Thursday, October 9, 2008

More on the Brisbane Declaration

This is what Professor Arthur Sale of the University of Tasmania, one of the chief architects of the Brisbane Declaration, has written about it:

...May I tease out a few strands of the Brisbane Declaration for
readers of the list, as a person who was at the OAR Conference in

1. The Declaration was adopted on the voices at the Conference,
revised in line with comments, and then participants were asked to put
their names to it post-conference. It represents an overwhelming
consensus of the active members of the repository community in

2. The Conference wanted a succinct statement that could be used to
explain to senior university administrators, ministers, and the public
as to what Australia should do about making its research accessible.
It is not a policy, as it does not mention any of the exceptions and
legalisms that are inevitably needed in a formal policy.

3. The Conference wanted to support the two Australian Ministers with
responsibility for Innovation, Science and Health in their moves to
make open access mandatory for all Australian-funded research.

4. Note in passing that the Declaration is not restricted to
peer-reviewed articles, but looks forward to sharing of research data
and knowledge (in the humanities and arts).

5. At the same time, it was widely recognized that publishers' pdfs
("Versions of Record") were not the preferred version of an article to
hold in a repository, primarily because a pdf is a print-based concept
which loses a lot of convenience and information for harvesting, but
also in recognition of the formatting work of journal editors (which
should never change the essence of an article). The Declaration
explicitly make it clear that it is the final draft ("Accepted
Manuscript") which is preferred. The "Version of Record" remains the
citable object.

6. The Declaration also endorses author self-archiving of the final
draft at the time of acceptance, implying the ID/OA policy (Immediate
Deposit, OA when possible).

While the Brisbane Declaration is aimed squarely at Australian
research, I believe that it offers a model for other countries. It
does not talk in pieties, but in terms of action. It is capable of
implementation in one year throughout Australia. Point 1 is written so
as to include citizens from anywhere in the world, in the hope of
reciprocity. The only important thing missing is a timescale, and
that's because we believe Australia stands at a cusp..

What are the chances of a matching declaration in other countries?

Arthur Sale
University of Tasmania

This is what Peter Suber had to say on his blog:

This is not the first call for OA to publicly-funded research. But I particularly like the way it links that call to (1) OA repositories at universities, (2) national research monitoring programs, like the HERDC, and (3) the value of early deposits. Kudos to all involved.

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