9º World Congress on Health Information and Libraries

Salvador, Bahia - Brazil, September, 20 to 23 - 2005


4th Regional Coordination Meeting of the VHL

September, 19 to 20 - 2005

Terms of reference

Oficial Language: lang
Panel 5 - Scientific Communication - Open access

The structure of scientific communication, after the emergence and predominance of the Internet information and communication paradigm, has been remodeled in all aspects. Electronic publication of journals is now obligatory as it provides extraordinary possibilities to add value to the contents increasing radically speedy of publication, visibility, access, searching, linking, evaluating, etc. The provision of universal access offered by Internet and the character of the scientific research and knowledge has also created the open access movement that favors the free access to scientific knowledge. This movement is being implemented in several ways, including open access journals, open archive initiatives, repositories, etc.

Perspective 1: open access related models are expected to become dominant in the near future since it answers the interests of the main players in the scientific communication s tructure, i.e., authors, readers and research financing institutions, etc. Op en access is the way to assure equitable access to scientific knowledge worldwide. Developed countries main-stream scientific publishing is expected to be remodeled in more radically the coming years as a consequence of the adoption of the open access and auto-archiving movements.

Perspective 2: private publishers and scientific societies especially from developed countries that profit with the business of scientific journals are necessary to assure the quality and orderly flow of results of research. Their publishing enterprises and business is product of centuries of development of science and scientific journals. After the necessary and radical adaptations to the electronic publishing and open access will they continue to drive the developed countries main-stream scientific communication?

Perspective 3: in less developed countries, open access is emerging as the bet te r choice for publishers in order to achieve visibility, accessibility, quality , usage and impact. There are several successful solutions that confirm this trend. But, even with electronic publishing and open access, journals published in developing countries still face big challenges and resistance to be part of an international network of quality journals. How this international network would contribute to advance, open and even to replace the current developed countries main-stream scientific publishing so the less developed countries will have equal participation in the access and dissemination of scientific information and knowledge?