerial Meeting on the Future of the Internet Economy (Seoul, June 17-18, 2008) have issued the Seoul Declaration (June 16, 2008).  Excerpt:

...The policy goals for the Future Internet Economy should be considered within the broader framework of protection of human rights, the promotion of democratic institutions, access to information, and the provision of affordable and non-discriminatory access to advanced communication networks and services....Economic growth should be for the many and not the few. The Internet should be available to all. We therefore call attention of the OECD to Ministers to the following issues and we make the following recommendations: ....

* Promotion of Access to Knowledge. We support open access to government-funded scientific and scholarly works and endorse the OECD Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data. We support the OECD Recommendation for Enhanced Access and More Effective Use of Public Information. OECD countries should oppose extensions of copyright terms and private ownership of essential knowledge and cultural information that can be made available on the Internet. We recommend that the OECD undertake a study on the importance of copyright exceptions for education, libraries and archives, the disability community, and new innovative services....

PS:  According to Gwen Hinze at EFF (email to the A2K list), the Declaration has already been signed by "EPIC, EFF, EDRi, IRIS, IT4Change, Public Knowledge, APC, and Consumers Korea, Jinbonet, and many individuals."  If it's still open for new signatures, could anyone point me to the web site collecting them?  I'll blog the link here.

Update.  Civil society organizations wishing to sign the declaration should send an email to Katitza Rodriguez Pereda of EPIC at katitz [at]

Update.  Ziga Turk, the Slovenian Minister for Growth, blogged some notes on the declaration from Seoul this morning:

I am still in Seoul where we have just adopted the Seoul declaration. Here are some notes from my intervention on the plenary before the signing: ...

What internet is enabling is many more people to get involved in creative and innovative processes. This type of innovation is called 'open innovation' and for it to work, information and data on which the innovation and creative processes are based, must be made broadly available. One set of such data is scientific data and scientific publications.

This is somehow covered in item b on page 6, bullets 2 and 5 and I would like to understand that it covers open scientific publishing as well. While we support the declaration, I would like to invite the OECD to investigate and continue to make policy recommendations in the future, with regard to the access to scientific publications that are reporting on publicly funded research.

In the near future we will be seeing an intensification of publicly funded research on sustainable development and open access to this research would speed up the dissemination of the technologies to fight climate change....

Update.  My original post linked to the June 16 draft of the declaration, and Turk's post links to the June 18 final edition of the declaration.  Note that the final edition deletes the paragraph in support of OA.  I'd be grateful if anyone could shed light on the maneuvering behind this deletion. 

Update.  There are two Seoul Declarations, one by civil society organizations and one by OECD ministers.  The former still includes the paragraph on OA and the latter (apparently) never did.  Thanks to Sherman Siy of Public Knowledge for this important clarification.

Update.  Also see the article in Mediacaster Magazine.

Update (6/23/08). Also see the blog notes on the declaration from Sherwin Siy, who attended the Seoul conference for Public Knowledge.