The EU Commissioner for Europe’s Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, gave the starting signal for the Dutch contribution to the annual international Open Access week. In a video message on the www.surf.nl/open2011 website, Ms Kroes says that open access to research results – both publications and research data – is not just a luxury. She sees Open Access as a must for the Netherlands and Europe if they are to be able to compete internationally.
Each year sees Open Access coming more into the spotlight. In the Netherlands, this happens at many higher education institutions in the form of the “Open 2011” event, which runs from 24 October to 4 November. “I’m very proud”, says Ms Kroes, “of the many activities that are taking place in the Netherlands to deliver Open Access.” The national programme for Open 2011 is being coordinated by SURF, the Dutch collaborative ICT organisation for higher education and research.
Neelie Kroes: “I’m very proud of the many activities that are taking place in the Netherlands to deliver Open Access.”
Research and education
This year’s Open 2011 in the Netherlands focuses not only on Open Access to research but also to education. Access to knowledge, information, and data is essential in higher education and research, and using it provides the basis for knowledge transfer and knowledge generation. Research and education that is paid for with the taxpayer’s money should be accessible and should be used efficiently. Where possible, it should be able to be reused. This philosophy is endorsed by organisations including the country’s principal science funding body NWO, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), and all the Dutch higher education institutions. Making educational resources openly available enables higher education institutions to show the rest of the world what they have to offer, and thus to attract talented students and researchers. Open access also contributes to the improvement of the quality of learning materials.
After the starting signal by EU Commissioner Kroes, there will be daily videos on www.surf.nl/open2011 for the next two weeks in which a speaker from the higher education sector will emphasise the importance of “open” for higher education and research.
Institutions for higher education and research are organising lectures, seminars, and other activities for researchers, instructors, students and/or the staff of libraries and media centres. Higher education institutions worldwide are organising activities to raise knowledge and awareness of Open Access to research data. Last year, more than 900 institutions in 94 countries were involved.