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Thursday, September 2, 2010

IFLA World Report 2010

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions has released the IFLA World Report 2010.

Here's an excerpt from the "Analysis and Conclusions" section of the report:

Open Access to information resources can contribute to reduce the impact of the digital divide. The fact that respondents that provided data for the specific questions indicated that nearly 90% of library associations are in favour of Open Access and that there are Open Access initiatives in about 76% of countries, is a very positive development. According to respondents copyright laws exist in 110 countries and in 72 countries the copyright laws include limitations or exceptions for libraries; 85 respondents reported that their countries have legislation that guarantees freedom of access to information and freedom of expression. These are all very positive aspects. Library associations and library communities across the world should endeavour to increase these numbers and to ensure that the principles underlying the questions are implemented and safeguarded in their countries.

Violations of freedom of expression and freedom of access to information are still very prevalent in many countries in all regions of the world. Interestingly enough very few respondents have reported on such incidents in their countries and most of the information comes from third-party sources—only 21 respondents have highlighted any issues, whereas the consulted third-party sources have listed issues in at least 109 countries (compared to 19 and 82 respectively in 2007). The fact that only a few respondents have reported incidents is worrisome, regardless of the reason for this. On the other hand, the fact that there are so many countries in which such incidents take place, should be a matter of grave concern to IFLA and the library community in general.  Further reading...

Strategies for Promoting Open-Access Publishing

Matthew C. Nisbet on August 31, 2010, 11:14 AM

About 20% of journal articles published in the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities are open-access, meaning that only about 1 out of every 5 articles are immediately or eventually accessible online without paying an expensive journal subscription fee.  And although the open-access movement began in the early 1990s, survey studies find that a majority of researchers still consider publishing at open-access journals as posing a risk to earning tenure and as potentially jeopardizing their chances at winning research grants.  As these findings suggest, there are not only financial and technological hurdles to making most scholarship open-access, there are also perceptual and cultural barriers. 

Read more......