Suggested Policy for Open Access to Scholarly Publications and Research Data 


  1. Background on Open Access

    1. What is Open Access? 

Open Access (OA) is the immediate dissemination of research findings without barriers (legal, financial or technical) to the user. It is the opposite of the traditional system for disseminating research results, which is through journals that charge for access (through subscriptions or through a pay-per-view system for individual articles), and which penalizes those who cannot afford such access. Where the original research has been funded by public money, the moral case for making the results freely available is incontrovertible. Open dissemination of research data, underlying the scholarly publications, is also encouraged.

Open Access only became possible with the advent of the Web. Before that, in a print-on-paper world, there were large costs associated with dissemination, and subscriptions were the only way to cover these. Now things are different. Dissemination can be fast and global through the Web, leaving the main costs further back in the production process. Where these cannot be covered in any other way (by sponsorship, advertising, etc.), then the publishing process becomes a service, and the client (author) purchases services according to their needs. In practice, this translates into new business models for publishers, who sell services (peer review management, editorial quality control) in the form of Article Processing Charges (APCs). Normally, the author’s research grant or institution pays these charges rather than the authors themselves.

  1. The case for Open Access

Research builds on extensive scientific dialogues and advances by improving earlier works. The traditional system based on subscriptions became unaffordable due to ever-rising prices and librarians, even in well-off universities, have had to implement a programme of subscription cancellations year upon year throughout the last thirty years. Even prestigious university such as Harvard University Library announced in 2012 that it could no longer afford to buy all the journals its patrons need.

In the developing world, the situation is even more serious. The World Conference on Science, held in 1999 under the auspices of UNESCO and the International Council for Science (ICSU), declared, “Equal access to science is not only a social and ethical requirement for human development, but also essential for realizing the full potential of scientific communities worldwide and for orienting scientific progress towards meeting the needs of humankind”. The World Health Organization survey carried out at the millennium found that in countries with a per capita income less than USD 1000 per annum, 56% of research institutions had no current subscriptions to international journals, nor had they had any for the previous 5 years. And in 2008, when improvement was still sought, the UK National Commission for UNESCO concluded, “Strengthening scientific capacity in developing countries has therefore been greatly hampered by their inability to afford essential scientific literature due to the combined forces of the high cost of journal subscriptions, declining institutional budgets and currency weaknesses”. On 15th November, UNESCO’s Member States approved UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science.


UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science

As of November 2021, UNESCO Recommends Member States to apply the Recommendation on Open Science.

The Recommendation aims to provide an international framework for open science policy and practice that recognizes disciplinary and regional differences in open science perspectives, takes into account academic freedom, gender-transformative approaches and the specific challenges of scientists and other open science actors in different countries and in particular in developing countries, and contributes to reducing the digital, technological and knowledge divides existing between and within countries.

The Recommendation outlines a common definition, shared values, principles and standards for open science at the international level and proposes a set of actions conducive to a fair and equitable operationalization of open science for all at the individual, institutional, national, regional and international levels.

To achieve its aim, the Recommendations are set to:

Define a common understanding of open science, associated benefits and challenges. Develop an enabling policy environment for open science. Invest in open science infrastructures, services, human resources, training, education, digital literacy and capacity building. Foster a culture of open science and align incentives to promote innovative approaches at different stages of the scientific process and promote international and multi-stakeholder cooperation, reducing the digital, technological and knowledge gaps.


UNESCO, 2021

Open Access overcomes these problems and has other benefits as well. It improves the speed, efficiency and efficacy of research because researchers themselves do not have to spend time and effort seeking and getting access to literature: the Web makes it available instantly through a simple search engine query. Open Access is an enabling factor in interdisciplinary research: it makes the literature of other disciplines easily available and accessible where it may not normally be so. Open Access increases the visibility, usage and impact of research, boosting citations and providing impact outside the boundaries of academic life. In this way, it enables outreach to the professional, practitioner and business communities and the interested public, and allows them to benefit from research-generated knowledge. 

