With a progressive Internet penetration across Singapore, internet accessibility has been much easier for this developing country. As open source movement is making inroads into the governance and administration of Singapore, its impact for the growth and promotion of open access is corollary. Open access is slowly gaining momentum in Singapore, as National Library Board and academic universities are showing keen interest to have openly accessible resources. CreativeCommons Singapore is striving hard to bring more licensed content in Singapore through its concerted efforts. In fact, Singapore is a country having several universities that are sought after by a huge number of students all over asia, especially India, Srilanka, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Malaysia etc. The good reason being the amount and quality of research work being carried out in these universities. With the invasion of the wonderful concept of 'Open Access' for the Scholars and Researchers and the extent of benefits that Open Access carries, Singapore has quite a long time ago embraced it and has quite good contribution to the World of OA in the form of Institutional Repositories in some of the well known Institutions in Singapore. As of May 2015, there are 4 OA repositories registered in OpenDOAR; This includes "Institutional Knowledge" at Singapore Management University, "Scholar Bank" at National University of Singapore and "Digital Repository (DR-NTU)" at Nanyang Technological University, etc. The Singapore E-Press is a project of NUS publishing and aims to provide a platform for online, Open Access publications from Singapore-based research teams. The E-Press includes reference material, an electronic journal as well as materials supplemental to books published in the traditional way. It is currently running on Open Source software , including their own systems and the Open Journal System (OJS), a software developed by the Public Knowledge project of the University of British Columbia. As of may 2015, there are 32 OA journals published in Singapore which are indexed in DOAJ.
The proactive policy of 'National Library Board' has enabled variety of resources openly accessible through various initiatives undertaken and its promotion & advocacy programmes are aimed to sustain these intiatives for international outreach.
On the occasion of the launch of the Smart Nation initiative, in 2014, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long stressed the necessity to provide open access to geospatial data for the country. The innovative approach aims at spreading the spirit of innovation and technology advancement in Singapore. In order to implement this vision within a ten years time frame, a Smart Vision office has been established.
Among the ASEAN Member States, Singapore is the only developed country. The ICT infrastructure is relatively effective and strong. The strengthening of cyber infrastructure by establishing Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN) by Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) will benefit the whole country greatly: higher broadband speeds and larger bandwidth, fast upload and download speeds, leveraging on cloud computing, facilitating services delivery and catalyzing adoption. It will enable contributors or developers to upload digital content in any file formats and users can access the content anywhere.
Open source adoption is relatively slow as reliability of open source applications is a cause of concern. More collaboration is required for making national initiatives in open access. The funding policies should be made mandatory such that all the public funded research is freely available.
Other obstacles to OA implementation include lack of knowledge about OA/ lack of interest and concern for OA, concern about copyright and a need to publish in high impact journals, so fully OA journals are rarely a top choice. There is no university funding for gold OA, though researchers can budget for it in grant applications.
As of May 2015, there are 3 OA policies registered in ROARMAP and MELIBEA. These 3 institutional OA policies are from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore Management University (SMU).
- 2013: First funder OA policy adopted (following Obama administration OSTP memorandum).
- A*STAR Mandate in August 2013: Green (Self-archiving) Open Access mandate.
- NTU OA Mandate 2011: Requiring deposit of full text of all staff publications and higher degree theses.
- SMU OA Policy 2013: Requiring deposit for all publications , giving faculty choice of access level (Open, SMU only, abstract only etc).
- NUS does not have a mandate or policy of its own, but encourages OA and will comply with funder mandates.
- Effective from July 2014, NRF requires research-performing institutions to have Open Access policies, in order for researchers to tap on their grants.
Past and Future OA related Activities
- 2014 - SMU librarians performed a skit in celebration of International OA Week, entitled " the Life of Pi: A Paper Born in SMU". The skit told the story of an original manuscript's journey to get accepted in a journal, get published in an OA journal and deposited in an IR.
- 2011- Creative Commons Singapore Festival, September 1 - November 11, Singapore.
- 2011- Libraries for Tomorrow Seminar, April 14, Singapore.
- 2010 - ICT2010, June - 2 July, Singapore.
Open Science and Open Data Related Events
March 2015: "Open, Crowdsource and Blockchain Science!"
The event provided a dialogue platform for participants to discuss about the roles of open data, OA, open hardware and trends in social networks, crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, alternative metrics and alternative currencies for improving science.
It brought together different stakeholders interested in research, innovation, design, advocates of open science, citizen science etc. to discuss the future of science and rethink ways to involve the public & Global South.
- Martin, Paolina and Pagell, Ruth A. (2008). SMU Institutional Repository: Knowledge Dissemination of Research and Scholarship. Research Collection Library, Paper 4.