Budapest Open Access Initiative

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Participants at meeting in Budapest, December 1, 2001

The Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) is a public statement of principles relating to open access to the research literature,[1] which was released to the public on February 14, 2002.[2] It arose from a conference convened in Budapest by the Open Society Institute on December 1–2, 2001 to promote open access which at that time was also known as Free Online Scholarship.[3][4] This small gathering of individuals is recognised as one of the major defining events of the open access movement.[1] The text of the initiative was translated to 13 languages.[5]

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the initiative in 2012, the ends and means of the original initiative were reaffirmed and supplemented with a set of concrete recommendations for achieving open access in the next 10 years.[6][7]



The opening sentence of the Budapest Open Access Initiative encapsulates what the open access movement is all about, and what its potential is:

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, for the sake of inquiry and knowledge. 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 by all scientists, scholars, teachers, students, and other curious minds.

— Budapest Open Access Initiative[8]

Definition of open access[edit]

The document also contains one of the most widely used definitions of open access, which has subsequently been reaffirmed[9] as the definition of open access, 10 years after it was first published:

By "open access" to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.

Achieving open access[edit]

The BOAI recommends two complementary strategies in order to achieve open access to scientific literature. First, scholars need to follow the practice of self-archiving which is when authors deposit a copy of their own text to open archives on the internet.[2] Preferably these archives conform to the standards of the Open Archives Initiative and make it easy for users to find the texts.[2] Second, scholars should launch new online open access journals and help other periodicals to adapt the principles of open access.[2]


The 16 original signatories of the Budapest Open Access Initiative included some of the world's early leaders in the open access movement:


On February 14, 2002, the BOAI was released in a version that could be signed by the public. As on 14th Feb. 2016, more than 5,932 individuals and 837 organizations have signed it.[11]


A logo celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2012, featuring the Széchenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest.

On the 10th anniversary of the original initiative in 2012, a new statement was released which reaffirms the BOAI's definition of open access, its goals, strategies and commitment to make progress.[6]

BOAI10 also contains a set of recommendations with "the new goal that within the next ten years, OA will become the default method for distributing new peer-reviewed research in every field and country."[6] These include policy recommendations for universities, research funding agencies, recommendations on choosing the optimal licence (CC-BY), designing open access repository infrastructure, and advocacy for achieving open access.[6]


The initiative was sponsored with a US$3 million grant from the Open Society Institute.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Budapest Open Access Initiative, FAQ". Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d "Budapest Open Access Initiative | Read the Budapest Open Access Initiative". Archived from the original on 2013-05-10. Retrieved 2021-06-08.
  3. ^ a b Strategies for Preservation of and Open Access to Scientific Data in China ... 8 September 2006. ISBN 9780309180399. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  4. ^ "Ten Years On, Researchers Embrace Open Access". Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  5. ^ "Budapest Open Access Initiative | Translations". Retrieved 2021-06-08.
  6. ^ a b c d "Budapest Open Access Initiative | Ten years on from the Budapest Open Access Initiative: setting the default to open". Retrieved 2021-06-09.
  7. ^ "BOAI". Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  8. ^ "Read the Budapest Open Access Initiative". Retrieved 2015-10-19.
  9. ^ "Ten years on from the Budapest Open Access Initiative: setting the default to open". September 11, 2012. Archived from the original on September 15, 2012. Retrieved September 12, 2012.
  10. ^ "Budapest Open Access Initiative - Budapest Open Access Initiative". Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  11. ^ "View Signatures". Budapest Open Access Initiative.
  12. ^ Noble, Ivan (14 February 2002). "Boost for research paper access". BBC News. London: BBC. Retrieved 12 February 2012.

External links[edit]