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The Open Access initiative

  • The Open Access initiative traces back its origin to several decades, but has gained much more momentum since 1990s with the advent of internet age. Owing to the physical and economic barriers during the print age, Open Access publishing was almost impossible, even if an author was interested in getting wider audience for his article. With the rise in inflation, print costs have significantly increased which further raised the journal subscription prices. As the public access to internet started spreading to wider communities, the ability to upload, download, print, and distribute digital data at no cost, has offered an alternative to paper publishing and significantly benefitted the Open Access initiative. There has been a profound advantage of online access due to the minimal marginal costs when compared to the fixed costs of paper printing.
  • In accordance to the changing trends in the development of science and technology and the increasing volume of published knowledge, there is a growing demand for rapid exchange of scientific data. This demand can be met by transforming from pay-per-view printing to Open Access publishing. One of the major goals of Open Access initiative is to help in scaling up with the continuing and explosive growth of knowledge by providing unlimited access to scientific publications.
  • Important developments to be noted in this regard are the Budapest Open Access Initiative of 2002, Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities of 2003, Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing of 2003, and the Salvador Declaration on Open Access of 2005. All these developments have focussed on the role that Open Access can play in the advancement of global science and declared public statements on the Open Access initiative. Participants from all around the world, representing researchers, publishers, universities, libraries, journals, institutions, learned societies, and other related Open Access initiatives attended these meetings to examine the issues surrounding Open Access movement. They discussed many points of view on the most affordable and effective policies to implement the Open Access movement across the scientific world. They also explored the different strategies to unite all Open Access initiatives under one roof and work together to achieve faster, in-depth success. Finally, they also discussed how to efficiently use resources that aid in the transition to Open Access and make Open Access publishing economically self-sustaining.
  • The Open Access initiative has also been supported by UNESCO for the benefit of global science and the progress of mankind. A clear mandate has been given by UNESCO, stating that UNESCO should 'maintain, increase and diffuse knowledge, by assuring the conservation and protection of the world's inheritance of books, works of art and monuments of history and science' (Constitution, art, 1.2 c).
  • In this regard, OMICS International, an Open Access publication model strongly supports the Open Access initiative and the Bethesda Statement on Open Access publishing. Abstracts and full texts (HTML, XML and PDF format) of all articles published by OMICS publishing group are freely accessible to everyone immediately after publication.