Strategies for Open and Permanent Access to Scientific Information in Latin America: Focus on Health and Environmental Information for Sustainable Development

A Question of Access: Public Policy and Digital Repositories ,

Heather Joseph, Executive Director, The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition
Washington, DC

As the scholarly community examines mechanisms for expanding access, use and redistribution of research outputs, the concept of Open Access has played a central role in helping to define key paths forward. Two major paths towards Open Access have been identified: the first, Open Access journal publishing, focuses on the creation of alternatives to the traditional "user pays" model of supporting peer-reviewed journal publications. The second, Open Access repositories, focuses on the creation of freely accessible digital databases, populated by the output of individual researchers, and organized around either disciplinary or geographical (institutional) constraints.

As the concept of freely, or publicly, accessible digital repositories has taken root in the scholarly community, policy makers, particularly those responsible for providing funding for large-scale scientific research, have begun to explore the possibilities that these databases hold in advancing the conduct of research, providing stable, long term archives for research outputs, and maximizing access and use of research results. Government-wide policies geared towards ensuring that value of publicly-funded research is maximized have begun to emerge worldwide. These emerging policies share key characteristics and goals, and this talk explores both the roots of these policies as well as their current status.

  • The Global Alliance for Enhancing Access to and Application of Scientific Data in Developing Countries, of the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development, UN G@ID
  • U.S. National Committee for CODATA
  • Brazilian National Committee for CODATA.
  • CODATA Task Group on Preservation of and Access to Scientific and Technical Data in Developing Countries