  1. Why ...........(Country/Institution) needs an Open Access policy? 

Pivotal importance of scholarly knowledge sharing as a vehicle for eradicating poverty and achieving Sustainable Development has been discussed during several occasions. At all of these events, the need to promote collaboration on and access to Science, Technology, Innovation and Development was discussed among leaders from civil society, private sector and governments and unanimously agreed upon as a progressive step forward. Countries wishing to propel and sustain their development and improve their higher education system must therefore seriously invest in the generation of knowledge that meets the demands of society. Fostering knowledge Openness within the context of Open Access is technological innovation’s most important resource. Innovation, industry and societies will only enjoy the full benefit from science and technology if the texts, the objects (such as codes,  pictures) and the corresponding research data are available, interlinked, mined and reusable in an open networked environment without barriers. 

The purpose of Open Access is to use Information Communication Technology (ICT) to increase and enhance dissemination of scholarship. With Open Access (OA), scholarly information generated in ...........will be available to everyone online, free of most licensing and copyright barriers, for the benefit of scholars in the global knowledge flow, innovation and socio-economic development. 

Investment into knowledge systems, including Research & Development (R&D) has continued to expand globally and the stock of knowledge in general has increased and new players have emerged. There is a growing emphasis on the relationship between knowledge, innovation and growth. The importance of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy in facilitating sustainability and green technologies is being emphasized. As a result, internationalization of research has occurred and created spill over effects on the mobility of skilled labour, as well as of scientists and academics, and is spinning an important mechanism for knowledge and technology transfer. Such capacities are important prerequisite for structural and social transformation as they enable economic growth, human development and poverty reduction.  

Within this context, there is a long-established interest in, and demonstrated support for, the move towards Open Access. This move will justify that outcomes of all publicly-funded research will be made openly and freely available to all. It is expected that this effort’s core mission will help unite civilizations, cultures and peoples through shared values. Simultaneously, it would also benefit a vast potential worldwide audience, and strengthen content in other languages in scholarly communication processes. 

  1. Role of Open Access in enhancing the research process

An open research environment will enhance the research process in a number of ways. First, open literature means that published research can move faster and more efficiently. Scientists do not have to spend time seeking out articles that they cannot access through their own library. In a subscription-based world, this entails asking colleagues in other institutions, writing to the author or using inter-library loan systems to obtain an article. In an Open Access world, the article is available with a few clicks of the mouse. This will speed up not only the research process itself, but peer review, when reviewers look up supporting articles cited in the paper, and other research-related activities such as reviewing the literature for a new project. Authors cite a number of problems that Open Access overcomes, enhancing the efficacy of the research process and “returning their faith in the integrity of their own work”. 

Second, interdisciplinary research is generally considered to be growing in importance, as scientific problems increasingly require the input and technologies from various disciplines to resolve. Open Access will enhance interdisciplinary research because it will make it easy for scientists in one discipline to locate and use the literature of another (their institution may not cater for this need if there is no strong research programme in the other discipline). 

Third, the new computational technologies can only work on an open literature, such as text-mining and data-mining technologies. These computational tools extract information from articles – often across disparate fields of research – and create new knowledge. They are, of course, capable of processing and bringing together information at speeds and in ways that the human brain cannot. 

  1. Role of Open Access in enhancing visibility and usage of research

Open Access will help maximize visibility of research outputs and through this increase their chances of usage. Articles that are in repositories or Open Access journals are easily and immediately discoverable through a Web search using appropriate keywords and are retrievable, in their entirety, with one click.

Data on repository usage will demonstrate the levels of interest in research and at the same time will be an indicator of the severity of the access. Open Access will provide this much-needed visibility for developing research, which erstwhile is hampered by the lack of channels for reaching scientists in the other parts of the world. Open Access will change this and redress the balance, making research just as visible as that from other wealthy, research-intensive regions. This will help to change roles and perceptions in the scientific community and in time deliver an economic benefit as it attempts to build knowledge societies.

