Declaration of the Portuguese University Rectors (fwd)

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Sat, 2 Dec 2006 22:45:11 +0000

   Forwarding from Peter Suber's SPARC Open Access Forum. This very
   timely and welcome statement of the Portuguese Rectors' Council
   heralds, I think we can hope, the adoption soon of OA self-archiving
   mandates by all the Portuguese Universities. If this is successful,
   it will be owing largely to the efforts of U. Minho's Eloy Rodrigues
   and his Rector Antonio Guimaraes Rodrigues. (Please ignore point 4,
   which was just added to the English version after the statement
   had been adopted and signed; it does not mean anything at all.)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 02 Dec 2006 16:43:32 -0500
From: Peter Suber

[Forwarding from Eloy Rodrigues. This statement was approved in
mid-October by the Council of the Rectors of Portuguese Universities, and
presented at the Second Open Access Conference at Minho University (Braga
Portugal, November 27-28, 2006). Point 4 below did not appear in the
Portuguese version but was added to the English translation by the
President of the Council. --Peter Suber.]

Open access to scientific publications

The practical realities and the economics of the diffusion of scientific
knowledge and cultural heritage have been radically changed with the spread
of the internet.

In view of these new realities it is becoming clearer that the university's
mission to disseminate knowledge will only be accomplished if the
corresponding information is rapidly made available to society at large
through the new paradigm of Open Access via Internet.

The debate about the access to scientific publications has intensified over
the last years, in particular with respect to peer reviewed journal
publications. This results from the recognition that the present system, in
limiting the accessibility, and subsequently the use of research results,
represents a major obstacle to scientific and technological progress.

With the aim of overcoming the present limitations several initiatives
have been developed to promote better access to scientific literature, now
referred to as Open Access. This new trend for Open Access to scientific
literature has given rise to different Declarations and Recommendations,
of which the Budapest Open Access Initiative and the Berlin Declaration on
Open Access to Knowledge are highlighted (and already signed by a large
number of Universities and Rectors). Recently, the European University
Association has also established a working group on Open Access.

The merits of Open Access to scientific publications have been
increasingly recognised at international level. Open Access promotes
visibility, accessibility, and diffusion of results of the scientific
activity of each individual researcher, each university or research
institution, as well as each country, facilitating its use and its
subsequent impact on the international scientific community. An increasing
number of studies have revealed that scientific papers accessed for free
over the Internet are more cited and used and therefore have a greater
impact when compared to those that are not freely accessible.

The benefits of Open Access for each researcher and author of scientific
publications can be observed not only in larger dissemination and
impact of his/her results, but also in better access to research carried
out by other researchers in its scientific area.

For each University and Research Institution, Open Access may imply not
only a greater visibility and recognition for its scientific performance,
but also an added opportunity to establish partnerships and collaborative
projects with other institutions and national and international companies.

For Portugal, Open Access may result in a greater visibility in the
international scientific community and also facilitate the accessing
of scientific information by companies and citizens, promoting larger
scale transfer of knowledge and innovation.

As a result, the Council of Rectors of the Portuguese Universities
have decided to adopt the following position:

1. To state its support and adherence to the principle of Open Access
to scientific publications by signing, through its President, the
Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge.

2. To recommend all Portuguese Universities to establish by themselves or
on a cooperative basis, institutional repositories where researchers may
deposit their scientific and academic publications.

3. To recommend that all Portuguese Universities formulate institutional
policies calling for their members to deposit their scientific and academic
publications in those repositories and making them available via open
access whenever possible.

  4. To explore together with internationally recognised scientific
  journals ways to place in Institutional repositories papers authored by
  Portuguese researchers and published in those journals thus preserving the
  legitimate priority to publish in those journals.

5. To recommend that the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education
(MCTES) enforce policies determining that publications resulting from
research projects directly or indirectly funded by the MCTES be placed
at least in an Open Access repository, thereby making the results
of research supported by public funds publicly available (in line with
current discussions in the USA - Federal Research Public Access Act 2006 -
and the EU recommendations - Study on the Economic and Technical Evolution
of the Scientific Publication Markets in Europe).

6. To support networking and interoperability between institutional
repositories of Portuguese Universities and the establishment of a
single portal website for accessing national scientific publications
and requesting that the relevant Government authorities and agencies
provide the necessary financial support for this project, which is
critical for the production and dissemination of knowledge, innovation
and technological development.

Council of the Rectors of Portuguese Universities
November 2006
Received on Sun Dec 03 2006 - 00:14:39 GMT

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