Identifying the role of open access information in attaining the UN Sustainable Development Goals

MAMTORA, Jayshree and PANDEY, Prashant (2018) Identifying the role of open access information in attaining the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2018 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Transform Libraries, Transform Societies in Session 205 - Asia and Oceania.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/2110
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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

Identifying the role of open access information in attaining the UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) covering social and economic development issues including poverty, climate change, social justice, and education, in all countries throughout the world. The intent at the core of the SDGs is recognised in the formal title “Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. Libraries and librarians have been a part of the post-2015 UN development agenda from the start, as reflected in the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development released by the International Federation for Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) in 2014. The Declaration enshrined the idea that ‘access to information supports development by empowering people.' Much earlier, in 2002, the Open Access (OA) movement commenced with the Budapest Open Access Initiative led by a group of international scholars who were keen to allow unrestricted access to journal literature for the public good. This type of access allows the free exchange of knowledge and resources to widen its impact and to encourage creativity. This married the long-standing ‘old' tradition – the willingness of researchers to publish their findings, freely and without payment – with the onset of the new online environment. Since then, OA has grown exponentially with the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) currently lists 3.1 million articles in nearly 12,000 peer-reviewed journals (DOAJ, 2018). This paper will investigate the impact of OA in the light of the SDGs; that is, the extent to which the objectives of OA dovetail with the contribution by libraries in attaining the SDGs. We will focus on the rise of Open Access in the Asia and Oceania region and will highlight case studies where open access has led to the transformation of communities in different ways. Finally, the paper will make some recommendations for libraries in the region towards championing OA initiatives, as a step towards attaining the SDGs.

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