Development of Open Access policy backed with creation of repositories will show complete research output as opposed to limitations currently demonstrated in Abstract and Indexing services, which do not represent a 'fair' picture of the country's research output.

  1. Impact of research

As visibility derives usage, and from usage impacts can be recorded. A considerable body of evidence is available that indicates that Open Access can increase impact in the form of citations as well as the usage impact. Two issues are of great importance here. First, not every article that is Open Access will gain additional citations. This is intuitive, since not every article is worthy of citations in the first place, however many people will read it. What Open Access will do is maximize audience size so that articles that are worthy of citing stand the maximum chance of being seen by anyone who might have reason to cite them.

As well as citation impact, Open Access can have beneficial impact on other constituencies. The most often used example of this kind of impact is the benefit to patients from access to health research information, but the education, professional, practitioner and business sectors are potential users and beneficiaries of scientific research. It is early in our understanding of their needs and the benefits that can accrue to these constituencies, but there are pointers.


  1. Better use of public funding

Open Access policy will ensure that the expenditure in the research and scholarly activities are properly accounted. This will be achieved both by fostering a culture of sharing research and scholarly outputs and by efficiency gains that relate to consumption of academic material. 


  1. Policy considerations

A number of issues must be considered when developing the policy, including its strength (mandatory or not), what outputs it covers, what exceptions may be allowed, where intellectual property should reside, what licensing arrangements will be used, whether there should be embargoes permitted before content becomes freely available, and how authors can comply. 

  1. What the policy should cover

An Open Access policy should cover all output types – journal articles, books and datasets. 


  1. Journal articles

The policy should apply to all articles published in journals owned or branded in ...........and, if relevant, to those of any authors employed or funded by ...........who choose to publish in third-party journals. 

Journal articles can be made Open Access by two means:

  • By publishing in an Open Access journal, or by paying to make an article Open Access in an otherwise Toll Access journal. This route may have a cost attached to it
  • By depositing a copy of their article into an Open Access repository (a process normally known as self-archiving) immediately after it has been accepted for publication. This version of the article will be the author’s final one including the changes required by peer review. In other words, it will be the peer-reviewed version but not the publisher’s final published version. This route is free to the author. It usually includes an embargo period (set by the publisher) during which the full text is not available via the repository.


  1. Articles published by ...........-funded or ...........Government-employed authors in third-party journals (not owned or co-published by ...........

The policy with respect to authors will apply to all articles from the moment of implementation onwards. Policymakers have in some cases tried, commendably, to make policies apply retrospectively, but authors often find it difficult to comply with these (they no longer have copies of their articles; they cannot negotiate retrospective permissions with publishers, etc.). 

The policy should state that where authors employed by or funded by ...........are publishing in third-party journals they must deposit copies of their articles in an Open Access repository.  

Where the journal requires an embargo period before the work can be made openly available, the author must nevertheless deposit the article upon acceptance for publication. The metadata should be made open at this point but the full-text can be kept closed. Most repository software has this functionality, and at the deposit, the author can be offered a choice of embargo periods to use. At the end of the embargo period, the software automatically opens the full-text: the author does not have to remember to do this. The outcome of this is that the existence of the article – indicated by the open metadata – is known during the embargo period and would-be readers can email the author for a copy of the article: the repository software has a button to click that automatically sends a request to the author for an e-print by email. 

To align OA policies with similar policies in other countries, the embargo period should not be longer than 6 months for the natural sciences, medicine and engineering, and 12 months for the humanities and social sciences.


  1. Articles published by ...........-funded (Government/Universities) authors in journals owned or co-published by ...........

