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Open Access to Scientific Information and Research to be discussed in Berlin next month

The pivotal importance of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), knowledge-sharing and capacity-building for eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development has recently been confirmed at the Rio+20 Conference and the 2013 ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review. While the benefits of STI for development have received global recognition, access to these benefits remains unequally distributed within and among countries.

Despite rapidly advancing technological developments, fully open and accessible research and innovation has not been put into widespread practice until today. Appreciating the continuous persistence of the ”knowledge challenge”, UNESCO’s Open Access programme is designed to foster the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to make peer-reviewed research accessible to all.

Within the same context, UNESCO will co-organize with the German and the Netherlands National Commissions for UNESCO, a Regional Consultation on “Open Access to Scientific Information and Research – Concept and Policies” on 20 and 21 November 2013. Third in its series, the Consultation will be hosted by the German National Commission for UNESCO in Berlin. The meeting for Europe and North America follows previous Regional Consultations on Open Access for Eastern and Central Europe and the Baltic States (5-7 September 2012) as well as Latin American and the Caribbean (5-8 March 2013). The consultation will convene some 35 high-ranking policy-linked experts and government representatives to meet the following objectives:

  • assess the implementation of the UNESCO Open Access Strategy so far and discuss the further implementation process;
  • exchange information on Open Access implementation in the respective countries, identify current barriers, and share best practices as models to follow; review GOAP templates and country information, and suggest improvements;
  • provide analysis for anticipating foreseeable trends and emerging challenges in order to enable stakeholders to adapt strategies and policies accordingly;
  • develop partnerships and collaboration among stakeholders as an enabling mechanism to improve access to and sharing of scientific information and research through Open Access, and consider which role the EU Commission, SPARC and ALLEA could play therein;
  • identify possibilities to contribute to the promotion of Open Access in the Global South.

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