in the public and private sectors, and internationally—of implementing policies
mandating public access to the results of funded research.
These open and public access policies promote discovery and innovation,
and advance science while removing barriers to scientific communication.
Increasingly users expect, indeed demand, the ability to reuse, build on content,
and data mine. Most licenses from traditional publishers do not permit such
activity. In addition, legal and economic barriers present significant challenges
to researchers and librarians. For example, roadblocks negatively affect research
productivity. The American Association for the Advancement of Science report,
Intellectual Property Experiences in the United States Scientific Community, describes
the difficulties encountered by some researchers in accessing copyrighted
literature.4 The study surveyed 2,157 US scientists; 562 of those scientists
reported negative effects on their work because of difficulty in accessing the
scientific literature. The consequences ranged from brief delay to abandonment
of the research project.
Such roadblocks, and the inability to use technologies to their best
advantage, spurred development of new open and public access models and
tools of scholarly communication (e.g., Creative Commons licenses). As noted
recently by Tom Rubin, Chief Counsel for Intellectual Property Strategy,
Microsoft Corporation, user expectations regarding use and access to resources
in the “Networked World” have changed:
First, we should look at what the Networked World demands,
not just for copyright but for all forms of commerce and
communication. And one thing that is clear is that the Networked
World demands speed and it demands scale. People now expect
transactions to take place immediately, if not sooner, and likewise
they expect access to information to help those transactions just as
quickly. You see this demand for speed and scale in the rise of
Creative Commons. In addition to the content and substance of
the licenses, one of the reasons for the widespread adoption of
Creative Commons licenses by those in the Networked World is
how easy it is to include one in your creative work online.5
As noted by Heather Joseph in this issue of RLI, the adoption of policies
calling for access to the results of funded research both in the US and around the
world continues apace. The implementation and maturing of these policies has
RLI 273
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Three Key Public Policies for Research Libraries
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C O N T I N U E D
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DECEMBER 2010 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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