Sunday, October 15, 2006

Chemists Without Borders Open Chemistry Position Statement

On Thursday, October 12, Chemists Without Borders endorsed an Open Chemistry Position Statement.


Within the vision of Chemists Without Borders, Open Access to the traditional scholarly, peer-reviewed journal literature is the library, a global library with equal access to our shared knowledge for all. Open Access is necessary to development of equitable access to chemistry education and research opportunities in both the developed and developing world. Chemists Without Borders strongly supports Open Access, as defined in the Budapest, Berlin, and Bethesda statements, and the measures necessary to implement open access, such as funding agencies requiring open access to the results of the research they fund, and educating researchers about Open Access.

Open Source Science promises more rapid advances in research through open sharing of research information at all stages of the reseach process. Open Source Science means more opportunities for collaboration, whether to facilitate Chemists Without Borders projects or provide researchers with more opportunities for participation in international research collaborations. Chemists Without Borders strongly supports Open Source Science within the context of Open Access.

Comment: as a member / open access specialist with Chemists Without Borders, it has been an honour and a great pleasure working with this group on what may be one of the strongest and most visionary of the "open" statements to date. The Chemists Without Borders Open Chemistry Position Statement fully endorses open access as defined in the Budepest Open Access Initiative, and goes beyond, for example, in specifying: "the freedom to extract data from the full-text, whether singly or in a collection of articles, and the freedom to download the supplemental data", as part of the definition of open access, and in supporting open source science and open data.

The Chemists Without Borders Open Chemistry Position Statement also articulates open access and open source science within the overall vision of Chemists Without Borders, for example outlining the importance of open access and open source science in a globally equitable approach to chemistry education. In this science, the Chemists Without Borders Open Chemistry Position Statement may be role model for other "without borders" groups.

On a personal note, my involvement with this group began with a question posed to the SPARC Open Access Forum, asking whether there might be a Chemists Without Borders. Chemists Without Borders Founders Steve Chambreau and Bego Gerber found my question through an internet search - my question kept coming up higher in a google search than the Chemists Without Borders' own blog! I first starting helping Steve & Bego to figure out ways to get the Chemists Without Borders blog to show up higher in a google search, but then became intrigued by this fledgling group trying to figure out how to change the world, and have been involved ever since. Kudos to Bego & Steve for all their hard work getting this group off the ground. Best of luck to all Chemists Without Borders members on current projects, such as AIDS Free Africa, research on using water hyacinth as water remediation (a weed that loves to soak up arsenic!), Useful Chemistry open blogging, and more.

Chemists Without Borders welcomes new members.

This post is part of the Creative Globalization series.

This post reflects my personal opinion only and does not represent the opinions or policy of the BC Electronic Library Network or the Simon Fraser University Library.

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