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Publishers' Statement of Intent

Online Access to Research in the Environment (OARE) is the third in a sequence of partnerships developed in response to a call to the private sector from United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan in 2000 to improve access to scientific information in the poorest countries.

Recognizing that environmental research plays a critical role in international efforts to manage sustainably the world’s natural resources, and that access to primary scientific information is essential to research, many of the world’s leading scientific research publishers have entered into a public-private partnership to provide access to primary scientific literature in the broad spectrum of environmental sciences for researchers, educators, and professionals in developing nations.

Working with the United Nations Environment Programme , Yale University, and a range of development and funding organizations, the founding publishers of OARE will offer full online access to environmental science journals, abstract and indexing (A&I) databases and other information resources to developing nations via the Internet. It is expected that this initiative will expand to include additional partners contributing scientific content, training for end users, and related activities.

The primary goal of the partners is to help improve the research process in the developing countries. In doing so, they aim to contribute to the development of expert professional and academic communities and an informed public; encourage scientific creativity and productivity; facilitate the development of progressive science-based national policies; help enable countries to build their own higher education programs in the environmental sciences; educate their own leaders; conduct their own research; publish their own scientific findings; and disseminate information to policy makers and the public.

Benefiting local public and non-profit institutions in developing countries working for the public good, the OARE partnership will be based on the following principles.

  • It will provide access to a wide range of scientific journals, abstract and indexing databases, and other content resources in the environmental sciences and at prices which reflect the state of national economies in the developing world.
  • In many cases, access may be provided at no charge.
  • All revenues collected for access will be remitted by the publishers to OARE for training, outreach and other related uses.
  • This access will be provided only to bona fide academic and research institutions and other appropriate organizations.
  • It will include most of the countries classified by the World Bank as low or lower-middle income developing nations.
  • Access will be provided in the broadest terms of the principles on which the partnership is based, while at the same time allowing publishers to make specific arrangements according to their own business models.
  • It will support the principles of the World Intellectual Property Organization, the International Publishers Association and other organizations in promoting respect for the Berne Convention in the use of important scientific information.
  • It recognizes the key role national governments and local organizations will play in supporting and developing the partnership.
  • It will encourage the development of indigenous research publishing programs in developing nations.
  • New publishers and organizations interested in providing scholarly content will be welcomed to the program, providing training to end users in low-income nations, and providing other assistance that support partnership objectives.
  • Programs to monitor and evaluate the program will be instituted.
  • OARE will continue until at least 2015, in line with the UN Millennium Development Goals

OARE Founding Partners
New York
30 October, 2006