[A2k] Argentina takes steps towards open access law

Pranesh Prakash pranesh at cis-india.org
Fri Jun 15 03:18:22 PDT 2012

Hash: SHA1

Dear all,
Here's some interesting news, via Denise Nicholson:


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Science and Development Network

Argentina takes steps towards open access law

Cecilia Rosen

7 June 2012

Argentina's law may mandate all of its research to be open access

[BUENOS AIRES] Argentina is a step closer to becoming the first country
to pass legislation to make all publicly funded research available in
open access repositories.

The Chamber of Deputies passed a new bill last month (23 May) stating
that all national scientific institutions must provide open access (OA)
archives of their research, allowing the public full access to journal
articles, dissertation theses and technical reports, as well as data
obtained by publicly funded projects, but excluding confidential data.

To avoid conflict with copyright and intellectual property rights, full
access to papers will commence six months after their first publication,
and raw data will be available after five years. The law is now under
consideration by the senate.

In 2011, Argentina created a national system of digital repositories to
ensure that archived research is accessible across all institutes.

Alejandro Ceccatto, secretary of scientific and technological
articulation at Argentina's Ministry of Science, Technology and
Productive Innovation, said that if ratified by the senate, the law will
rightly give citizens access to research funded through their taxes, and
increase the visibility of Argentinean research.

The law has institutional support from Buenos Aires University, La Plata
University, and Argentina's National Scientific and Technical Research
Council (CONICET), according to Ceccatto.

"This is a notable advance because not only scientists and professionals,
but also the general public, will be able to access public-funded
research," Hugo Klappenbach, researcher at the San Luis National
University and a CONICET fellow told SciDev.Net.

"I don't think the law restricts [Argentinean scientists'] publication in
journals. On the other hand, I think the current model for publication
will change substantially in the next 10 or 20 years, towards an open
access model".

According to Sanjaya Mishra, head of UNESCO's OA portal, the initiative
was likely to have an impact on the global OA movement.

"Many countries are considering similar provisions and [this] may speed
up the process," he told SciDev.Net.

A recent online petition has urged the US government to give taxpayers
access to publicly funded research, and has reached the 25,000 signature
threshold required for an official response. Currently, only research
conducted by the US National Institutes of Health is OA archived (in
PubMed Central) within 12 months of publication. [1]

OA advocate Stevan Harnad, of Québec University, Canada, said it is
critical that Argentina's bill specifies that research must be deposited
into institutional repositories "because not all research is funded but
all research comes from institutions".

Harnad added that research evaluation, both at institutions and by
funders, should also be linked to repository deposits as this can
"reinforce compliance with the national mandate".

Argentina is also working on a digital repository for all Latin America's
research output, in a project within the Regional Public Goods Program
and lead by the Latin American Cooperation of Advanced Networks, funded
by the Inter-American Development Bank.

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