Re: Paris Open Access Seminar Announcement

From: ept <ept_at_BIOSTRAT.DEMON.CO.UK>
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2003 16:23:24 +0000

The OA Seminar was a further step along the road and the audience seemed
in tune with the movement (and even broke into spontaneous applause a
couple of times). Although there is still some misunderstanding, and a
number of the contributions seemed a bit remote from OA, it was indeed
very encouraging to hear the concluding statements of the Directors
General of CNRS and INSERM.

Pariticipation was in no way 'international'. There were two
representatives from the developing world.... However, the seminar was
designed to be 'European', so perhaps this was not surprising. As the
President-elect of IFLA (Kay Raseroka) from Botswana said in her
introduction to the developing country session, it is essential to ask
researchers in the developing world for their opinion. And since she
described the potential benefits of OA for DC science as 'fantastic',
perhaps the OA proponants should be seeking to enroll DC researchers as
the prime movers and shakers. They have most to gain. The developing
country session allowed each of five people a 5 minute slot, followed by
a discussion period. As a componant of a two day programme this did not
seem to me to be 'very large', but I think the problems and OA-linked
benefits are not always apparent to the 'developed' academic community
and it was good to have the opportunity to bring these to the attention
of an interested group of Europeans.

This seminar was designed to feed into the UNESCO-organised meeting in
March, Paris, at which a far greater number of participants will be from
the developing world.

Barbara Kirsop

Stevan Harnad wrote:

> This is just a brief (and partial) summary of the conference sponsored
> by the French Ministry of Research on "Open Access to Scientific and
> Technical Information: State of the Art and Future Trends" in Paris
> 23-24 January 2003
> The powerpoints of the presentations should be available on the above
> site soon. Other participants' summaries are invited (for completeness,
> and impartiality!).
> The meeting was quite international, although the most heavily represented
> country was the host, France. A first pass at summarizing the trends
> came in a position paper written by Jack Franklin prior to the conference
> but this was substantially
> updated, extended (and corrected) by the participants during the course
> of the conference itself.
> The Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) was given a masterly
> presentation by Jean-Claude Guedon. Both of its components -- BOAI-1
> (self-archiving) and BOAI-2 (open-access journals -- were also presented
> (by me and by BioMed Central's Jan Velterop, respectively). In addition,
> there were reports by a number of recent successful specific BOAI-1
> and BOAI-2 implementations (i.e., OA Archives and OA journals), both in
> France and worldwide.
> There was a very large session devoted to the access and impact problems
> of researchers in developing countries, including some talks (by Barbara
> Kirsop, Secretary, Electronic Publishing Trust For Development and Barbara
> Aronson, WHO) touching on points that have been raised in this Forum:
> "Access-Denial, Impact-Denial and the Developing and Developed World"
> Journal subsidies for the developing world (by publishers as well as
> Foundations such as the BOAI's parent organization, George Soros's Open
> Society Institute) were described.
> There was (blessedly) little acrimony with publishers (represented,
> among other's, by Elsevier's Pieter Bolman) as the open access movement
> matures and comes to a realization that the solution to the problem of
> open access will not come from blaming publishers -- indeed the
> solution is not even in publishers' hands, but in the hands of
> researchers, their institutions, and their research funders.
> There was also the usual sample of misunderstandings and
> misprepresentations of what open access is about, but I will pass
> over those in silence. Fortunately, their number is shrinking, as
> understanding of the open access movement, its ends and its means,
> spreads. In particular, in France it seems at last to be spreading to the
> heads of the distributed national research institutes (which are unique
> to France, and perhaps more important in all this than the universities
> themselves). The Directors General of CNRS as well as of INSERM gave
> closing talks that illustrated that they have been listening to their
> researchers on the problem of open access, and that substantive movement
> may well be underway now in France.
> Stevan Harnad
Received on Fri Jan 31 2003 - 16:23:24 GMT

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