Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, September 28, 2007

NSF/JISC workshop report endorses OA mandate

William Y. Arms and Ronald L. Larsen, The Future of Scholarly Communication:  Building the Infrastructure of Cyberscholarship, September 26, 2007.  Report of the NSF/JISC Repositories Workshop (Phoenix, April 17-19, 2007).  Excerpt:

Developments of cyberscholarship are hampered by the profusion of intellectual property rights and business practices that restrict access to information. Some of these restrictions are necessary, particularly those that protect privacy or trade secret information, but there is less justification for others. Science and scholarship have a privileged position in society. Governments fund scientific research and national libraries. Universities are supported by taxpayers, enhanced by the generous tax benefits given to not-for-profit organizations. A fundamental goal of the new infrastructure is to make the results of these efforts benefit the society that supports them.

Seeking patterns across heterogeneous collections is impossible without access. There is evidence that descriptions of research are more widely read if they are openly accessible [Lawrence]. This benefits the authors, future researchers who build on that work, and the agencies that fund the research. We strongly support the movement in both Europe and the United States to require open access to all papers that describe research supported by grants from the taxpayers. We also support efforts to require that the data products of such research be made available for future research in convenient formats, subject only to the constraints of privacy and the appropriate protection of trade secrets and classified information....

[Y]ounger scholars who have grown up with the Web have different expectations...grow impatient with clumsy and outmoded ways of protecting/locking down content, and regard recent interpretations of copyright law by certain media companies as a perversion of the very principles of respect for intellectual and artistic creations that copyright law is supposed to foster....