Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

OA to international air pollution data

The UN Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP) now includes a policy on OA to convention-collected data.  From the January 17 report of the Executive Body on the convention: 

Intent on implementing article 7 (Research and development) and article 8 (Exchange of information) of the Convention, and mindful of article 5 (Public awareness) of the 1999 Gothenburg Protocol,

Bearing in mind that sharing of scientific and technical knowledge has been essential for the agreement and implementation of protocols and believing that future development of the Convention will rely upon output from its scientific and technical bodies, ...

Affirming that the Convention’s use of scientific and technical data should be open and transparent to all,

Noting, however, that issues such as intellectual property rights and commercial restrictions may affect the availability of some national data,

1. Decides that scientific and technical data submitted by Parties or their national focal centres shall be publicly available at programme centres....

There are a few exceptions beyond the vague deference to copyright:  OA may be delayed if one of the parties can justify delay, and data centers may charge for access when requested datasets "are not readily available".

(Thanks to Tomme Rosanne Young and Donat Agosti for the tip.)