June 25, 2015 @ 2:00 pm – 2:45 pm
Beveridge Hall, Ground Floor

Strategies for Promoting Open Access in a Global Context

INVITED SPEAKER: Dr Manon Ress, Director, Information Society Projects, Knowledge Ecology International, USA

This presentation will focus on a new element within broader strategies to promote open access databases in the global context and also on the new role libraries can play in this Open Science effort.

A proposal for a ‘World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on the Supply of Social/Public Goods’ is aimed at addressing an under supply of social and public goods including, but not limited to, those involving knowledge goods. The proposal, among other things, is to use the status of the WTO and its dispute resolution mechanism to enforce commitments from governments that would have the effect of expanding public access to knowledge goods.

Some of the interest in the WTO proposal would involve social goods for health, development and security. However, the agreement would also be available to address important trade-related issues concerning access to governmentfunded research and databases, by providing a forum and an enforcement mechanism to address global free rider issues. As designed, the proposal would cover both funding commitments, to produce knowledge as a public good, and commitments regarding policies on global access to government-funded research.

To progress the proposal, experts have recently convened meetings in Berlin and Washington DC to discuss draft language that will introduce social/public goods into the WTO environment. The terms ‘asks’ and ‘offers’ would no longer exclusively reference the private goods market, nor privatisation and the enclosure of knowledge itself.

Librarians and other open data and open science advocates should participate in these negotiations, which are an important part of the movement to make openness more sustainable and consequential.

Dr Manon Ress is Director of Information Society Projects at Knowledge Ecology International, a non-government organization with offices in Washington, DC, and Geneva. She is an active participant at the World Intellectual Property Organization’s meetings of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, and other multilateral and regional forums that discuss intellectual property rights, innovation and related topics. She is active in the Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) working groups on intellectual property and information society, including the proposal for a Paris Accord between consumers and creative and inventive communities. Dr Ress work has focused on the protection on consumer and user rights in intellectual property norm setting,the development and use of open standards, open access publishing, the development of open access user generated databases, the use of prizes and other alternative reward mechanism to reward creative and inventive activity, disputes over jurisdiction and the enforcement of intellectual property rights and speech torts, and the development of distance education technologies.

Dr Ress holds a BA and a Master’s Degree from the Université de Nice, France as well as a Master’s and a PhD from Princeton University.

Strategies for promoting Open Access in a Global Context