Within the framework of the overarching objective of “Enabling Universal Access and Preservation of Information and Knowledge”, UNESCO focuses on policy development, capacity building, standard setting, partnerships and collaborations, and on playing the role of a clearing-house on Open Access (OA) as a forum for international cooperation, exchange of dialogue and reflection. It promotes long-term solutions for OA based on an inclusive and rights-based approach in the framework of the follow-up to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and in line with the mandate of the Information for All Programme (160 EX/Decision 3.6.1). In order to achieve this goal, UNESCO’s work in the area of Open Access has been divided into three core areas: Provision of upstream policy advice and building partnerships; Strengthening capacities to adopt OA; and Serving as a clearing-house and informing the global OA debate.
In order to continue strengthening its clearing house function the Communication and Information Sector of UNESCO has joined forces with The International Centre for the registration of serial publications – CIEPS, which is a Category II center under the auspices of UNESCO, to create ROAD. ROAD (The Directory of Open Access Scholarly Resources) is a global, and multidisciplinary system which gives access to a variety of Open Access scholarly resources such as journals, academic repositories, conference proceedings, etc. Currently in beta version which will be fully developed by the end of 2014, its aim is to facilitate the access to those resources and to help assessing their editorial quality and their usage within the scholarly community.
ROAD is based on the ISSN system (the international system for the identification of serial resources), and it links data coming from a variety of sources such as scientific indexes, metrics, and selective registries devoted to scholarly publications. ROAD is maintained by the ISSN International Centre with the support of UNESCO and is accessible via the Global Open Access Portal (GOAP) of UNESCO. ROAD provides a unique tool for assessing the quality of Open Access scholarly resources, and following up the development of the Open Access model worldwide.
UNESCO promotes Open Access (OA), with particular emphasis on scientific information (journal articles, conference papers and datasets of various kinds) emanating from publicly funded research. Working with partners, UNESCO works to improve awareness about the benefits of OA among policy makers, researchers and knowledge managers. Through its global network of Field Offices, Institutes and Centers, UNESCO facilitates the development and adoption of OA-enabling policies. In addition, UNESCO engages in global OA debates and cooperates with local, regional and global initiatives in support of OA.