International Seminar on Open Access for Developing Countries - Salvador, Bahia - Brazil

Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information
Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization

Salvador, Bahia - Brasil - September 21-22, 2005


Salvador Declaration on Open Access: The Developing World Perspective

Open access means unrestricted access to and use of scientific information. It has growing support worldwide and it is received with enthusiasm and high expectations in the developing world.

Open Access promotes equity. For the developing world Open Access will increase scientists and academics capacity to both access and contribute to world science.

Historically the circulation of scientific information in developing countries has been impeded by a number of barriers including economic models, infrastructure, policies, language and culture.

Consequently, WE, the participants of the International Seminar on Open Access - parallel meeting of the 9th World Congress on Health Information and Libraries and the 7th Regional Congress of Information in Health Sciences agree that

  1. Scientific and technological research is essential for social and economic development.
  2. Scientific communication is a crucial and inherent part of the activities of research and development. Science advances more effectively when there is unrestricted access to scientific information.
  3. More broadly, open access enables education and use of scientific information by the public.
  4. In a world that is increasingly globalized, with science claiming to be universal, exclusion from access to information is not acceptable. It is important that access be considered as a universal right, independent of any region.
  5. Open Access must facilitate developing countries' active participation in the worldwide exchange of scientific information, including free access to the heritage of scientific knowledge, effective participation in the process of generation and dissemination of knowledge, and strengthening the coverage of topics of direct relevance to developing countries.
  6. Developing countries already have pioneering initiatives that promote Open Access and therefore they should play an important role in shaping Open Access worldwide.


We urge governments to make Open Access a high priority in science policies including:

We call on all stakeholders in the international community to work together to ensure that scientific information is openly accessible and freely available to all, forever.