Where ...........owns a journal title that journal should permit all authors (...........-funded or not) to self-archive their articles in a repository and make them openly available without embargo. Where co-publishing arrangements exist, ...........will need to re-negotiate these for the longer term to ensure that ...........-branded or –owned journals are fully OA-compliant. This means that the journals will allow authors to self-archive their articles in an Open Access repository from the moment of acceptance, without embargo, and that the version of the article will be the author’s final one including the changes required by peer review. That is, it will be the peer-reviewed version but not the publisher’s final published version (unless the publisher or co-publisher permits this version to be used).

  1. Books 

This policy should introduce a special section for books and theses. The new policy should apply to all books in which the responsible entity is the copyright holder. Publishers of scientific monographs which receive national public funding should publish the monographs through business models that will enable open access to their full text immediately upon the publication with open access licenses (e.g., Creative Commons). 

Unlike with journals, where ...........’s book publishing is concerned there is a potential for retrospective opening of access in those cases where ...........holds the full rights to the publication. 

The policy will apply to all books from the moment of implementation going forward, save perhaps those well through the publication pipeline. To avoid too many books falling into this category, there will be a benefit from early signalling of the change of policy so that commissioning staff are aware that new rights and publishing arrangements will be in place by the time the book is published. 

The new way of looking at a publishing business, once it has become an Open Access disseminator, is to look at the basic information as a commodity and the revenue-earning value as residing in innovative add-ons.

 The policy recommends that Master/Doctorate theses published by publicly funded scholars abroad are deposited in an Open Access repository of a responsible entity.

  1. Research data 

Open Data is a separate and more complex issue than Open Access to journal articles and books. The Open Access policy of ...........will encourage the recipient of public funding to deposit the research data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications.

  1. Exceptions 

Exceptions are sometime necessary to grant but clearly they should be kept to a minimum. Exceptions should not be granted on grounds of preference but only for justified reasons. 

  1. Nature of the policy 

The policy shall be mandatory to ensure relevant compliance. Those policies that encourage, recommend, request or urge authors to make work Open Access deliver levels of Opena Access only a little better than the baseline level, which is around 2% of the total literature. 

It must be emphatically noted that countries and institutions who have started with policies based on expecting authors to comply voluntarily have been disappointed and have had to strengthen their policies to mandatory status. The two most prominent examples are the National Institutes of Health in the US and the Welcome Trust in the UK, both of whom have announced that they will police compliance and apply sanctions .

  1. Copyright and Licensing 

Copyright is at the heart of Open Access because accessibility depends entirely upon the copyright owner. If the copyright owner consents, then Open Access can happen: if the copyright owner does not consent, Open Access is not possible for that work. Researchers will not breach the national institutionCopyright Act when complying with the policy.

Licensing will determine both whether material can be made openly available and what kind of use may be made of the published material.

  1. Copyright

All participating institutions in ...........should require all rights to be transferred to .........../institutions when publishing a piece of work. Strictly, this is not necessary, because they can leave with the author the rights they do not need and take only the rights needed to publish the work. This can be done through a License to Publish (LTP). If the author transfers all rights to an institution, however, as is the practice in most cases, then the institutions can determine the license conditions of the published work. If the author does not transfer all rights, then the institution’s agreement with the author will need to include the permission of the author for publish the work under a liberal license, thus providing full Open Access.

Where ...........(or a national institution) is funding authors who wish to submit articles to third party journals, the author needs to retain sufficient rights to make the work openly available either immediately or within 6-12 months. This can be done by negotiating an agreement with the publisher on an individual basis, but is more easily achieved by the institution adopting an a priori position with respect to author rights. An example for this is the National Institute of Health, which has a standing requirement on authors to retain the right to provide OA to their articles within a certain timeframe after publication. Such a requirement trumps all subsequent agreements that authors may sign with publishers and renders them void, meaning that there is no legal reason why an author cannot comply with ...........’s Open Access conditions. 

  1. Licensing terms

For maximum value to be created from ...........’s knowledge, licensing terms should allow as much re-use of the material as possible. Publishers can design their own license but increasingly the suite of licenses developed by the Creative Commons organization is becoming the licensing regime of choice. 

