D-Lib Magazine Brief "UNESCO's Open Access Curricula for Young Researchers and Librarians"

anup kumar das anupdas2072 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 17 01:30:26 EDT 2015

[Apologies for cross-posting]

*UNESCO's Open Access Curricula for Young Researchers and Librarians*

*by Anup Kumar Das*

*D-Lib Magazine*, Volume 21, Number 3/4, March/April 2015
Source: http://www.dlib.org/dlib/march15/03inbrief.html

Open Access (OA) to scholarly knowledge has reached a great height in
recent years, due to overwhelming supports from the scholarly communities
and national funding agencies. However, there is constant need of capacity
development of graduating and early-career researchers, who later will be
engaged with OA contents as user, reviewer and creator. The research
lifecycle has an important phase, i.e., dissemination of research findings,
which now embraces OA channels in many countries. Many for-profit
publishers are offering avenues of disseminating research papers through
hybrid journals, i.e., publishing in both subscription-based and OA
contents. Here an author may need to pay a publishing fee/article
processing charge (APC) for publishing an OA article in a hybrid journal,
while rest of the articles may not be accessible to researchers in
non-subscriber institutions. Recently, collectively consensus has arrived
with authors to resist transfer of copyright to publishers. Instead they
wish to retain copyright and a Licence to Publish (LTP) agreement is given
to publishers for publishing research papers. The SPARC Authors' Addendum
is one such instrument to establish LTP agreements between authors and
publishers, and for retaining copyright by the authors. Authors who retain
copyright with themselves have much more flexible ways to disseminate their
published works through their institutional repositories, subject
repositories and academic social networks. On the other hand, Creative
Commons (CC) licenses are commonly used in disseminating OA contents both
in online and offline modes.

All these aspects are very new to graduating young scholars, particularly
those who are based in developing countries or the Global South. They need
to be made aware and sensitized of these developments in scholarly
communications spheres and processes. With the arrival of OA journals and
knowledge repositories, researchers have far more choices of disseminating
their research findings and also getting immediate global attention or
recognition. OA research, similar to other published research, can be
measured through citation counts, article-level metrics or altmetrics.
Young researchers also need to know about predatory OA journals and
publishers, which try to enter into the OA ecosystem compromising quality
of research.

With this situation, UNESCO in association with the Commonwealth
Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA) of the Commonwealth of Learning
(COL), launched a set of open access curricula and self-directional
learning (SDL) modules for researchers, librarians and library schools3
<http://www.dlib.org/dlib/march15/03inbrief.html#das3>. The OA curricula is
produced for two distinct target groups, namely, (I) Open Access for
Researchers, and (II) Open Access for Library Schools. The researchers'
curricula is an elaborative exploration of scholarly communication
processes, concepts of openness and open access, intellectual property
rights and research evaluation metrics, while the library schools'
curricula has more insights on how library and information professionals
would deal with advocating OA scholarly communications and managing OA
resources in their institutions. The researchers' curricula consist of five
modules whereas library schools' curricula consist of four modules.

The initial structure of OA Curricula was prepared jointly by the project
director and UNESCO experts. An international multi-stakeholder experts'
meeting on development of curriculum and self-directed learning tools for
OA was held on 4-6 September 2013 at New Delhi, where 23 experts
participated to finalize the curriculum1
<http://www.dlib.org/dlib/march15/03inbrief.html#das1>. Two supplementary
online consultations were also held to substantiate the expert meeting,
which helped UNESCO to outline the content for each of the curriculum and
provided a framework to develop modules. The OA Curricula was prepared as
an outcome of the project titled *Development of Curriculum and
Self-Directed Learning Tools for Open Access*, led by Dr. Sanjaya Mishra of
COL as project director. Another research outcome of this project was a
report titled *Situation Analysis and Capacity Building Needs for Open
Access*, which influenced the preliminary structure of OA curricula2

Presently available in print format, UNESCO is planning to make these OA
Curricula and SDL Modules available online with a CC license downloadable
from the UNESCO website3

*References: *

1. CEMCA (2013). *International Multi-stakeholder Meeting on Development of
Curriculum and Self-Directed Learning Tools for Open Access

2. Das, AK (2013). *Situation Analysis and Capacity Building Needs for Open
New Delhi: Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia.

3. UNESCO (2014). *UNESCO Launches Open Access Curricula for Researchers
and Librarians
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