MLA Scholarly Communications Issues
Like “public access,” “open access” is not clearly defined and is often used interchangeably with public access. Many open access initiatives maintain that open access is a fundamental precept of scholarly communication. MLA supports the concept of open access to information generated from federally funded scientific and medical research, and maintains that having access to timely, relevant, and accurate information is vital to the health of our nation and its education and research programs. According to Peter Suber, an independent policy strategist for open access to scientific and scholarly research literature, open access “literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.” Suber maintains that true open access involves removal of price barriers and permission barriers; however, it has become acceptable to use the term "open access" when only the price barriers have been removed and the permission barriers remain.
Further definitions have been established in three different declarations that are referred to as the “BBB Declarations”: the Declaration of Budapest (February 2002), the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing (June 2003) and the Berlin Declaration (October 2003).
Also see MLA's web pages on the NIH Public Access Policy for additional information.
Open Access Publishers and Open Access Initiatives
- The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities
Iin line with the Bethesda Principles, this document was signed by heads of numerous European research organizations and funding bodies.
- Bethesda Principles
Statements of principle drafted by representatives from institutions, funding agencies, libraries, publishers, scientists, and scientific societies.
- Bioline International
Bioline International is a publishing service that provides open access to quality research journals published in developing countries.
- BioMed Central
BioMed Central is committed to providing immediate and free access to all the research they publish. To meet the cost of publishing, authors who publish in its open access journals are asked to pay an article-processing charge per published paper.
BioOne is the product of innovative collaboration between scientific societies, libraries, academe and the private sector. Most of BioOne’s titles are published by small societies and other not-for-profit organizational publishers, and, until now, have been available only in printed form. BioOne provides integrated, cost-effective full-text access to high impact interrelated journals focused on the biological, ecological and environmental sciences.
- Budapest Open Access Initiative
stablished in 2001 by the Open Society Institute (OSI), this initiative seeks to accelerate progress in the international effort to make research articles in all academic fields freely available on the Internet.
- Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Hindawi is a rapidly growing academic publisher with more than one hundred open access journals covering all major areas of science, technology, and medicine, and a book publishing program that spans all scholarly disciplines.
- NAS – National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research and dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology by the publication and free access to journal content, books, and biographical memoirs.
- PLoS -- Public Library of Science
PLoS is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to publishing under an open access license that allows unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
- Other Open Access Initiatives
A listing of international open access initiatives provided by the Budapest Initiative.
MLA Statements and Resources
- OA Primer
A beginner’s guide to open access by MLA Past President Mark E. Funk, AHIP.
- Joint MLA/AAHSL Statement: Public Access to Health Information: Finding the Balance (2004)
Addresses the importance of access to health care information to advance science and promote healthy people and the need to balance the rights of ownership with the need for access.
- MLA Statement on Open Access (2003)
Expresses support for the principles and concepts espoused
by legislators and organizations such as the Public Library of Science (PLoS), the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), and the Budapest Open Access Initiative to address the issue of open access.
- MLA Statement on Access to Government Information (1994)
Emphasizes MLA’s position that government-generated information is a public good and a vital national resource, and that all available government information should and must be equally accessible to all Americans.
Resources from Other Organizations and Initiatives
For further information, contact Mary
Langman, 312.419.9094 x27, email@example.com.