Wednesday, 23 December 2009

EPT raises developing country needs in international fora

The EPT has written in support of two initiatives to consider working towards open science and open access to research findings. The US Office of Science and Technology Policy has initiated a discussion forum, requesting information on optimal procedures to advance this development, and there has been a call for input to a petition to the German Parliament on open access. These can be seen at:

- OSTP, and

- German Parliament, pasted on Eberhard Hilf’s blog -

The intention of these interventions has been to ensure that the needs of the research communities in developing countries is highlighted. As the previous two postings to this EPT blog have shown, the understanding and incorporation of open access policies and the establishment of repositories and journals is moving ahead with some strength in these regions. This is largely due to the work of such organisations as the eIFL network, Bioline International, SciELO, MedKnow publications and many others. We hope that the important efforts of these organisations continues to accelerate in 2010 – and EPT wishes them every success.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Botswana, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Mozambique - keep up everyone!

Developing and emerging countries are going from strength to strength, thanks very much to the great work of the eIFL network (newsletter on right of this blog). From here you can read a report of a seminar on ‘Open access: maximizing research quality and impact’ held during open Access week in Latvia.

In his opening address, Prof. Indrikis Muiznieks, University of Lithuania (LU)’s vice rector said, ‘It was stressed, that today’s science and research are dynamic and collaborative and it is important to sustain the communication processes, rather than simply archive research results in the form of a single journal article.’ He said that LU is looking forward to exploring the benefits of open access as a viable solution to existing problems in scholarly communication.

During the seminar Tetiana Yaroshenko, University Librarian and Vice President for IT, National University of Kyiv Mohyla Аcademy, Ukraine, presented the governmental and institutional open access policy landscape and the collective actions of universities and libraries to promote open access. She described the implementation of a national open access mandate – open access to research funded by the state budget of Ukraine is required by the Law of Ukraine “On the principles of Developing Information Society in Ukraine in 2007-2015”. To implement this mandate, the Vernadsky National library of Ukraine created a full text registry of 965 journals [3] and a DSpace repository.

The seminar brought together 78 researchers, research managers and policy-makers, journal editors and publishers, librarians, and ICT specialists to discuss the latest developments of the open access movement and to debate how to raise the visibility of research outputs from Latvian universities and research organisations, and how to build their capacities in global knowledge sharing. To read the full report, click here.

Furthermore, the first open access repositories have been launched in Belarus, Botswana and Mozambique. As the eIFL newsletter says: Congratulations to the Fundamental Library of the Belarusian State University with the first open access institutional repository in Belarus – BSU Digital Library, to the University of Botswana with the University of Botswana Research, Innovation and Scholarship Archive and to the Centro de Formação Jurídica e Judiciária, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane and Universidade Politécnica with the national Mozambican Repository! Aissa Issak, eIFL country coordinator for Mozambique and coordinator of Mozambican Repository SABER, has sent us a detailed account on how the project got started and developed until it was officially launched on November 4, 2009. Please read her full story.

Furthermore – again – the Republic of Moldova published an Open Access Declaration.

To read all the OA events that have taken place around the developing world, click on the eIFL Newsletter. As Iryna Kuchma states in the eIFL report, “Deep interest in Open Access was in evidence, as tens of thousands of individuals attended live events, logged onto Web casts, shared videos, and participated in contests calling on stakeholders to express their support for Open Access through creative uses of digital resources. “

Many congratulations to all concerned and may 2010 keep up this breathtaking speed of development!

Monday, 14 December 2009

Venezuela's 'Technology Mecca'

Lesson from Venezuela

An article describing the establishment and progress over a decade of the Institutional Repository of the Universidad de Los Andes (IR-ULA) in Venezuela is of interest to all organisations in the developing world (or elsewhere) planning the establishment of an IR. The article provides guidelines/recommendations based on ULA's experience.

The ULA, a 200-year old, geographically isolated university, is now considered to be a ‘Technology Mecca’ in Venezuela. Starting in 2000, the IR now holds some 19,000 records and has attracted 40,000,000 visits to its portal. See here for statistics of usage.

According to an UNDP report, ‘. . . . this small town can be considered an innovation territory where signs of technology appropriation can be detected and where ICT are statistically significant within the Latin America context’. It is clear that the early acceptance of open access has put the ULA on the world map and provided global recognition for its research activities.

Note: the ULA web site is in Spanish, the statistics pages in Spanish/English.

Monday, 7 December 2009

OA and Copenhagen

Copenhagen has begun and the world watches and waits. But anyone who has chaired a committee of strong-minded people following different agendas will understand very well the problems ahead.

But one thing seems clear. If we are to accumulate all possible scientific knowledge about climate change, biodiversity conservation, engineering progress, social consequences – and do this with some urgency - and at the same time develop essential practical solutions to change current culture to a more sustainable one, then we must share knowledge.

The mutual exchange of information is something to which all nations can agree and work towards together. So it is to be hoped that open access advocates will be raising this important and eminently do-able building block to achieving global answers to the problems we face.

It is very good that SciDevNet have a Copenhagen blog to report activities of interest to the scientific communities. If there are other groups in Copenhagen, it is to be hoped they will use every opportunity to raise the issue of open access to essential information. This is something we can do.

Note that there is a link to SciDevNet from this blog. Please add links to other information/Copenhagen resources as a comment to this post.