Thursday, March 23, 2006

CODATA -ICSU workshop follow-up

I am feeling something on the verge of elation; as if I have had some small victory, but not a victory for myself, understand.

Last September I was invited to present at the CODATA Workshop on Strategies for Permanent Access to Scientific Information in Southern Africa ( Through a confluence of circumstances I was eventually not able to attend, but did send along my presentation [titled "Mandate is not a four-letter word: taking Open Access scholarly communication forward"] so as to contribute to the workshop in spite of my physical absence. Through the deft work of Roy Page-Shipp my work was incorporated into the final session report. And reading now the final Report and Executive Summary, I note the following recommendation regarding information policy in the Exec Summary ( ) page 5:

• Scientific and technical (S&T) data and information policy
o CODATA outputs should include examples of national policies that establish the record-keeping policies of various nations such as the USA, United Kingdom and Australia. This could help inform the South African National Archives Act, which currently makes no mention of the mandatory collection and preservation of S&T data and information, but refers only to public administrative records.

And further regarding STM journals (p8):

The following kinds of actions should be taken with regard to scientific, technical and medical (STM) journals:

· Establish and implement policy interventions by research funders (including governments and institutions) that:
o Mandate that scholars make pre-prints and e-prints of their research available via an open access medium.

[My emphasis (and contribution then) in bold]

That said (& to shift focus), I recommend reading the entire Executive Summary. This document, coming from CODATA + ICSU, is an important step in the right direction for OA, especially considering its origins in the southern hemisphere.


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