Open Access: Major Issues and Global Initiatives
Free availability of scientific data, information and knowledge has played a key role in the phenomenal developments in science. At present, high and ever increasing cost of scientific literature is a major barrier to access to knowledge, particularly in the developing world. A number of initiatives like the Budapest Open Access Initiative, ECHO Charter, Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing and Berlin Declaration have emphasized on open access. Studies by the Wellcome Trust have concluded that it should be viable to move towards another system and that system should be more efficient and less expensive. Dissemination of scientific results through Internet and associated digital technologies is cost effective, efficient and beneficial to producers and users of knowledge. CODATA has been actively engaged in propagating open
access. Some of its recommendations found place in the Declaration of Principles and Agenda for Action of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS). In the second
and final phase of the Summit at Tunis (November 2005) CODATA presented the viewpoint of scientific stakeholders and a new proposal on Global Information Commons for Science (GICSI). CODATA recommendations were evolved after in-depth deliberations involving scientists and technologists, legal experts and noted economists and with the active participation of organizations like ICSU, UNESCO, ICSTI, INASP, IAP, TWAS and US NAS and collaboration of OECD. Recently, CODATA at the request of GEOSS successfully led the task concerning with practical applications of agreed GEOSS Data Sharing Principles (GEOSS Task DA-06-01).
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