UNESCO, one of the 13 members of the IMARK programme, has released its online course on Open Access for Researchers and OA for Librarians. “Building inclusive Knowledge Societies through information and communication” is one of the key objectives for UNESCO’s Medium-Term Strategy.
By adopting this objective, UNESCO Member States have recognized that knowledge plays a key role in economic growth, social development, cultural enrichment and democratic empowerment. This decision of the Members States has influenced UNESCO‘s Open Access program, through which the organization received a unique mandate to work on OA policy issues; bridge knowledge pools on OA across the world and build capacities to better understand Open Access.
Within the overall framework of the organization’s strategy on OA, the recent launch of OA curricula for Researchers and Library Schools by UNESCO highlights its efforts for enhancing capacities to deal with Open Access issues. The carefully designed and developed sets of OA curricula for researchers and library and information professionals are based on two needs assessment surveys, and several rounds of face-to-face and online consultations with relevant stakeholders.
These curricula will soon be converted into self-directed e-learning tools, which will enable users to self-assess their knowledge on Open Access and take a learning pace that is initiated and directed by the learners themselves. UNESCO also aims to strengthen this initiative by translating the OA curricula into several languages that will increase their reach and impact.
The complete set of five OA modules for researchers and four OA modules for library schools is now available online and can be downloaded by clicking the following links:
Curriculum for Library Schools
- Module 1: Introduction to Open Access
- Module 2: Open Access Infrastructure
- Module 3: Resource Optimization
- Module 4: Interoperability and Retrieval
Curriculum for Researchers
- Module 1: Scholarly Communications
- Module 2: Concepts of Openness and Open Access
- Module 3: Intellectual Property Rights
- Module 4: Research Evaluation Metrics
- Module 5: Sharing your Work in Open Access
UNESCO promotes Open Access (OA), with particular emphasis on scientific information (journal articles, conference papers and datasets of various kinds) emanating from publicly funded research. Working with partners, UNESCO works to improve awareness about the benefits of OA among policy makers, researchers and knowledge managers. Through its global network of Field Offices, Institutes and Centers , UNESCO facilitates the development and adoption of OA-enabling policies. In addition, UNESCO engages in global OA debates and cooperates with local, regional and global initiatives in support of OA.