In response to the growing demand to make research free and available to anyone with a computer and an internet connection, a diverse coalition today issued new guidelines that could usher in huge advances in the sciences, medicine, and health.
The recommendations were developed by leaders of the Open Access movement, which has worked for the past decade to provide the public with unrestricted, free access to scholarly research—much of which is publicly funded. Making the research publicly available to everyone—free of charge and without most copyright and licensing restrictions—will accelerate scientific research efforts and allow authors to reach a larger number of readers.
“The reasons to remove restrictions as far as possible are to share knowledge and accelerate research. Knowledge has always been a public good in a theoretical sense. Open Access makes it a public good in practice,” said professor Peter Suber, director of the Open Access Project at Harvard University and a senior researcher at SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition).
The Open Access recommendations include the development of Open Access policies in institutions of higher education and in funding agencies, the open licensing of scholarly works, the development of infrastructure such as Open Access repositories and creating standards of professional conduct for Open Access publishing. The recommendations also establish a new goal of achieving Open Access as the default method for distributing new peer-reviewed research in every field and in every country within ten years’ time.
The Open Access recommendations are the result of a meeting hosted earlier this year by the Open Society Foundations, on the tenth anniversary of the landmark Budapest Open Access Initiative, which first defined Open Access.
Direct to New Recommendations Document (via Budapest Open Access Initiative)
Key Recommendation From the Report in this News Release
Key recommendations in the BOAI 10 document include:
• Development of Open Access policies in higher education institutions and in funding agencies;
• Widespread adoption of open licensing for scholarly works;
• Continued development of critical infrastructure such as Open Access repositories;
• The creation of standards of professional conduct for Open Access publishing
None of the BOAI 10 recommendations are likely to surprise anyone in the academic community who have been following the evolution of Open Access, and many are simply refinements to strategies that are already in place. However, they are still critically important. While we’ve made enormous progress towards our ultimate goal, there are very real hurdles to cross before Open Access is accepted as the norm for communicating the results of research and scholarship. The BOAI 10 recommendations provide important guidance for helping to clear those hurdles, once and for all.