Co-creation of Knowledge in Technology-Enhanced Communities of Learning




Legal Strategies for Promoting Access to Scientific Publications

The purpose of this study is to provide a systematic basis for promoting access to scientific publications and research findings. The study will identify legal barriers on access to scientific resources and provide a coherent legal policy to be adopted by various policy makers in Israel. 

The proposed research will provide a current account of intellectual property polices related to scientific publications. It will identify copyright restrictions on access to scientific publications by academic scholars and industry experts. The study will compare the legal approach to scientific publications in Israel, U.S. and Europe. The legal analysis will explore legislation, case law, scholarly writing, IP Policies, licenses and publication contacts. Based on this analysis, the study will identify the different choices for policy makers.

The study will focus on access to scientific publications in Israel. Access to scientific publications, is subject to IP restrictions and involves high cost. Such access is essential for the R&D activity in academic institutions and in the local innovative industry. Academic research in Israel introduces unique challenges to the issue of open access to scientific publications, due to language barriers. Most of the scientific papers are published in foreign journals, often commercial journals, although in some areas (such as Jewish Thought, or Hebrew Literature), major journals are published in Hebrew. Access to such journals may raise special considerations regarding their economic sustainability.  

The study will further explore current initiatives worldwide, where scientists, governments and NGOs seek to address barriers on access to scientific knowledge. Some initiatives focus on creating alternatives to commercial scientific journals. For instance, the Public Library of Science (PLoS) offers a couple of dozen online peer review journals, which are publicly available free of charge, subject to Creative Commons license. 

The study will compare existing practices in the U.S. and Europe that seek to promote Open Science and Open Access. It will provide an analysis of different models for IP Policies and develop a framework for sharing and licensing scientific publications and research findings. Finally, based on the critical review of current initiatives and the legal analysis, the study will propose legal policies for promoting access to scientific publications while securing a sustainable framework for academic publications.

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