Given that ...........wishes to maximise the openness of its knowledge, the most appropriate licence for adopt for all its Open Access outputs is the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC-BY-SA ). This requires only that anyone re-using or re-purposing the material should acknowledge and attribute the work to the creator or author – and there the obligations on users stop. They do not have to ask permission to re-use the material and they may re-use it for any lawful purpose. 

The opportunities this creates are manifold. This license means that, if made Open Access under a CC-BY license, ...........’s published content can be read by anyone with internet access, but also re-used for beneficial purposes that ...........may not be able to satisfy itself. For example, a small publisher may translate content into a local minority language and sell the resulting text to cover the cost of translation. Or a teacher might select material from a number of ...........books and put it together to make an educational resource. Liberal licensing can enable innovative re-use of ...........’s knowledge and has the potential to benefit many.

The CC-BY license is the license most widely used by Open Access publishers as it provides full Open Access – access with no conditions upon re-use provided that there is attribution to the creator. This license, like other CC licences is easy to understand and simple to use. 

  1. Embargoes

Ideally, ...........’s knowledge should not be subject to embargoes at all and where publishing material itself this should not be an issue. 

There may be a need to accept short embargoes where funded authors are submitting articles to journals published by third parties. The maximum embargo allowable should be 6 months (and 12 months for social sciences and humanities).  

  1. Mechanisms for making knowledge Open Access

There are two routes to Open Access for journal articles:

  • ‘Green’ Open Access: Open Access achieved by depositing items (journal articles, peer-reviewed conference papers and theses) in an Open Access repository, a process known as ‘self-archiving’. Publishers-imposed embargoes might apply.
  • ‘Gold’ Open Access: Open Access achieved by publishing articles in Open Access journals.

Both of these routes may apply also to books or sections of books.


Any journals that involved in publishing will need to be considered ‘Green’ in Open Access terms: that is, they will need to have a policy that permits authors to self-archive their articles in an Open Access repository preferably upon acceptance or at least at the time of publication. If journals adopt this position then they will be considered Open Access-friendly. If possible, all national institution journals should be published as open access journals using Creative Commons.


There are a number of business models for publishing Open Access books, and adoption of one or another will depend upon the publisher’s aims with respect to revenue.

Initiatives like OAPEN (Open Access Publishing in European Networks), Bloomsbury Open Content, Open Humanities Press and Open Book Publishers, and new entrants like Open Library of the Humanities, are showing that Open Access book publishing can be done sustainably and effectively by publishers wishing to ensure a revenue stream that covers costs. 

Large NGO publishers, who may not be constrained to cover costs, have also demonstrated that Open Access can be a model for their publishing programme (e.g. the World Bank and UNESCO). UNESCO’s Open Educational Resources (OER) project can assist in streamlining this initiative.

To enable barrier-free access and re-use, a book must be published in electronic form with the correct licence and be available to all without hindrances. 

  1. Policy template

This section presents a suggested template for an Open Access policy. It accounts for all the issues discussed in this document and represents best practice with respect to funder policy design. 

…….: Open Access Policy

 “Equal access to science is not only a social and ethical requirement for human development, but also essential for realizing the full potential of scientific communities worldwide and for orienting scientific progress towards meeting the needs of humankind.”  

The World Conference on Science, 1999, held under the auspices of UNESCO and the ICSU

The Government of …..(or name of the institution) believes that knowledge empowers citizens and helps to improve their lives. One of its central roles is to improve access to information and knowledge for … citizens and others through appropriate use of information and communication technologies. 

The Government of … (or name of the institution) has developed and will implement the following policy for Open Access to its own knowledge. 

A.  Type of publications

All published knowledge outputs will be Open Access. 

The following materials must be included in the Open Access database [XXXXX repository name]

  • refereed research articles and conference papers (author's accepted, final, peer-reviewed manuscript) 
  • books or book chapters
  • other outputs [such as thesis, grey literature, etc. to be specified]

The Government of …. (or name of the institution) will provide free, immediate access through its [XXXXXX repository name] database.  

