ISCB (Draft) Literature Open Public Access Policy Statement
Draft approved by the ISCB board of Directors on April 8, 2010
Open for comment from the ISCB membership
and bioinformatics community
Comment period closes June 11, 2010
The International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) is dedicated to advancing human knowledge at the intersection of computation and life sciences. This (draft) ISCB policy statement is intended to express strong support for open public access to the archival scientific and technical literature and to elucidate in more nuanced detail the position of ISCB on this important issue in scientific publication.
An official ISCB policy statement on the closely related topic of sharing software provides very clear support for Open Source/Open Access (http://www.iscb.org/iscb-policy-statements-/187). ISCB supports many of the principles of the “Budapest Open Access Initiative,” the “Bethesda Declaration on Open Access Publishing,” the U.S. National Academies of Sciences report on "Sharing Publication-Related Data and Materials: Responsibilities of Authorship in the Life Sciences," and the European “Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities.”
Knowledge is the fruit of the scientific research endeavor, and the archival scientific literature is its practical expression and means of communication. Shared knowledge multiplies its utility because every new scientific discovery is built upon previous scientific knowledge. Access to knowledge is the power to solve new problems and make informed decisions. More open public access to archival scientific and technical knowledge will empower more citizens and more scientists to solve more problems and make more informed decisions.
- There should be free, open, online, public access to research results in the archival scientific and technical literature, with all their existing content including supplementary material and data. This access may be at an interval following publication, which interval should not exceed one year.
- Existing models show high impact, scientific benefit, feasibility, and acceptability:
a. The public benefit from open access to the world’s online information via the publicly-funded Internet provides a good model of expected impact.
b. The scientific fertilization from open access to genomic information via the publicly-funded Human Genome Project provides a good model of expected scientific benefit.
c. Open access policies by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Wellcome Trust provide good models of feasibility, acceptability, and implementation.
- Open literature access will enable a whole new generation of innovative tools and mechanisms that will endow the literature with enriched commentary and usability and connect the literature and databases via the proper pointers. These tools are already being built by publishers, researchers, and others. The creation of the web of knowledge around publications is an important consequence of semantic enrichment of the literature.
- Whether publications are immediately available or delayed, the underlying data and methods must be publicly available in sufficient detail to allow replication of the results and application of other computational methods to the data.
- Policy details — which version, where stored, how annotated and organized, what incentives — must be considered carefully. However, it has become essential to put forward a broad policy mandate for eventual public access to research knowledge.
- Publishing high-quality peer-reviewed scientific literature incurs costs. We recognize that cost recovery is a serious issue that must be addressed carefully if open access is to be a mandated policy.
- The funding policy must:
a. Fund activities of peer review, copy editing, and publishing.
b. Provide fair compensation, if and where needed, to facilitate transitions and adaptations to new models for publishing and sustaining essential revenue.
c. Be consistent with government laws, other existing regulations, and research dissemination through viable commercial mechanisms.
- It is undesirable to take funding from current research and thereby risk underfunding basic science, so new funding should be made available for policy implementation. However, the expected total cost for complete open literature access is only a very small percentage of the total cost for the entire international research endeavor.
Scientific literature represents a substantial investment by governments, foundations, and others. One of our primary missions is the assembly of individual pieces of knowledge from this literature in ways that provide powerful new insights and ideas for next-stage research by the entire scientific community and society in general. We in the ISCB are committed to the continuous enhancement and leveraging of mankind’s knowledge resources. To achieve this goal, investment in open public access to the research literature must be made.
ISCB (Draft) Literature Open Public Access --- Appendix
A. Documents mentioned in the statement text.
1. Text of the “Budapest Open Access Initiative.”
2. Text of the “Bethesda Declaration on Open Access Publishing.”
3. Text of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences report on "Sharing Publication-Related Data and Materials: Responsibilities of Authorship in the Life Sciences."
4. Text of the “Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities.”
5. Text of Open Access Policy from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
6. Text of Open Access Policy from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
7. Text of the Wellcome Trust's "Position Statement in Support of Open and Unrestricted Access to Published Research."
B. General Background Material.
1. Academic publishing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
2. Open access (publishing) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
3. ROARMAP (Registry of Open Access Repository Material Archiving Policies) as recommended by the Berlin Declaration.
C. Other Statements and Materials.
1. Text of Public Library of Science "Open Letter to Scientific Publishers" (signed by ~34,000 scholars worldwide).
2. Text of Research Councils of the UK "Access to Research Outputs."
3. Text of European Research Advisory Board Final Report "Scientific Publication: Policy On Open Access."
4. Text of Bulletin of the World Health Organization "Equitable access to scientific and technical information for health."
5. UNESCO EBSCO Open Science Directory.
6. Peter Suber's "Open Access Overview."