Open access to scientific information on agenda of seminar in New Delhi
A one-day seminar on open access will take place on 16 March 2011 at the India International Centre, New Delhi. Organized by UNESCO jointly with the Centre for Internet and Society (Bangalore, Karnataka), the event aims to initiate a sub-regional dialogue on democratizing access to scientific and health-related information, the economics of scientific publishing, the implications of the various open-access models and the copyright and intellectual property issues.
The New Delhi seminar will focus on the online availability of scholarly information to everyone, free of most licensing and copyright barriers. Editors of scientific journals, policy makers, information professionals, researchers, open access movement activists and academics will examine the inter-relationships between academic institutions, researchers, scientists and publishers, as well as the challenges and barriers that open access is currently facing in India and other South Asian countries.
These issues are of strategic relevance to UNESCO as they address key challenges of the building process of knowledge societies, one of the strategic objectives of the Organization. UNESCO believes that open access is an enriching part of the scholarly communication process that can and should co-exist with other forms of communication and publication, such as society-based publishing and conferencing activities.
In India, there is a large opportunity for open-access publishing. Universities, non-commercial research and development institutions, and R&D laboratories operating within government science agencies are producing a conspicuous number of documents that are expanding the frontier of knowledge and scope for technological innovation. According to a study by Thomson Reuters in 2009, India's scientific research productivity is predicted to be on par with most G8 nations by 2017.
The existing institutional framework and information infrastructure, as well as the adequate availability of trained manpower and financial resources, make India ready to tap into the open access revolution to play a relevant role in strengthening the global platform of information flow from South to North. Lowering the cost of reaching a fairly wide audience while maximising return on public money, enhancing national research capacity and increasing the exposure of publications, are among the major potentialities offered by open access.
The Agenda and draft Concept Note of the seminar are available on the website of UNESCO's Office in New Delhi: <a target=_blank href="http://portal.unesco.org/geography/en/ev.php-URL_ID=13847&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html">click here</a>.