B. Obligations on the Government of ….. (or name of the institution) -funded authors

Any recipient of public funding must ensure open access (free of charge, online access for any user) to all peer-reviewed scientific publications relating to its results. 

In particular, it must: 

  1. as soon as possible and at the latest on publication, deposit a machine-readable electronic copy of the published version or final peer-reviewed manuscript accepted for publication in a repository for scientific publications; 

Moreover, the recipient of public funding is encouraged to deposit at the same time the research data needed to validate the results presented in the deposited scientific publications. 

  1. ensure open access to the deposited publication — via the repository — at the latest: 
  1. on publication, if an electronic version is available for free via the publisher, or 
  2. Within six months of publication (twelve months for publications in the social sciences and humanities) in any other case. 
  1. Ensure open access — via the repository — to the bibliographic metadata that identify the deposited publication. 

The bibliographic metadata must be in a standard format and must include all of the following: 

  • the name of the project, acronym and grant number; 
  • the publication date, and length of embargo period if applicable, and 
  • A persistent Digital Object Identifier (DOI)/ Uniform Resource Identifier (URI). 

C. Compliance and Monitoring

The Government of ...........(or name of the institution) wishes to achieve full compliance with this policy. Authors must provide to The Government of ...........(or name of the institution), in any applications for funding, travel, or other support of any kind, the DOI of all their publications or the Uniform Resource Name (URN) of the deposited version. The Government of ...........(or name of the institution) shall monitor compliance and shall withdraw or withhold further support from authors not complying with the policy. Exceptions are sometimes necessary to grant but shall be kept to a minimum. Exceptions shall not be granted on grounds of preferences but only for justified reasons. 


Policy FAQs

  • What are the benefits to researchers of Open Access? 

As authors, researchers benefit because their research papers are given a much wider dissemination and can be read without restriction by anyone with Internet access. This increases the impact of their research. Indeed, evidence is accumulating to show that open access articles are cited more than non-open access articles. As readers, researchers benefit because they will increasingly be able to access and use the full text of all the research published in their area, not just the research available to them via the subscriptions their institution can afford. 

  •  What are the benefits to the Government of ...........(or name of the institution)? 

First, the Government of ...........(or name of the institution)’s research and knowledge will be more accessible to global researchers, hence better known and more widely used and cited. The prestige of high-profile ...........researchers will increase; even lesser known researchers will gain more exposure and impact. Second, all the Government of ...........(or name of the institution)’s research will be open to all entrepreneurs and the general public with Internet access. This will be beneficial both commercially and culturally. Third, access, usage and citation data on this research will increasingly become available and analysable to help shape research strategies and policies in institutions and in nations across the world, including developing and emerging countries.

  • What should be deposited when I have a paper ready for publication? 

The final manuscript of the author's research paper or book chapter should be deposited. This is the author's own final, as accepted for publication, including all modifications resulting from the peer-review process. (In some cases publishers may permit their own published version, either in SGML/XML or PDF, to be deposited as well; this is welcome, but this is not a requirement.)

  • When should papers be deposited? 

An electronic version of the author's final manuscript resulting from research supported, in whole or in part, by the Government of ...........(or name of the institution)’s funding must be deposited ass soon as possible and at latest on publication. 

  • Will authors still be able to publish in a journal of their choice? 

Authors will of course still decide in which journal they choose to publish their research papers. They will merely have to ensure that a copy of the final, peer-reviewed paper is deposited in their institutional repository or in [XXXXX repository name] immediately upon acceptance for publication. 

  • How can I find out whether the chosen journal allows depositing my manuscript in my institutional repository? 

You should consult the individual journal's policy which is given at: or at The majority of journals do allow this practice. If the journal you wish to publish in does not permit it, please remember that your contractual obligations are first to this institution and then to journal publishers. 

  • How do I ensure contractual compliance? 

