In response to the growing demand to make research free and available to anyone with a computer and an internet connection, a diverse coalition has issued new guidelines that could usher in huge advances in the sciences, medicine, and health.
The recommendations were developed by leaders of the Open Access movement, which has worked for the past decade to provide the public with unrestricted, free access to scholarly research—much of which is publicly funded. Making the research publicly available to everyone—free of charge and without most copyright and licensing restrictions—will accelerate scientific research efforts and allow authors to reach a larger number of readers.
The recommendations are the result of a meeting organized by the Open Society Foundations to mark the tenth anniversary of Budapest Open Access Initiative, which first defined Open Access. The recommendations include the development of Open Access policies in institutions of higher education and in funding agencies, the open licensing of scholarly works, the development of infrastructure such as Open Access repositories and creating standards of professional conduct for Open Access publishing. The recommendations also establish a new goal of achieving Open Access as the default method for distributing new peer-reviewed research in every field and in every country within ten years’ time.
Translations of the recommendations have already been made in several languages, with more to follow.