It has long been the general rule at most universities that access to theses and other research results should be readily available. Open access is in accordance with the nature of university work and research. Knowledge is understood to be a common good and the main principle is that all research results should be published since publication is one of the prerequisites for verifying results and improving and increasing knowledge.
There are no direct instructions in law or in the rules of the University regarding access to student dissertations. On the other hand, the rule that students‘ theses and research results of the University‘s academic staff should be open and available to all, corresponds with the University's Code of Ethics.
The University of Iceland has approved a mandate on open access to research results but has yet to draw up rules on access to student dissertations.
On September 12, 2012, Ingibjörg Steinunn Sverrisdóttir, National Librarian, signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access on behalf of the National and University Library of Iceland.
Thus, the Library confirms its policy of open access to research results funded by public funds similar to the policy of The Science and Technology Policy Council and the Act on Public Support for Scientific Research.
The National and University Library of Iceland has also signed the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development. With this declaration IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, has influenced the new world goals of the United Nations.