A letter to CGIAR in support of Open Access
peter.suber's bookmarks 2022-11-04
"Last week Indian Open Access (OA) advocate Professor Subbiah Arunachalam (Arun) organised a letter to the top management of CGIAR — the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. The letter spoke of the need for, and advantages of, making all of CGIAR's research output Open Access. In doing so, it pointed out that one of CGIAR's research centres — the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in India — has already introduced an OA mandate, and this has proved hugely successful. Since the mandate was introduced, the letter says, OA has grown fast, "and the portal now has virtually all the research papers published in recent times, and all the books and learning material produced by ICRISAT researchers." Yet, the letter adds, today ICRISAT is the only international agricultural research centre with an OA mandate. [After the letter was sent, the signatories discovered that The International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) also has an open access mandate in place.] Since the ICRISAT mandate has proved very successful, the letter suggests, now would be a good time for other research centres to follow suit. As the letter puts it, "We believe that it would be great if other CGIAR laboratories could also mandate open access to their research publications. Indeed, it would be a good idea to have a system wide Open Access mandate for CGIAR and to have interoperable OA repositories in each CGIAR laboratory." The letter adds: "Such a development would provide a high level of visibility for the work of CGIAR and greatly advance agricultural research. Besides, journals published by CGIAR labs could also be made OA." CGIAR, we should note, was initially an initiative of the Rockefeller Foundation, and is focused on reducing poverty and hunger, and improving human health and nutrition, as well as enhancing ecosystem resilience through high-quality international agricultural research, partnership and leadership. Following the Rockefeller initiative it was proposed in 1970 to create a worldwide network of agricultural research centres under a permanent secretariat, and today CGIAR has 64 governmental and nongovernmental members and 15 research centres around the world...."