Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The BOAI is eight

Happy birthday to the Budapest Open Access Initiative, which is eight years old today.

The BOAI "statement of principle,...statement of strategy, and...statement of commitment" was the first to offer a public definition of OA (combining gratis and libre access, though not in those terms), the first to use the term open access, the first to call for green and gold OA as complementary strategies (though not in those terms), the first to call for OA in all disciplines and countries, and the first to be accompanied by significant funding.  A good number of OA projects were already under way, but it helped catalyze the OA movement and give it energy and unity.

The BOAI was hammered out in a December 2001 meeting convened in Budapest by the Open Society Institute, which committed $3 million to carrying out the vision.  The BOAI public statement was released on February 14, 2002.

An old tradition and a new technology have converged to make possible an unprecedented public good. The old tradition is the willingness of scientists and scholars to publish the fruits of their research in scholarly journals without payment....The new technology is the internet. The public good they make possible is the world-wide electronic distribution of the peer-reviewed journal literature and completely free and unrestricted access to it....

Happy birthday, BOAI, and many happy returns.  And to all OA activists around the world, Happy Valentines Day.

(Disclosure:  I helped draft the BOAI and have received support from the Open Society Institute.  I'm probably not neutral on the subject, which is a reason to write your own birthday greeting!)