This time we would like to join our support to the new directive of the Obama administration for expanding Open Access for federally funded research. The White House moved to make nearly all federally funded research freely available to the public.
We also believe that there should be eliminated any barrier to the immediate availability, access and use of research in the journey to a full Open Access goal. Here are some key points from the Directive as mentioned by PLOS and quoted here:
- The Directive affirms the principle that the public has a right to access the results of publicly funded research, calling on all federal agencies with annual research and development budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with free online access to the results of that research.
- It specifically calls for research manuscripts arising from publicly funded research to be made available no later than 12 months after publication in a scientific journal.
- The Directive also provides guidance to ensure that data resulting from publicly funded research is made widely available in a timely manner.
This directive is yet another sign that Open Access principles are gaining momentum. The Directive comes as the bipartisan Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) is making its way through the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. The legislation was introduced in the 113th Congress by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Representatives Mike Doyle (D-PA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Kevin Yoder (R-KS).
Parallely we see a similar approximation taken in the other side of the Atlantic Ocean by the European Union.
The new initiative OpenAIRE aims to support the implementation of Open Access in Europe. It provides the means to promote and realize the widespread adoption of the Open Access Policy, as set out by the ERC Scientific Council Guidelines for Open Access and the Open Access pilot launched by the European Commission. OpenAIRE, a three-year project, will establish the infrastructure for researchers to support them in complying with the EC OA pilot and the ERC Guidelines on Open Access.
Here are some of the advantages of Open Access:
- Access can be greatly improved
Access to knowledge, information, and data is essential in higher education and research; and more generally, for sustained progress in society. Improved access is the basis for the transfer of knowledge (teaching), knowledge generation (research), and knowledge valorisation (civil society).
- Increased visibility and higher citation rates
Open Access articles are much more widely read than those which are not freely available on the Internet. Webwide availability leads to increased use which, in turn, raises citation rates, a fact that has been empirically supported by several studies. Depending on the field in question, Open Access articles achieve up to three times higher citation rates and they are cited much sooner (cf. for example Lawrence: Free online availability substantially increases a paper's impact, or Harnad & Brody: Comparing the Impact of Open Access (OA) vs. Non-OA Articles in the Same Journals).
- Free Access to information
Open Access content is freely available worldwide, thus enabling people from poorer countries to access and utilise scientific knowledge and information which they would not otherwise be able to afford.
European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn met in September 2012 with a number of key stakeholder groups in the drive to improve access to scientific information produced in Europe. The Commissioner met separately with traditional scientific publishers, open access publishers, the open access community, and research funders and international organisations.
Following the meetings, Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn mentioned that Open access is providing European taxpayers a better return on their €87 billion annual public investment in research and development. Broader and more rapid access to scientific papers and data will make it easier for researchers and businesses to build on the findings of public-funded research. This will boost Europe's innovation capacity and give citizens quicker access to the benefits of scientific discoveries.
See more references here:
- White House directs open access for government research, Yahoo News
- U.S. Moves to Provide Quicker Access to Publicly Financed Scientific Research, The New York Times
- US science to be open to all, Nature
- ARL Commends Obama Administration for Historic Action Opening up Access to Federally Funded Research, ARL, Association of Research Libraries.
- White House moves to make federally funded research open to the public, The Washington Post
- Media reports look favorably on new White House open-access directive, Physicstoday.org
- Obama Administration backs open access to all federal research, Ars Technica
- Open Aire, Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe
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