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Re: IFLA Support Open Access

The concept of open access is much broader than today's discussion about
journals openly accessible over the internet funded through an author (or
institutional) payment model.

Even in the area of making materials openly accessible through the
internet, the author pays option is just one of many potential models. Another is a dual system whereby authors and/or institutions self-archive
and make accessible their published materials. As Steve Harnad often
reminds us, this would probably be the fastest and most efficient way to
make a significant portion of the literature openly accessible in the
short term. I see that Ann Okerson has an excellent example of this
approach on her website, at http://www.library.yale.edu/~okerson/alo.html. Just think how much would be freely available if we all followed suit!

Distributing information for free over the internet is also only one form
of an open access model. This model is not necessarily meaningful in
those portions of the world where computers, internet access, or libraries
are not common. The fastest means towards open access in many countries
might well be the development of public and other library systems, using
traditional purchasing programs and materials, perhaps supplemented with
computers and internet access where this is available.

Also, as Ann points out, the concept of open access is not incompatible
with the purchase of published information. There are vendors who have
worked hard to develop pricing models that are affordable to all kinds of
libraries, or even whole states, provinces, or countries. This, too, is a
form of open access.

The IFLA statement also covers other important areas of open access, such
as freedom from censorship, moral rights of authors, preservation, etc.


Heather Morrison

On 24-Feb-04, at 7:25 PM, Ann Okerson wrote:

Note that the IFLA document defines Open Access differently (more
generically) from the OA definitions in today's STM dialogues. IFLA's
open access has as it goal the provision of information to the broadest
possible numbers of libraries and readers. It is understood that such
access may involve payment of a fee or subscription for the information.

Sincerely, Ann Okerson (took part in various committee discussions about the document, including definitions)