3.2 Open Access Initiatives and Current Scenario

The first major database to be offered as OA was that of NLM. In 1997, the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) made Medline which is the most comprehensive index to medical literature, freely available in the form of PubMed. While indexes are not the main focus of the open access movement, free Medline is important in that it opened up a whole new form of use of scientific literature - by the public, not just professionals. In 2001, 34,000 scholars around the world signed "An Open Letter to Scientific Publishers", calling for "the establishment of an online public library that would provide the full contents of the published record of research and scholarly discourse in medicine and the life sciences in a freely accessible, fully searchable, interlinked form"10. In 2002, the Open Society Institute launched the Budapest Open Access Initiative. In 2003, the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities was drafted and the World Summit on the Information Society included open access in its Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action. In 2006, a Federal Research Public Access Act was introduced in the US Congress by senators John Cornyn and Joe Lieberman. In November 27, 2009, the Manchester Manifesto came as an initiative from philosopher John Harris, Nobel-winning biologist Sir John Sulston, and 48 others from the Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation (iSEI) at The University of Manchester. It introduced PubMed as the most comprehensive index to medical literature available free. It was earlier known as Medline. OA movement is slowly becoming one of the strongest movements in scholarly publication and information sharing history. Along with articles,open educational resources also are popular form of OA access material. “MIT Open Course Ware, an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology put all of the educational materials from their undergraduate and graduate level courses online. Since 2003, efforts have been towards open access mandating by the funders of research such as governments, national and international research funding agencies, and universities”. “Many countries, funders, universities and other organizations have now either made commitments to open access, or are in the process of reviewing their policies and procedures, with a view to opening up access to results of the research that they are responsible for. Harvard University through the Harvard Open-Access Publishing Equity (HOPE) provides funds for the reimbursement of reasonable article processing fees for articles authored or co-authored by Harvard researchers published in eligible open-access journals. Stanford university, MIT, York university, Boston university, Duke University, University College London, etc. are also supporting OA movement. As per SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), only in US more than 120 presidents, provosts, and chancellors of many large, small, public, and private U.S. universities and colleges have gone on record in support of the Federal Research Public Access Act (2009-2010 introduction). SPARC international currently has members from over 800 institutions in North America, Europe, Japan, China and many other countries.

Last modified: Tuesday, 13 April 2021, 11:18 AM