From: Donat Agosti <agosti_at_AMNH.ORG>
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 2006 14:51:58 +0100

Sorry for cross posting:

Below an initiative launched by Yale University, UNEP and leading publishers
which is certainly a step in the direction of open access for few, but also
a distraction from providing open access for all for scientific
publications. It certainly does not live up to the goal of scientific
publications to distribute information as widely as possible.

I would also argue, that controlling access to this body of publications
does not allow implementing of mining scientific journals content, such as
open text mining.

Donat Agosti

For Immediate Release: October 30, 2006 (9:00 AM)


     United Nations Environment Programme, Yale University and Leading
  Publishers Launch "Online Access to Research in the Environment"

NEW YORK CITY/NAIROBI, - In an effort to help reduce great disparities in
scientific capital between developed and developing nations, the United
Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Yale University, and leading
science and technology publishers launched today a new collaborative
initiative to make global scientific research in the environmental sciences
available online to tens of thousands of environmental scientists,
researchers, and policy makers in the developing world for free or at
nominal cost.

Through Online Access to Research in the Environment (OARE), more than
200 prestigious publishers, societies and associations will offer one of the
world's largest collections of scholarly, peer-reviewed environmental
science journals to over 1200 public and non-profit environmental
institutions in more than 100 developing nations of Africa, Asia and the
Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe. Each and
every institution enrolled in OARE will receive resources with an annual
retail subscription value in the many hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Over 1000 scholarly scientific and technical journal titles in such
fields as biotechnology, botany, climate change, ecology, energy,
environmental chemistry, environmental economics, environmental engineering
and planning, environmental law and policy, environmental toxicology and
pollution, geography, geology, hydrology, meteorology, oceanography, urban
planning, and zoology will be provided through a portal presented in
English, Spanish and French. OARE will also provide important Abstract and
Index Research Databases (A&I Databases) -- intellectual tools the
scientific and professional community use to search for information within
thousands of scholarly publications, and other scholarly resources.

"OARE is a new and inspiring example of international cooperation that
can contribute to the reduction of the North-South scientific gap and
digital divide, objectives that are both at the top of the UN agenda and the
UN Millennium Development Goals", said Achim Steiner, United Nations
Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director.

"Thanks to advances in information and communication technologies and
the great generosity of many leading scientific publishers, we have an
unprecedented opportunity to provide environmental institutions in
developing countries with intellectual resources we in the developed
world so often take for granted", said James Gustave Speth, dean of Yale's
Environment School.

"Scientific publishers welcome this opportunity to provide access to the
latest published research in environmental and related sciences to
researchers and other professionals in 106 developing countries, in the
expectation that, in turn, higher quality research will emerge from
those countries, to the benefit of all of us", said Michael Mabe, CEO of the
International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical

"The Hewlett Foundation is committed to providing high quality
educational materials to students and scholars in the developing world. We
are extremely pleased to join with Yale, UNEP and the many participating
publishers, societies and associations to make scientific resources
available in developing countries, where the need is so great.", stated
Paul Brest, president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

OARE aims to contribute to the development of expert professional and
academic communities and an informed public; encourage scientific
creativity and productivity; facilitate the development of progressive
science-based national policies; help enable countries to build their
own higher education programs in the environmental sciences; educate their
own leaders; conduct their own research; publish their own scientific
findings; and disseminate information to policy makers and the public.

Organizations providing scientific content through OARE include leading
scientific publishers (e.g. Annual Reviews, Blackwell, Cambridge,
Elsevier, John Wiley, Nature Publishing Group, Springer, Taylor & Francis,
Oxford and many others) and more than 200 scientific societies and
associations (e.g. Académie des Sciences de France, American Association for
the Advancement of Science, National Academy of Sciences, Nordic Society
OIKOS, Oceanographic Society of Japan, Real Sociedad Espaniola de Qimica,
Royal Geographical Society, Royal Meteorological Society of Great Britain,
Societa Botanica Italiana, Zoological Society of London, etc). A
Complete listing of collaborating institutions is available at

Eligible institutions include universities and colleges, research
institutes, ministries of the environment and other government agencies,
libraries, and national NGOs. Access for institutions in the 70 poorest
countries will be free. Access for institutions in 38 lower middle
income countries will be at a nominal charge, which will be reinvested to
support continued training and outreach activities in eligible countries.

OARE will be coordinated by UNEP and Yale University in association with
STM and 30 leading science and technology publishing houses. Support is
provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the John D. and
Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. OARE will be managed in close
cooperation with the Health Internetwork Access to Research Initiative
(HINARI), launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2001 to
provide research to the medical community in developing nations, and
Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA), launched by the UN
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Cornell University in 2003 to
provide research to the agricultural community.

For more information, please visit the newly launched OARE website at The official launch event will be held today in
New York City, 4:30PM, at The University Club, One West 54th Street. Press
Are welcome.

OARE coordinators can be contacted directly:
Serge Bounda,, (254-20) 762-3105
Paul Walberg,, (1-203) 214-2968
Kim Parker,, (1-203) 432-0067

Jim Sniffen
Information Officer
UN Environment Programme
New York
tel: +1-212-963-8094/8210


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Dr. Donat Agosti
Science Consultant
Research Associate, American Museum of Natural History and Naturmuseum der
Burgergemeinde Bern
Skype: agostileu
Current Location
Dalmaziquai 45
3005 Bern
+41-31-351 7152
Received on Wed Nov 01 2006 - 14:19:18 GMT

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