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Why Open Matters

Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education form a broad Open Agenda that is critical to accelerating the way we discover knowledge and unlocking our potential to solve big problems and make new discoveries.

The Internet has fundamentally changed the way we create, exchange and interact with knowledge. We have moved beyond a world where knowledge was accessible by only the privileged few and in “read-only” formats that inhibited collaboration and optimization. Today, we have the unprecedented ability to use, adapt, and build on knowledge in real time to solve problems and make new discoveries.

Today, the most significant challenge to realizing the full potential of the Internet lies in our ability to advance the Open Agenda (Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education) for the benefit of practitioners, investors, and the public at large.

Researchers, scholars, and educators around the world have a tremendous stake in the success of the Open Agenda. Researchers publish in the hope their work will find the widest possible audience, seeking to maximize the impact of their research. Whether that impact means increased understanding, collaboration across borders and institutions, the ability to secure future funding, and/or career advancement, an Open approach to scholarship has myriad benefits for researchers.

Further, educators and students can leverage an open approach to create customized education programs, using the latest relevant information to improve learning outcomes and make access to quality education more equitable and affordable.

Increasingly, investors in research are requiring the results of their funding to be made Openly available. These investors, ranging from foundations and governments to universities around the world, all place a high value on ensuring their funding is optimized for results. Through Open, research funders are able to more quickly and efficiently maximize their return on investment and achieve their goals.

Whether or not you are actively engaged in research, you are likely to be a beneficiary of the Open Agenda. Through Open policies and programs, the progress of research is accelerated and the results of research are shared broadly. For each and every one of us, Open holds many possible benefits to our daily lives including –medical professionals having access to the latest findings, emergency response systems optimized with the most precise data, and entrepreneurs using cutting edge research for new business innovation.

Outdated publishing policies, programs, and enterprise models that currently restrict access to knowledge for financial return are limiting our potential for growth and impact. Through the Open Agenda, the fast, free sharing of information will speed up the pace of discovery and bring new ideas to market faster — preventing diseases, creating new jobs, fueling economies, and increasing the return on our investment in research and education.

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