[Irtalk] Unisa signs Berlin Declaration

Van der Westhuizen, Ansie Watkiapj at unisa.ac.za
Mon Jun 18 14:15:27 SAST 2012

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Prof M. Makhanya signs Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities

The University of South Africa has demonstrated its commitment to Open Access to research output produced by members of the Unisa community by becoming the most recent signatory of the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities<http://oa.mpg.de/lang/en-uk/berlin-prozess/berliner-erklarung/> (Berlin Declaration).

The Berlin Declaration was drawn up during a conference hosted by the Max Plank Society in Berlin during October 2003. It supports open access to scientific knowledge and cultural heritage. Open access contributions include original scientific research results, raw data and metadata, source materials, digital representations of pictorial and graphical materials and scholarly multimedia material. More than 380 institutions<http://oa.mpg.de/lang/en-uk/berlin-prozess/signatoren/> which support the principles of open access have signed the Berlin Declaration. These institutions include governments, universities, museums, archives, libraries, funding agencies, research institutions and professional associations.

Through signing the declaration, Unisa is indicating it's commitment to supporting open scholarship by:

 *   encouraging development and growth of Open Educational Resources (OER'S).
 *   encouraging researchers/grant recipients to publish their work according to the principles of the open access paradigm.
 *   encouraging the holders of cultural heritage to support open access by providing their resources on the Internet.
 *   developing means and ways to evaluate open access contributions and online-journals in order to maintain the standards of quality assurance and good scientific practice.
 *   advocating that open access publication be recognized in promotion and tenure evaluation.
 *   advocating the intrinsic merit of contributions to an open access infrastructure by software tool development, content provision, metadata creation, or the publication of individual articles.
Furthermore, signing the declaration expresses Unisa's commitment to providing access to education and knowledge in Africa.
Signing the Berlin Declaration offers Unisa a unique chance to raise its profile as a progressive institution that is visible to the outside world and which recognises and adds value to research output and as more and more institutions join the Open Access effort, the greater the access to research across the world in general and to African research in particular.

There are 6 South African institutions that have signed the Berlin Declaration,
and now, the University of South Africa has joined this list!

Dr B. Mbambo-Thata
ED: Library  Service

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