Authors' contractual obligations with the Government of ...........(or name of the institution) to conduct their research pre-date any contractual agreement with the journal in which the resulting research is published (apart from the brief transitional period when this new policy is first announced). Hence authors can ensure in advance that any later contractual agreement for publishing their research complies with the author's earlier contractual agreement with the Government of ...........(or name of the institution), informing the journal that they are under an existing obligation to deposit in an open access repository. The Government of ...........(or name of the institution)’s rules are mandatory and binding on all employees carrying out research in ...........or ...........-affiliated institutes or field stations. 

  • What kind of papers should I deposit? 

The policy applies to peer-reviewed, original (primary) research publications and reviews that have been supported, in whole or in part, by The Government of ...........(or name of the institution) funding. 

  • Do I need to deposit my paper if the journal publishing my research already provides immediate open access to my articles? 

Yes. The Government of ...........(or name of the institution) still wishes to have your work deposited in our repository to enable it to maintain a complete record of institutional research output and monitor compliance with the policy. 



  1. Implementation of the Policy

The following issues will need to be addressed when implementing the Open Access policy in ............

  1. Capacity building

It is an established fact that awareness and misinterpretation about Open Access is widespread. Globally, paucity of formal or informal education programs in Open Access is discouraging to garner full ownership of the stakeholders to implement Open Access policy. It is important to note that a strategic capacity enhancement effort needs to be operationalized before launching Open Access programs. Within the framework of the project, UNESCO will create two self-directed learning tools for researchers and librarians. However, the implementers of the policy must understand that any tool, no matter how robust it may be, needs to be strategically introduced. While there is sufficient ground - both in terms of need and knowledge base in ...........- to initiate the OA movement, these important questions must be duly addressed before initiating any action: 

  • Which are the broader academic programme/disciplinary frameworks within which Open Access training programs need to be situated?
  • What type of Curriculum needs to be developed that can explore and identify the contours of the domain and research questions?
  • What kind and areas of competencies of implementers that such training program must be developed?
  • Whether or not qualified people are available to deliver the courses on OA? 
  • Where and how to offer these courses? What are the measurabilities to assess the knowledge gain in Open Access?
  1. Software for Open Access publishing

UNESCO will assist providing repository development training and developing repository (both for university and Government). It will also provide a customized software for this use.

Demand for e-books has grown very greatly over the past five years for a number of reasons – ease of use, increased functionality over print, potential for sharing and collaborative working, potential for meaningful re-use and access on the move on mobile devices.

A content management system (CMS) will need to be put in place, as the foundation for the publishing process and workflow will be shaped through this. Content should be captured electronically from the start in XML, which is a flexible mark-up language that enables the content to be used in many different ways, giving ...........all the options it needs to produce final products in a variety of formats. Open Journals System (OJS) is an open source software fo managing journals publishing. OAPEN offers solutions for publishing open access monographs.

  1. Digital output formats

To deliver true Open Access, ...........should not simply make its books available as PDF files, but should publish them in EPUB format. EPUB creates reflow able content, so that the publisher itself, and the users, can optimize the content for the purpose in hand. In the case of users, this means that the content can be used on a variety of machines and devices (including mobile phones) and optimized for accessibility in terms of disability. EPUB outputs coupled with the correct licensing of these products will mean that providing true Open Access to all.

Digital outputs provide a huge opportunity for innovate and add value (additional functionality, linking to a range of related content, and a range of apps to help users find and remix content, and so forth). If desired, this new value can be charged for, helping to offset revenue losses that will occur through Open Access. 

  1. Co-publishing 

    1. Journals

Where national institutions have to continue co-publishing journals, or having arrangements with third party publishers to publish journals with ...........’s name on them, then negotiations with the third party publishers will be necessary to ensure that the publication complies with the definition of Open Access (immediate, free, online access without barrier to re-use). Satisfactory outcomes may vary in detail from journal to journal, but the fundamental requirements are that journals be Open Access themselves or remain subscription-based but permit authors to make their individual articles Open Access through a repository immediately upon or before publication (thus satisfying the definition of a ‘Green’ journal in Open Access terms). The details around this issue are discussed in section 3.1.1. 

