May 14, 2014
As organizations committed to the principle that access to information
advances discovery, accelerates innovation and improves education, we
endorse the policies and practices that enable Open Access –
immediate, barrier free access to and reuse of scholarly articles.
Policies that promote Open Access are increasingly being adopted world
wide by research funders, academic institutions and national
governments in order to improve the use and value of scholarly
research. We fully support such policies and the dual avenues for
implementing them: open access repositories and open access journals.
These policies play an important role in creating an environment where
our collective investments in research can be maximized for the
benefit of the public, and for society at large.
Many policies have employed the use of embargo periods – delayed
access to research articles for a short period of time to help protect
publishers’ subscription revenue as they shift to new business models.
We consider the use of embargo periods as an acceptable transitional
mechanism to help facilitate a wholesale shift towards Open Access.
However, embargo periods dilute the benefits of open access policies
and we believe that, if they are adopted, they should be no more than
6 months for the life and physical sciences, 12 months for social
sciences and humanities. We further believe that mechanisms for
reducing – or eliminating – embargo periods should be included in any
Open Access policy.
Any delay in the open availability of research articles curtails
scientific progress and stifles innovation, and places unnecessary
constraints in delivering the benefits of research back to the public.
COAR: Confederation of Open Access Repositories
EIFL: Electronic Information for Libraries
LIBER: Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche – Association
of European Research Libraries
National Science Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences
OpenAIRE: Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe
SPARC: Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition