Fw: Lord Sainsbury on the RCUK proposals

From: Barbara Kirsop <barbara_at_biostrat.demon.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 2 Nov 2005 09:57:51 -0000

The following letter has been posted to Lord Sainsbury, copy to Phil
Willis, new chair of the S&T Select Committee of the House of Commons,
UK. It is written with the intention of supporting the RCUK proposals,
particularly the Institutional Repositories aspect of OA which, in the
view of the Electronic Publishing Trust for Development and colleagues
around the world, offers very great potential for developing country
scientific progress.



Lord Sainsbury of Turville

Science Minister

House of Lords

London SW1A 0PW

October 30th 2005

Dear Lord Sainsbury,

I have read the comments you made in the ^—UNCORRECTED TRANSCRIPT OF ORAL
EVIDENCE to be published as HC 490-I, House of Commons, before the
Science and Technology Committee^“ , October 19th 2005, and wish to make
a few points relating to Open Access Archiving (Institutional

You will know that the ground-breaking proposals of the Budapest Open
Access Initiative proposed two routes towards achieving universal access
to the world^“s publicly funded research findings: open access publishing
and open access archiving. I note that the BioMedCentral team have
responded with corrections regarding the progress and quality of OA
publishing, based on evidence that shows daily increases in the number of
OA journals now operating. With these statements I concur, since the
Directory of Open Access Journals (see below) provides ample evidence of
progress in this direction.

Regarding Open Access Archiving, I think you may not be fully informed
that this relates to the archiving in interoperable archives of already
published papers (as well as other institutional material of value to the
international scientific community ^÷ such as pre-prints, theses,
teaching material etc). Some 93% of publishers questioned have agreed to
OA archiving of their published material (see the ROMEO database, below),
with varying degrees of time-embargoes. Their decision is clearly based
on the evidence from the physics discipline where the major physics
journals have existed in partnership with the arXive archive for over 10
years and have reported no decline in subscriptions, and in one case are
assisting in the mirroring of the archive. Recently, as you will be
aware, the RCUK group have unanimously proposed OA archiving, as have the
Wellcome Trust, the House of Commons S&T Committee and a growing number
of independent universities and countries. The list below shows some of
the major statements already publicised and you will see that there is a
truly international concensus on the value of this development.

Publishers (both commercial and non-profit) are arguing that their
profitability will be impaired if OA Archiving continues, but their
worries are not based on evidence (which shows the contrary) but on
speculation. I am of the generation that can well recall the doom-laden
predictions for the music industry when discos began playing recorded
music (the music industry has flourished and benefited), when email began
(the postal services still operate successfully), or when television
first began to develop (theatres and the film industry continue
unabated), so it seems that the S&T publishing industry will continue to
play a valuable role as in the past, and the more enlightened will adapt
and flourish in partnership with the academic community.

If the RCUK proposals are adopted this will put the UK at the forefront
of international communication, using the unprecedented power of the
Internet to share research findings as widely as possible. I must declare
an interest in the success of these proposals since I work with
colleagues around the world to support access to and inclusion in the
open access movement for the benefit of all scientists from developing
countries who have greatly restricted access to essential research
information. The development of OA archives provides an unprecedented
opportunity to support research globally (which in turn leads to the
steady alleviation of poverty and the growing independence of poorer
countries). This becomes increasingly urgent in view of the current
problems that have a global dimension ^÷ AIDS, avian influenza, climate
change, environmental disasters ^÷ where local knowledge and its progress
are important for all humanity. All that matters is that research
findings are shared as widely as possible, making the greatest impact on
scientific progress. The development of open access institutional
archives is a low cost, practical tool to bring this about, in parallel
with open access journals. The RCUK proposals are indeed enlightened and
I and colleagues around the world much hope that they will be agreed and
implemented, putting British research in a highly visible and influential
position in international research and supporting research in less
advantaged regions.

Yours sincerely,

Barbara Kirsop, Electronic Publishing Trust for Development/Bioline
http://www.epublishingtrust.org and http://www.bioline.org.br

Cc Philip Willis, Chair House of Commons S&T Committee

Open Access Policy statements

Budapest Open Archives Initiative (Soros Foundation), two recommended
strategies to achieve open access to scholarly journal literature,
February 14th 2002: http://www.soros.org/openaccess/

Wellcome Trust Statement in support of Open Access: Published in October
2003: http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/doc_WTD002766.html, operating from
October 2005

Berlin Declaration on the Open Access to knowledge in science and the
humanities: October 2003, a Declaration signed by over 50 major
institutions, universities, funding organisations and other interested
bodies committed to open access to scholarly publications. February 2005:

CERN confirms its commitment to Open Access, March 2005:

WSIS Declaration of Principles:

The Case for Institutional Repositories: A SPARC Position Paper, July
2002 - prepared by Raym Crow:

Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing: the outcome of a meeting of
research organisations to agree on steps to be taken to support the
transition to open access publishing:

Scotland declaration in support of Open Access: 20 institutions in
Scotland have already signed the October 2004 Declaration:

Finland has made a nation-wide commitment to Open Access by partnership
with BioMedCentral: http://www.news-medical.net/?id=1411

Public Library of Science, Statement signed by just under 30,000
individuals from 175 countries who support the concept of open access:

U K Government Science & Technology Committee recommendations on science

Salvador Declaration on Open Access

University of Southampton to make all its academic and scientific
research output freely available

Universities of Netherlands set up repositories

Cornell University endorses and adopts resolution on Open Access

Case Western University draft resolution on open access

University of Namibia sets up Institutional Archive and defines Open
Access policy: http://www.unam.na/ilrc/library/oai.htm

Bioline International eprints server: makes available all papers on an OA
basis from over 40 journals published in developing countries

Registries of OA developments

OpenDOAR: University of Nottingham, UK and University of Lund, Sweden: A
service to list Open Access research archives. Such repositories have
mushroomed over the last 2 years in response to calls by scholars and
researchers worldwide to provide open access to research information.

Register of Open Access Archives: shows numbers and kinds of records in
nearly 500 registered archives http://archives.eprints.org/

Directory of Open Access Journals: lists 1718 OA journals; 76,565

Publisher Copyright Policies and Self-Archiving
Received on Fri Nov 18 2005 - 15:15:30 GMT

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