  1. Books 

There are a number of models for publishing Open Access books, and adoption of one or another will depend upon the publisher’s aims with respect to revenue. UNESCO’s Open Educational Resources (OER) project can assist in streamlining this initiative.

  1. Licensing

The discussion in section 3.4 put forward the argument for using the CC-BY license or similar. 

Any content published under more restrictive licenses would not be Open Access, so the use of any of the other Creative Commons licenses (e.g. with Non Commercial (NC) or No Derivatives (ND) conditions) are inadvisable unless very special circumstances pertain.

As noted earlier, ...........will need to pay new attention to third-party content in its outputs, as permissions will need to be sought to include these and to license them in ...........’s publications under an appropriate license.

  1. Distribution platform 

...........will need to develop a platform for distribution of its online Open Access content. The platform will distribute book content, journal content where ...........retains any journal publishing role, and other ...........material that is deemed appropriate (theses, technical reports, studies, etc.)

A relatively simple, open source repository software solution is satisfactory. The reason this is recommended is that it will automatically expose content in a format that is OAI-compliant (Open Archives Initiative). This means that it will work in the same way, technically, that all other Open Access repositories around the world work, and expose content to Web search engines for indexing in an appropriate way. The basic metadata schema of repository software is an internationally agreed standard, but ...........can have this schema enhanced to reflect its own specific needs if it wishes.

Selected persons from national institution Universities will be trained to build such repositories using open source options available. UNESCO will facilitate this process. 

To build an identity for the Open Access collection, the repository should be given a name (something such as ...........Knowledge Bank). This will aid recognition, help promotion and create allegiance.

  1. Preservation

...........will need to put in place suitable arrangements to ensure the preservation of its outputs. If datasets are also to be preserved in future then the complexity of this issue increases. For text-based outputs (books and journal articles), ...........may consider, as an adjunct to its own preservation plans, entering into an arrangement with Controlled- Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe (CLOCKSS) and Digital Preservation and Electronic Archiving Service (PORTICO) to guarantee perpetual access. Both are not-for-profit organizations.

  1. Monitoring and policing

All policies need to be monitored and supported Two of the leading policymakers, the National Institutes of Health (USA) and the Welcome Trust, have decided that they are going to monitor and enforce their Open Access policies because compliance was too low. ...........will need to do this too. Monitoring will be automatic using acronym of funder, programmes of funding , the name of the project, acronym and grant number. Alternatively, authors could notify ...........when an article has been self-archived and provide the URL/URI of the article in its Open Access location. ...........may also consider using sanctions to maximize compliance with its policy: appropriate sanctions include the threat of not paying any outstanding grant payments or not funding recalcitrant authors in future.

  1. Impact and evaluation

No policy can be considered to be a success unless its impact is measured and assessed. ...........’s Open Access policy can be assessed in a number of ways, such as: 

  • percentage of outputs available in Open Access;
  • number of authors actively engaged in making work Open Access;
  • enhanced usage of ...........’s content;
  • re-use of ...........’s content in innovative new knowledge products;
  • citations;
  • usage or mentions in the press or broadcast media. 

There are many others that could join this list. ...........will have its own ideas about what kind of impact matters to it and how important different types are for its mission.

An impact assessment plan should be drawn up as the policy takes force, because then the new impact can be compared and contrasted with the current situation, demonstrating the positive effects of Open Access on increasing the effect of ...........’s knowledge.

Careful attention to managing the change will be necessary if it is to proceed smoothly and effectively. This is a rather obvious point but one that should not go unmade. It will also have a cost in terms of management effort that should be factored into the business planning process.

  1. Timeframe 

Without a detailed knowledge of internal processes at is difficult to make a realistic estimate of the timescale for the changeover to become an Open Access organization.