The University of the Western Cape signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities on 23 October 2013, during International Open Access Week. UWC is the 12th South African institution to become a signatory. Currently there are 581 signatories world-wide.
By signing the Berlin Declaration, UWC demonstrated commitment to making its publically funded research freely available and accessible to all on the internet. Professor Brian O’Connell, who signed the Berlin Declaration on behalf of the university, said that disseminating knowledge is only half complete if the information is not widely available to society. The new possibility of knowledge dissemination through open access has to be supported.
Dean of Science Prof. Michael Davies-Coleman (left) and UWC Library Director Pateka Matshaya (right) witness the signing of the Berlin Declaration to Open Access by UWC Rector, Prof. Brian O'Connell, and Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Advocate Tshililo Michael Masutha
In 2014, the University Senate and Council approved an Open Access policy that requires deposit of author final versions of journal articles at point of acceptance by publisher prior to signing the publishers contract. The policy has been amended from the UNESCO Guidelines for institutions where the policymaker already has the rights to the work produced. The UWC Legal Addendum to Publishing Agreements (Annexure 1 in the polocy )is the recognised mechanism for securing the right to deposit in the Research Repository.
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