There are three important definitions of Open Access, steemed from the declarations of Budapest, Bethesda and Berlin. The combination of these three accounts is regarded as the BBB definition of open access.
2. The Bethesda account. The Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing (2003) adds that "An Open Access Publication is one that meets the following two conditions:
(i) The author(s) and copyright holder(s) grant(s) to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship, as well as the right to make small numbers of printed copies for their personal use.
(ii) A complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy of the permission as stated above, in a suitable standard electronic format is deposited immediately upon initial publication in at least one online repository that is supported by an academic institution, scholarly society, government agency, or other well-established organization that seeks to enable open access, unrestricted distribution, interoperability, and long-term archiving.
3. Berlin account. Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003) confirms the above and offers the most theoretic perspective: "Our mission of disseminating knowledge is only half complete if the information is not made widely and readily available to society. New possibilities of knowledge dissemination not only through the classical form but also and increasingly through the open access paradigm via the Internet have to be supported. We define open access as a comprehensive source of human knowledge and cultural heritage that has been approved by the scientific community. In order to realize the vision of a global and accessible representation of knowledge, the future Web has to be sustainable, interactive, and transparent. Content and software tools must be openly accessible and compatible".
4. Other accounts. Besides these most influential accounts, it is also worth mentioning the following ones:
Steven Harnard, considered to be one of the founders of the Initiative, says "my definition is the same as that of the Budapest convention: «open access gives free online full-text access to peer-reviewed literature». This definition is lacking two important words though, immediate and permanent" (Harris 2006).
Robert Terry from Wellcome Trust (an independent charity funding research and United Kingdom’s largest non-governmental source of funds for biomedical research) offers his own point of view: "we want the digital versions of papers to be available to all in an unrestricted way and for them to be available forever by putting it in an archive or institutional repository. Anyone who receives one of our grants has to put the digital versions of their published articles in PubMed Central (or in UK PubMed Central once it has been developed) on the day of publication or no later than six months after publication" (Harris 2006).
Martin Richardson, managing director of Oxford Journals, a division of Oxford University Press, states "our definition is freely-accessible online at point of publication without any charges to readers. Open access for me is much wider than just readers not paying" (Harris, 2006).
Finally, Michael Mabe (who has been Elsevier's director of academic relations for the past seven years, and has now become chief executive officer of the International Association of Science, Technical and Medical Publishers -STM) states that "giving a definition goes to the heart of the problem with open access. In principle it is free availability to everybody on the world-wide web. However, many academics think they are accessing open-access material or publishing in open-access journals. They have not any barriers because their library has already paid for the subscription. In the industry as a whole there has not been an appreciable increase in downloads for open-access articles. This demonstrates that research papers are generally by academics for academics and they have access anyway" (Harris 2006).
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Leticia Barrionuevo (08/2009)
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