16.11.2011 - UNESCO

Open Access Forum 2011: UNESCO to host expert meeting

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UNESCO will host a meeting of experts on Open Access on 22 and 23 November 2011, at its Headquarters in Paris (France), to discuss how to operationalize the UNESCO Open Access strategy approved by the UNESCO Executive Board at its 187th session and further adopted by the 36th session of the General Conference. The invited experts from all over the world will also discuss how to create a network collaborative platform to promote Open Access to scientific information and research.

The forthcoming meeting will focus on:

  • key global trends in Open Access to scientific information and research;
  • operationalizing the UNESCO Open Access strategy, including identifying partners and extrabudgetary funding sources; and
  • contributing ideas and new trends for future biennia.

Open Access (OA) is the provision of free access to peer-reviewed, scholarly and research information to all. It requires that rights holders grant worldwide irrevocable right to copy, use, distribute, transmit and make derivative works in any format for any lawful activities with proper attribution to the original author. Open Access uses information and communication technology (ICT) to increase and enhance the dissemination of scholarship. OA is about freedom, flexibility and fairness.

OA is at the heart of UNESCO’s activities to build knowledge societies through the use of ICT. UNESCO is mandated to maintain, increase and diffuse knowledge by assuring the preservation of books and knowledge resources through necessary international conventions, and by encouraging cooperation among the nations in all branches of intellectual activity through exchange of publications, objects of artistic and scientific interest and other materials of information.

UNESCO has developed a comprehensive strategy for Open Access within the framework of the Information for All Programme (IFAP) to promote universal access to information and bridge the gap between information rich and information poor. Open Access experts from universities, specialized non-governmental organizations, UN agencies and publishing houses will gather together to deliberate on the strategy, present the global trends in OA and identify opportunities to improve access to peer-reviewed research information to all.

The two-day meeting will take the form of a forum, where experts will present their ideas within the framework of the UNESCO Open Access strategy and discuss issues relevant to the promotion and development of Open Access, such as:

  • UNESCO Open Access strategy,
  • Open Access policies,
  • Curriculum for training on Open Access,
  • Network and collaboration for the development of Open Access, and
  • Open Access repositories and journals.

The recommendations of the expert meeting will be used for developing a plan of action for UNESCO within the overall structure of the Open Access strategy adopted by the General Conference. The meeting will also serve as a platform for initiating dialogue and collaboration for improving access to scientific information in developing countries.

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