Fwd: [BOAI] SURF: 2009 is Open Access year

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2009 10:47:55 -0500

Begin forwarded message:

      From: Peter Suber <peters earlham.edu >
Date: February 26, 2009 9:29:45 AM EST (CA)
To: boai-forum_at_ecs.soton.ac.uk, SPARC-OAForum_at_arl.org
Subject: [BOAI]  SURF: 2009 is Open Access year

[Forwarding from SURF.  --Peter Suber.]

SURF: 2009 is Open Access year

Tackling restricted access to higher education research results

Utrecht, 26 February 2009 - The Dutch higher education sector
has declared
2009 to be 'Open Access Year'. The aim is to boost Open Access
to the
results of scientific/scholarly and practice-based research.
Efforts will
be made throughout the year to formulate and implement an Open
policy, develop and improve the knowledge infrastructure,
establish a clear
legal framework, and create awareness with all stakeholders.
The parties
involved are the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
(KNAW), the
Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the
Dutch higher
education sector, and research institutions. SURF will act as
the coordinator.

The Netherlands is one of the world leaders in achieving Open
Access. The
research universities and a large number of universities of
sciences have created a knowledge infrastructure making
possible permanent
Open Access to publications. NARCIS, the national "gateway to
scientific information", provides access to the full text of
almost 170,000
scientific and scholarly publications. The Knowledge Bank for
of Applied Sciences [HBO Kennisbank] gives access to the
results of
research by 'lectors' (directors of research groups and
knowledge networks
in Universities of Applied Science). Extensive information is
available about copyright in higher education, as well as a
toolbox' for authors and publishers. But there is still a lot
to be done.

Public access

Dutch higher education institutions believe that radical
improvements need
to be made in Open Access to knowledge, information, and data.
 Compared to
the 'age of paper', digitisation of research and
communication opens up opportunities that are still
underutilised. Improved
access creates a solid basis for the transfer of knowledge in
knowledge generation for research, and knowledge valorisation
for civil
society. The central idea is that the results of publicly
financed research
should also be available to the public.

Dr Sijbolt Noorda, chairman of the Association of Universities
in the
Netherlands (VSNU), says that "It's in the interests of
scientists and
scholars for their publications to be digitally available for
anyone in the
world. It's in the interest of the general public too. Material
that's been
paid for out of our taxes can then be accessed and used by


Researchers and lectors need to be able to utilise all the new
possibilities for scientific and scholarly communication opened
up by the
Internet and ICT. Authors are more 'visible' if their work is
available on
the Internet, and they have more readers than if they publish
in the
traditional journals only. The greatly increased cost of
subscribing to the
traditional journals means that university libraries and media
centres can
afford fewer and fewer of them. Moreover, scientific and
publications increasingly consist of more than just text:
primary research
data and multimedia files are included, with audiovisual files
and games
being used to help present the research data. Constant
development and
improvement of the knowledge infrastructure is therefore

Copyright law

Information about copyright is also necessary because there are
a lot of
misunderstandings about Open Access and copyright. Complete
transfer of
copyright to a publisher, for example, may be an obstacle to
the author's
further use of the publication. This often means that the
author is not
even allowed to upload the work to his/her own personal website
or to that
of his/her knowledge network. Some publishers are prepared to
licences that do not require the exclusive transfer of
copyright, but this
is the common case yet.

Dr Noorda points out that five years ago the Netherlands was
one of the
pioneers in the field of Open Access "but since then all the
neighbouring countries have tackled it too. It's important for
us to remain
one of the leaders and really make progress."

Apart from Dr Noorda, various other administrators, university
and university deans have given their views on Open Access in a
short film
commissioned by SURF. The film can be viewed on a number of
websites and on

You can find this message also on the SURF website.
Received on Thu Feb 26 2009 - 15:48:46 GMT

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