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This symposium, which was held on March 10-11, 2003, at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, brought together policy experts and managers from the government and academic sectors in both developed and developing countries to (1) describe the role, value, and limits that the public domain and open access to digital data and information have in the context of international research; (2) identify and analyze the various legal, economic, and technological pressures on the public domain in digital data and information, and their potential effects on international research; and (3) review the existing and proposed approaches for preserving and promoting the public domain and open access to scientific and technical data and information on a global basis, with particular attention to the needs of developing countries.

Suggested Citation

National Research Council. 2004. Open Access and the Public Domain in Digital Data and Information for Science: Proceedings of an International Symposium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

195 pages |  8.5 x 11 | 

  • Paperback:  978-0-309-09145-9
  • Ebook:  978-0-309-18214-0
Chapters skim
Front Matter i-xii
Introduction 1 Welcome by CODATA President 1-4
2 Introduction by Symposium Chair 5-6
3 UNESCO’s Approach to Open-Access and Public-Domain Information 7-9
4 Science Communication and Public Policy 10-14
Session 1: Legal, Economic, and Technological Framework for Open Access and the Public Domain in Digital Data and Information for Science 5 Introductory Remarks by Session Chair 15-18
6 Overview of Legal Aspects in the European Union 19-23
7 Database Protection in Countries of the South 24-28
8 Economic Overview of Open Access and the Public Domain in Digital Scientific and Technical Information 29-32
9 Scientific Research, Information Flows, and the Impact of Database Protection on Developing Countries 33-40
10 Information Technology and Data in the Context of Developing Countries 41-44
Session 2: Data and Information in the Public Health Sector 11 Introductory Remarks by Session Chair 45-48
12 The Ptolemy Project: Delivering Electronic Health Information in East Africa 49-54
13 Health Information for Disaster Preparedness in Latin America 55-57
14 Bioline International and the Journal of Postgraduate Medicine: A Collaborative Model of Open-Access Publishing 58-62
Session 3: Data and Information in the Environmental Sector 15 Introductory Remarks by Session Chair 63-65
16 Geospatial Information for Development 66-68
17 Borders in Cyberspace: Conflicting Government Information Policies and Their Economic Impacts 69-73
18 Recent Developments in Environmental Data Access Policies in the Peoples’ Republic of China 74-76
Session 4: Basic Sciences and Higher Education19 Introductory Remarks by Session Chair 77-80
20 Information Needs for Basic Research: An African Perspective 81-84
21 International Transfer of Information in the Physical Sciences 85-90
22 Access to Scientific Information: The Ukrainian Research and Academic Network 91-94
Session 5: Innovative Models for Public-Domain Production of and Open Access to Scientific and Technical Data and Information 23 Introductory Remarks by Session Chair 95-97
24 A Contractually Reconstructed Research Commons for Scientific Data: International Considerations 98-102
25 The Open-Source Paradigm and the Production of Scientific Information: A Future Vision and Implications for Developing Countries 103-109
26 New and Changing Scientific Publication Practices Due to Open-Access Publication Initiatives 110-113
27 Overview of Open-Access and Public-Commons Initiatives in the United States 114-118
Session 6: Examples of New Initiatives in Developing Countries 28 Introductory Remarks by Session Chair 119-121
29 Overview of Initiatives in the Developing World 122-126
30 Open-Source Geographic Information Systems Software: Myths and Realities 127-133
31 Open-Access Research and the Public Domain in South African Universities: The Public Knowledge Project’s Open Journal Systems 134-145
32 The Public Knowledge Project’s Open Journal Systems 146-149
33 Metadata Clearinghouse and Open Access to Geographic Data in Namibia 150-153
34 Open-Access Initiatives in India 154-157
35 Closing Remarks by Symposium Chair 158-160
Appendix A: Symposium Agenda 161-166
Appendix B: Biographical Summaries of Symposium Speakers and Steering Committee Members 167-175
Appendix C: Symposium Attendees 176-181
Appendix D: Acronyms and Initialisms 182-183

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