On “ACRL Policy Statement on Open Access to Scholarship by Academic Librarians” and “IFLA Statement on Open Access – Clarifying IFLA’s Position and Strategy”

On “ACRL Policy Statement on Open Access to Scholarship by Academic Librarians” and “IFLA Statement on Open Access – Clarifying IFLA’s Position and Strategy”

Both the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) have public position statements on open access. IIFLA released “IFLA Statement on Open Access – Clarifying IFLA’s Position and Strategy” in April 2011, and ACRL released “ACRL Policy Statement on Open Access to Scholarship by Academic Librarians” five years later, in June 2016. Both documents provide an official statement on open access, although IFLA takes a much stronger position in regards to open access than ACRL does. ACRL peppers its statements with words like “encourage” and “recommend,” whereas IFLA has signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access and “explicitly state[s] that open access in its authoritative meaning is required for the progress of science, the development of society and true citizenship” (n.p., emphasis mine).

The IFLA statement provides an eloquent characterization of open access—“Open access [… shifts] today’s prevalent business models of after-publication payment by subscribers to a funding model that does not charge readers of their institutions for access” (n.p.)—as well as outlines the benefits of open access, issues with the current, for-profit scholarly communication system, the changing role of libraries in the 21st century, collaboration with other international organizations and partners, and what the IFLA position on open access will mean for their membership. This comprehensive overview of open access and IFLA’s stance on the movement is persuasive: IFLA takes a clear position on open access and provides evidence for why open access is key for contemporary, networked, scholarly communication.

 

Works Cited

Association of College and Research Libraries. 2016. “ACRL Policy Statement on Open Access to Scholarship by Academic Librarians.” ACRL. http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/openaccess

International Federation of Library Associations & Institutions. 2011. “Statement on Open Access.” IFLA. http://www.ifla.org/publications/node/8890

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