2009 has been declared Open Access year. Thus reports SURF, the collaborative organization for higher education institutions and research institutes in the Netherlands, aimed at breakthrough innovations in ICT. The involved parties are the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Dutch higher education sector (together with other research institutions). SURF will act as the coordinator. From the announcement:
“The aim is to boost Open Access to the results of scientific/scholarly and practice-based research. Efforts will be made throughout the year to formulate and implement an Open Access policy, develop and improve the knowledge infrastructure, establish a clear legal framework, and create awareness with all stakeholders.”
SURF also published a short movie on Open Access, featuring amongst others Dr Sijbolt Noorda, (Chairman of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) who is also chairing the OAPEN Scientific Board.
Great initiative of course and although certainly a movie that is blatantly promotional of Open Access and depicts mainly the stance from the side of the Dutch funding and research and university communities, the movie does also touch shortly on some problems or difficulties when it comes to implementing an Open Access system, especially concerning the relationship between the different actors in the scholarly communication value chain. As Sybolt Noorda states:
“There is one complication: we need to draw up new types of arrangements with publishers about the relation between the person publishing – the author-, the library and the publisher. But that can be done. Contracts can be drawn up differently, so that won’t be the problem.”
Two little criticisms though (sorry, can’t help myself). Wish they could have gotten someone like Jesse Dylan to make the movie (see here)… and what is the problem with the pronunciation of the words Open Access? I’m sorry, but it’s really not that hard…