[Open-access] WHO's new vision

Tom Olijhoek tom.olijhoek at gmail.com
Thu Jan 30 22:29:54 UTC 2014

WHO has a new vision for information sharing


*A new policy on open access will be announced in January 2014 and come
into force in July 2014. The policy will apply to all WHO-authored or
WHO-funded research published in non-WHO publications, such as external
journals and books.*

*The Institutional Repository for Information Sharing (IRIS), created in
2012, enables more people to access WHO's information products. IRIS is the
multilingual digital library of WHO, providing free access to the full text
of WHO information products in the six official languages.*

And this is exactly what the repository does, providing access. Searching
the IRIS I noticed for all publications the exclusive copyright notice.
This means that in principle WHO is NOT offering open access in the sense
that we understand it. The material can in principle just be read. For me
this reflects the difficulty with many repositories, that it is perfectly
unclear on the subject of re-use. Imagine that I want to select a subset of
publications from the WHO repository for use in another location, it is not
allowed.  if you are not allowed re-use the information is almost useless The
repository structure promotes fragmentation.The fact that the information
you want is sitting in multiple locations in 'ópen access' repositories
makes it more difficult to find ,and nothing can be done since aggregating
is also re-use.  If we were allowed to duplicate the publications that we
need then we could build topical databases that would simplify access. As
long as repositories are not open access in the sense of the Berlin
declaration they will not be as useful as they could be.    I am utterly
amazed that an organization as big as the WHO offers read-only open access
as their new vision of information sharing.

I would really be interested to know the vision of other following this
list concerning this topic

. and
Tom Olijhoek
Codex Consult
coordinator @ccess open access working group  at OKF
DOAJ  member of Advisory Board
freelance advisor for the WorldBank Publishing Group
TEL +(31)645540804
SKYPE tom.olijhoek
Twitter   @ccess
LinkedIn  http://nl.linkedin.com/in/tomolijhoek/
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