We are pleased to share the news that the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town Dr. Max Price has signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Scientific Knowledge. This marks another milestone in UCT’s move towards open practices in scholarly communication. Furthermore it represents UCT’s commitment to increasing access to education and knowledge in Africa.
From the declaration’s preface:
The Internet has fundamentally changed the practical and economic realities of distributing scientific knowledge and cultural heritage. For the first time ever, the Internet now offers the chance to constitute a global and interactive representation of human knowledge, including cultural heritage and the guarantee of worldwide access.
We, the undersigned, feel obliged to address the challenges of the Internet as an emerging functional medium for distributing knowledge. Obviously, these developments will be able to significantly modify the nature of scientific publishing as well as the existing system of quality assurance.
In signing the declaration, UCT joins a number of other leading institutions around the world committed to supporting open access to research and knowledge produced at the university. UCT has joined a global community of educators and researchers who recognize the enormous opportunities presented by the internet. Signing the declaration indicates a commitment to supporting open practices by:
- encouraging our 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.