by First Author — published in 2006

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Advances in science, medicine, technology and agriculture have potential to contribute to the reduction of disease and poverty worldwide. Communications and information technology (ICT) has enabled collaboration and dissemination of scientific research on a global scale. In the words of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, ‘we are fortunate to live in an age that offers new opportunities for involving all nations in science and technology’ (1). However, scientists in the developing world are severely restricted in their access to current research. The open access (OA) model of publishing has often been suggested as a means of mitigating some of the restrictions faced by scientists in low-income countries, and has made significant progress in improving free access to research. However, as it emerges into the mainstream, the OA model must also face questions concerning its implications for the global distribution of intellectual property, widespread integration, and financial viability.

Academic sector, Social, Technological, open access, IPR, copyright, development, access to information