Open Access Initiative Values

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The Smithsonian was established in 1846 for “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” The Smithsonian Open Access Initiative furthers this mission to empower people around the world to participate in the pursuit of new knowledge with contemporary technology. The goal of the Open Access Initiative is to increase the utility, discoverability, and accessibility of the Smithsonian’s trusted collections and data to empower the public to innovate and build new knowledge to help solve today’s challenges. 

The Smithsonian Open Access Initiative supports and responds to the Institution’s purpose of increasing and diffusing knowledge through the following core values:

  • Stewardship and Trust. The Smithsonian Open Access Initiative is committed to ensuring the accuracy and accessibility of its collections and data as stewards of the nation’s collections, and it is committed to engaging with individuals, groups, and communities in the responsible pursuit of an increased diffusion of knowledge.
  • Diversity and Inclusion. The Smithsonian Open Access Initiative recognizes, embraces, and supports, as a core tenet and strength, the diversity of its research, collections, communities, and audiences. 
  • Dignity and Respect. The Smithsonian Open Access Initiative recognizes the dignity and respect of those who created or are represented in the Smithsonian’s collections and content.  

We expect you will uphold these same values as you use, share, and build new knowledge with these resources.