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Happy birthday to the Budapest Open Access Initiative, which is six years old today.
The BOAI "statement of principle,...statement of strategy, and...statement of commitment" was released on February 14, 2002. It wasn't the first initiative in the OA movement, but it was the first to offer a public definition of OA, the first to use the term "open access", the first to call for OA journals and OA archives as complementary strategies, the first to call for OA in all disciplines and countries, and the first to be accompanied by significant funding. I wouldn't say that it launched the OA movement, which was already under way, but that it was one of the first significant steps to catalyze, energize, and unify the OA movement.
(Disclosure: I helped draft the BOAI and I receive support from the Open Society Institute, which funded the BOAI. I hope my high opinion of the BOAI is justified, not biased. But I gladly make this disclosure and invite you to decide for yourselves. If you think I'm biased, please write your own birthday greeting!)
For some quick reviews of the progress of OA since the launch of the BOAI, see Open Access in 2007, Open Access in 2006, Open Access in 2005, Open Access in 2004, and Open Access in 2003. I didn't write an OA review for 2002, but I did review OA archiving activity in the first six months after the BOAI launched. And for the details missing from these reviews, there's always my timeline.
Happy birthday, BOAI, and many happy returns. To all who have worked for OA worldwide, Happy Valentines Day.