The King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives (Darah) recently launched its open access initiative after 5 years of hard work, offering a quarter of its Arabic content online for readers as part of its electronic transformation plan.
Darah’s efforts align with the principle of granting access to knowledge as a human right, guaranteed by international laws.
“The project started in 2017, which aims to achieve the objectives of the King Abdul Aziz Foundation (Darah) to make knowledge available through modern technologies and facilitate access to it for scholars, researchers and readers,” said Sultan Al-Owairdy, director of digital media management at Darah. “It is also in response to Riyadh’s call for open access to scientific information.”
This move came as a result of Darah’s participation in International Open Access Week after contributing to the activities with lectures and exhibitions.
Darah has selected 83 publications of different topics related to Saudi, Islamic and Arab histories, geography and archaeology. These books have been published at different times since Darah’s inception.
“The website is available for free; you can browse the website of the King Abdul Aziz Foundation by entering the Darah store and click on open access books, and by downloading the books provided. The browser should comply with the conditions mentioned on the website,” Al-Owairdy said.
The conditions include downloading/printing the content of the website for reading, without reproducing/copying/storing in retrieval systems or transmitting it by any means without Darah’s consent.
Darah applies the Creative Commons Attribution–NonDerivative (CC-BY-ND) license to the works they publish. This license was developed to facilitate open access, free immediate access to and unrestricted reuse of books and research.
The intellectual property rights are still reserved for the author and publisher and what is included in the (CC-BY-ND) license.
The aim of the project was to ensure that it preserves Darah’s intellectual and material rights. To save its scientific products from being hacked, Darah calls on all scientific, educational and training institutions inside and outside Saudi Arabia to take the same step to contribute to the knowledge economy at a global level.
“King Abdul Aziz Foundation (Darah) seeks to expand its open access and establish a policy within its publishing system,” Al-Owairdy said.
He added that all publications are currently available in Arabic and will soon will be offered in English.