led to a new focus, namely understanding the social and economic benefits that
ensue from these policies. This entails, for example, strengthening the economic
competitiveness of a nation’s scientific enterprise and targeting selected R&D
that will benefit from policies promoting the sharing of research resources.
UNESCO’s support for open access reflects this new focus. “Scientific informa-
tion is both a researcher’s greatest output and technological innovation’s most
important resource. UNESCO promotes and supports Open Access—the online
availability of scholarly information to everyone, free of most licensing and
copyright barriers—for the benefit of global knowledge flow, innovation and
socio-economic development.”6
While the understanding of the relationship between public access and the
results of funded research, innovation, and economic competitiveness has
deepened, there is a parallel movement to measure the actual return on
investment of implementing these policies. Over the last two years, studies have
been funded both in the US and abroad that explore the costs and benefits to
national economies of policies that promote access to the results of research.
Joseph details the different approaches undertaken in each of the studies and
how these contribute to the policy debates concerning access to the results of
funded research. The value of continuing to engage in these research efforts is
key to the evolving public access policies.
Conclusion
The ARL Strategic Plan calls for ARL to influence “laws, public policies,
regulations, and judicial decisions governing the use of copyrighted materials so
that they better meet the needs of the educational and research communities”
and to contribute “to reducing economic, legal, and technical barriers to access
and use of the research results from publicly funded research projects, enabling
rapid and inexpensive worldwide dissemination of facts and ideas.”7 To succeed,
research libraries are dependent upon a non-discriminatory, robust, open,
technological infrastructure that will permit effective use of resources under
copyright, in the public domain, and under other legal regimes. Such an
infrastructure must encourage emerging scholarly communication models
that realize the benefits of networked-based technologies and reflect the
interests of the academy and the public.
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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