Sunday, 1 August 2010

UNESCO supports Open Access

A recent announcement from UNESCO, and made available by EPT Trustee Daisy Ouya (currently working with UNESCO in Paris), said: "UNESCO promotes and supports Open Access — the online availability of scholarly information to everyone, free of most licensing and copyright barriers — for the benefit of global knowledge flow, innovation and socio-economic development." It further stated, "Scientific information is both a researcher’s greatest output and technological innovation’s most important resource."

Not only is UNESCO supporting OA, but promoting it too. This is a most valuable development as UNESCO has the outreach power to inform and support researchers in all regions of the world, and particularly those in economically constrained countries. It is much to be hoped that this announcement will encourage other inernational organisations to adopt a similar approach in their support of the free exchange of essential research information. In practice, it must be hoped that UNESCO's programmes will focus on the development of low cost Institutional Repositories in research centres as these can archive and make available articles arising from the institution's support, thus providing international visibility for its research and ensuring its incorporation in the global knowledge base.

For further information, see here.

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