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UNESCO adopts Open Access policy

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Open Access is not only an issue for the scientific community in the matter of the development of science. Open Access has a strong impact on governments and international organizations that introduce and develop special policies for OA and act in accordance with them. Implementation of Open Access on this level shows that this idea has a definite future. The recent decision made by UNESCO only confirms this.

UNESCO announced that it would adopt an Open Access policy, which will grant access to its digital publications to millions of people. The organization has become the first member of the United Nations to adopt this type of Open Access policy for its publications.

From when can we take advantage of access to UNESCO’s publications? Hundreds of files will be available from July 2013 through a specially launched Open Access Repository with a multilingual interface. Moreover, all new publications will be released with an open license! Janis Karklins, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Communication confirmed:

“Researchers from all countries, but especially from developing and least developed countries will benefit and capitalize on Open Access to knowledge. Our new policy will enable us to increase the visibility, accessibility, and rapid distribution of our publications.”

This is a huge step forward and good news for Open Access. The only questions that remain now are why so late? And when will the UN adopt a similar policy? Nevertheless, the introduction of Open Access by UNESCO shows that OA can be and should be implemented, not only in science, but also in other areas of social life worldwide, for the welfare and development of societies. Although it may sound exaggerated, this is, in fact, the main goal of Open Access.

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