InterAcademy Panel on International Issues Mexico, 1-5 December 2003

From: Subbiah Arunachalam <>
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2003 14:12:21 +0000

To all participants of the InterAcademy Panel on International Issues
meeting taking place in Mexico, 1-5 December 2003

Dear Academicians:

Scientists around the world are greatly concerned about the increasing
difficulties we face in the matter of accessing information relevant
to our research. Journal prices are soaring and even libraries in
industrialised countries are forced to cut down on the number of journals
they subscribe to. The situation in developing countries including
India is much worse. It is for this reason, the Open Access movement is
gaining ground. Both BioMed Central and the Public Library of Science are
publishing many open access journals. Even in India the Indian Academy of
Sciences makes all its 11 journals available free on the Web.

But to date only about 600 journals (of about 24,000 refereed scholarly
journals) are available for universal free access. Therefore, in addition
to promoting open access journals, we need to promote interoperable
(OAI-compliant) institutional self archiving of research papers,
as suggested by Stevan Harnad.

Learned Academies and governments around the world should proactively
persuade scientists and scientific institutions around the world, and
especially in their home countries, to set up institutional archives and
to sign the Berlin Declaration. It is now well understood that research
papers which are available on the web are far more visible and cited
than papers published in toll access journals. Therefore it is in the
interest of the individual scientists, their institutions and funding
agencies to promote open access.

Please use your collective might as the world's leading academicians to
influence governments, donor agencies, vice chancellors of universities
and directors of research laboratories around the world to proactively
promote open access in their home countries.

The WSIS meeting at Geneva in the second week of December provides an
opportunity to obtain a worldwide agreement on this important issue. We
seek your support. If you are at WSIS, please attend the session on
"Open Access to Scientific Information:
Revolution in Science or Inevitable Scientific Evolution?"
Thursday, 11 December 2003, 1700 - 2000 hrs, Room T, CERN.


[Subbiah Arunachalam]
Received on Tue Dec 02 2003 - 14:12:21 GMT

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