Open access and the developing world – read the latest

As part of Open Access Week last month, Walter H. Curioso, M.D., M.P.H, Research Professor at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, talks about his views of open access and how it can help in developing countries

In other open access news, Denise Nicholson recently published her Tips for Developing Countries when reviewing Copyright Laws as part of the African Copyright & Access to Knowledge Project. Her recommendations include:
* … Do not include protection for non-original databases. (It had little or no positive impact for rightsholders in the EU and created problems for users)". Original databases are protected by copyright like any original work. …
* Promote Open Access, Open Source Software & Open Licensing (e.g. Creative Commons, etc.)
* Create and populate Open Access Institutional Repositories/Research Archives to showcase African research.

At a meeting on open access in agriculture, held at the International Centre for Crop Research for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Hyderabad early September, Bruce Alberts, Editor-in-Chief or Science, called for open access to agricultural research in India to help drive development and reduce poverty. According to Alberts ‘Given that agriculture is a "critical component" of India’s science sector and that the country has a tremendous advantage in terms of diversity in agricultural science and practice, providing open access to agricultural research results could improve in national and state policymaking.’

In a comprehensive article recently published in the Times Higher Education Supplement, reporter Zoe Corbyn explores the pros and cons of open access, particularly in the developing world. In a blog piece entitled ‘Revisiting OA‘, Barbara Kirsop of the Electronic Publishing Trust emphasises the need for instutional repositories in the developing world, concluding:
"Without a strong research base, the poorer countries will forever depend on donations and will be unable to contribute their essential and unique knowledge to the world’s information pool."

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