Two wonderful resources for academics thinking about public access and open access came to my attention recently, and I want to share them as widely as possible.
The first is this video of a short speech given to the 40th LIBER Annual conference in Barcelona by Neelie Kroes , the European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda. LIBER is the Association of European Research Libraries, and Ms. Kroes gave their keynote address at the end of last month.
In her four-minute speech Commissioner Kroes does two important things. First, she succinctly states the case for public access to government-funded research, including the data that underlies research. She provides a sterling example of a politician (she was in both the Dutch Parliament and its cabinet) who really understands the needs and difficulties of scholarly research, as well as the opportunities provided by the digital environment. The second important part of Commissioner Kroes’ speech is her announcement that the European Commission will expand its public access mandate for funded research to include all research supported by the EC. Time for the U.S. to follow suit, if we do not want to lose ground in innovation and economic development.
The second brilliant resource I want to point is this 12 point explanation of the relationship between Open Access and Copyright by Peter Suber. It is an unfortunate reality of my job that I am frequently reminded about how many misconceptions regarding copyright persist amongst scholars. Unfortunately, there are some who try to exploit the misunderstands to convince scholars that copyright is simply too complex for them to manage, and surrendering all their rights is the path of least resistance. Professor Suber’s 12 points do a superb job of debunking some of the myths and clarifying that open access and copyright are not only perfectly compatible, but also that good copyright management can be a tremendous (and attainable) benefit to scholars.