Arthur Carty, the national science advisor to Prime Minister Paul Martin, has published a remarkable op-ed titled A Global Information System Needs a Culture of Sharing, in the latest issue of University Affairs. This should be required reading and, if it reflects the thinking at the Prime Minister’s Office, offers great promise. Noteworthy quotes include:
"Above all, our goal must be to maximize the impact of research for societies everywhere, not just the developed world. People in developing nations must be able to access and contribute to the vitality of the global research information and communications system. An open-access philosophy is critical to the system' s success: if research findings and knowledge are to be built upon and used by other scientists, then this knowledge must be widely available on the web, not just stored in published journals that are often expensive and not universally available."
"Creating a system with these attributes is no longer just a question of developing appropriate technologies; for the most part these already exist. Rather, it' s a matter of building, integrating and improving the technical infrastructure, operational standards, research support systems, regulations and institutional roles and responsibilities. It' s also a matter of nurturing a culture of open access and sharing, beyond what researchers have ever embraced
"We have to find ways to motivate researchers in all countries to preserve and exchange their research data, to publish their findings in open access journals and to deposit their published articles in institutional repositories. Granting agencies, governments and institutions must find ways to reward researchers for the real value of their collaborative work and state-of-the-art data management. Institutions, too, need to know that their investments in expanding and improving the quality of their data archives and open-access repositories are recognized as measurable scientific outputs."