This week (October 19 – 25, 2015) is the Open Access Week, an event that celebrates its 8th year and we have every reason to celebrate, too!
Agro-Know is a long-time Open Access advocate, and this is validated through our work in various instances, such as the management and support of the FAO AGRIS network through our AKstem, in projects such as the FP7 agINFRA and the most recent Horizon 2020 OpenMinTeD, as well as through our contributions to the VOA3R ICT-PSP project under the umbrella of the Greek Research & Technology Network (GRNET) – just to name a few.
We are also active contributors in global networks that work towards opening up access to research publications and data, such as the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN), the Research Data Alliance (RDA), the Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP) and among the initial signatories of the Hague Declaration and the Bouchout Declaration, among others. We are also proud to have developed the Open Access and Data Management Plan for ICARDA, one of the 15 CGIAR Research Centers, and to be active contributors to FAO AIMS & CIARD, both of which promote open sharing of agricultural knowledge & standards. Throughout the years, we have worked on metadata schemas and models, knowledge organization systems (ontologies, vocabularies etc.), open access digital repositories, tools and workflows for facilitating open access to research outcomes in the agri-food sector.
What is Open Access & what is its background?
Simply put, Open Access refers to means unrestricted online access to research outcomes. Peter Suber has compiled a really brief document defining Open Access, which is a great intro to Open Access – an extended version is here.
There has been a long history of efforts related to Open Access which were formalized by the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2001. There are currently numerous open access initiatives all over the world; they are too many to be mentioned here! Same goes for the Open Access Policies, which appear in different flavors to meet different requirements, such as the European Commission’s Open Access Policy and various domain-specific recommendations regarding the implementation of Open Access.
Useful resources on Open Access
There are numerous publications out there to help anyone understand the concept of Open Access and provide assistance in its implementation. Some (almost randomly) selected ones are:
- Open Access, a book by Peter Sauber
- Guidelines on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in Horizon 2020 (PDF)
- Opening Up Access to Scientific Information Recommendations for Improving Virtual Repositories and Online Communities (Agro-Know team members have contributed to this one!)
- Open Access: Opportunities and Challenges – a Handbook (PDF; European Commission and the German Commission for UNESCO)
- CGIAR Open Access & Open Data
Where can I find Open Access resources in the agri-food sector?
There are numerous Open Access repositories out there, covering a wide variety of topics. The most widely used ones in the agri-food sector are the FAO AGRIS Network with almost 8M bibliographic records and the recently-launched PubAg of USDA’s National Agricultural Library’s search system for agricultural information.
How is Agro-Know involved in Open Access activities?
Short reply: Check out our related past blog posts; on top of that, go through the special ones that we published during the Open Access week. 😉
- Open Source Agriculture? Meet the OpenAg Initiative!
- Interview with Open Access advocate Dr. Sridhar Gutam
- Why Open Access matters for researchers
— AgroKnow (@AgroKnow) October 19, 2015
Keep checking our blog this week for related posts, as a part of our tribute to Open Access Week!