Victoria Henson-Apollonio circulated a link to Richard Poynder’s blog post, “A letter to CGIAR in support of Open Access” http://poynder.blogspot.com/2010/05/letter-to-cgiar-in-support-of-open.html#links
Poynder, a prolific journalist with a special interest in Open Access, reports that:
Indian Open Access (OA) advocate Professor Subbiah Arunachalam (Arun) organized a letter to the top management of CGIAR . The letter spoke of the need for, and advantages of, making all of CGIAR’s research output Open Access.
Poynder interviews Arun, who makes a number of astute and relevant observations about the origins and the mandate of the CGIAR and similar organizations. Arun observes that:
Unfortunately, research findings of CGIAR laboratories often end up as articles in refereed professional journals, most of which are behind toll access. I thought it needed to be corrected.
In the belief that research conducted by public organizations should be easily accessible, Arun has written similar letters to other organizations which have a development mandate.
CAS-IP lawyer Francesca Re Manning posted a comment on Poynder’s blog in response to this interview:
I completely agree with Professor Arunachalam. Research outputs should be made as widely accessible as possible; this is one of the ways the CGIAR can fulfill its mission. CAS-IP, the legal unit to the CGIAR, is assisting other centers in going “open”, advising on open access strategies and copyright. That is why Bioversity, CIMMYT, and ICARDA are following ICRISAT’s example, adopting an open access policy and consistently use of Creative Commons as well as OpenData Commons for their data exchanges. We are really pleased to be involved in this process which will ultimately benefit research in the agricultural sector in developing countries.
Enrica Porcari, Chief Information Officer of the CGIAR and Leader of the CGIAR’s ICT-KM Program, posted a reponse to the letter sent by Subbiah Arunachalam to the CGIAR leadership. In her response she outlines some of the OA policies underway at various centres within the CGIAR. She says:
“Open access” policies can often be easily applied to products that stay in our hands, but the situation becomes more complex when it comes to articles published by third parties.
And this is of course true also of works co-written with third parties. Enrica concludes by saying:
Rather than a policy on “open access” limited to journal articles, I would instead prefer to see us develop a strong and clear CGIAR view and set of practices that balance the need for high quality science with highly accessible outputs, and reinforces the substantial progress we have already made across all the Centers…I would advocate for a concerted effort to “opening access to our research”
Last year, Poynder featured CAS-IP in a post entitled “Intellectual Property, Open Access, and the Developing World“.
Post written by Peter Bloch, consultant to CAS-IP and Kay Chapman