20 May 2009


Joint IFLA/IPA statement: Enhancing the Debate on Open Access

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Geneva/The Hague 20 May 2009

A joint statement released today by the International Publishers
Association, the International Association of Scientific Technical and
Medical (STM) Publishers, and the International Federation of Library
Associations and Institutions (IFLA) calls for a more rational,
evidence based debate on open access. It encourages experimentation and
piloting of new concepts and ideas, whilst acknowledging that the
differences in the different academic disciplines and publishing
traditions may lead to differentiated approaches and business models in
support of authors.

The joint statement is intended to move the oftentimes heated and
polarised debate about open access as a model for scholarly
communication towards a more measured and nuanced discourse.

Says IPA President Herman P. Spruijt “The debate about open access
is important and publishers welcome it. Publishing is never at a
standstill and we should not fear change. Now that more experience has
been gained with open access publishing and now that data is available
on its success, the open access debate should be able to move away from
emotional accusations and oversimplification. Our discussions with IFLA
on this topic are always spirited, but have become more insightful and
less polarised as we moved towards facts, evidence and differentiated
arguments. There is a lesson here to be learned for the public debate
on this issue.”

Says IFLA Working Group co-chairman Ingrid Parent: “IFLA is pleased
to announce the joint declaration on open access with IPA. This
statement shows that both our associations share the important
objective of providing the broadest possible access to information.
IFLA and IPA believe publishers and librarians have a lot to gain by
supporting innovation, experimentation and pilot projects in developing
open access to scholarly publications.”

Read the full text of the statement

More about IPA

The International Publishers Association (IPA) is an international
industry federation representing all aspects of book and journal
publishing. Established in 1896, IPA's mission is to promote and
protect publishing and to raise awareness for publishing as a force for
economic, cultural and political development. Around the world IPA
actively fights against censorship and promotes copyright, literacy and
freedom to publish.

More about IFLA

The International Federation of Library Associations and
Institutions (IFLA) is the leading international body representing the
interests of library and information services and their users. It is
the global voice of the library and information profession.  IFLA
promotes the principles of freedom of access to information, ideas and
works of imagination and freedom of expression. The delivery of high
quality and equitable library and information services helps guarantee
that access and improve the social, educational, cultural, democratic
and economic well-being of those communities and organizations
libraries serve. IFLA has 1600 Members in approximately 150 countries
around the world.

Further information

For further information, please contact:
Jens Bammel
Secretary General
International Publishers Association
3, avenue de Miremont
CH - 1206 Geneva
Tel: +41 22 704 1820
Fax: +41 22 704 1821

Access to information

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