FAO knowledge becomes Open Access


On 23 April 2018, FAO marks World Book and Copyright Day by announcing a forthcoming Open Access policy to maximize use and distribution of its publications and other knowledge products.

Knowledge is crucial to achieve Zero Hunger, and disseminating knowledge has been a core part of FAO’s mandate since it was founded in 1945. Publications have been freely accessible in FAO’s online Document Repository since 1998. However, formalizing an Open Access policy will not only ensure that FAO’s wealth of knowledge remains easily accessible to users worldwide, it will also encourage and provide a framework for the broader use, reproduction and dissemination of this material.

Open Access was first formally proposed as a concept in 2002 during the Budapest Open Access Initiative as unrestricted online access to scholarly research primarily intended for scholarly journal articles. The concept has since been expanded and fine-tuned, particularly thanks to the increasing use of Creative Commons licences, the global standard for open content licences.

FAO is part of a group of inter-governmental organizations (IGOs), together with the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Health Organization, among others, that has worked to establish and implement a Creative Commons (CC) IGO licence. In force since 2013, the CC 3.0 IGO licence takes into account the unique legal status of international organizations.

Once the policy is officially adopted, FAO will apply the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO licence (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO) to all eligible publications and documents under FAO copyright and published on its website. For further information on FAO’s Open Access policy and Creative Commons licence, please contact [email protected].