Budapest Open Access Initiative
The Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) is a public statement of principles relating to open access to the research literature, which was released to the public on February 14, 2002. 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. This small gathering of individuals is recognised as one of the major defining events of the open access movement. The text of the initiative was translated to 13 languages.
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.
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
Definition of open access
The document also contains one of the most widely used definitions of open access, which has subsequently been reaffirmed 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
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. Preferably these archives conform to the standards of the Open Archives Initiative and make it easy for users to find the texts. Second, scholars should launch new online open access journals and help other periodicals to adapt the principles of open access.
The 16 original signatories of the Budapest Open Access Initiative included some of the world's early leaders in the open access movement:
- Leslie Chan of Bioline International
- Darius Cuplinskas, Melissa Hagemann, Rima Kupryte of Open Society Institute
- István Rév, Open Society Institute, Open Society Archives
- Michael Eisen of the Public Library of Science
- Fred Friend († April 23, 2014) of University College London
- Yana Genova of Next Page Foundation
- Jean-Claude Guédon of the Université de Montréal
- Stevan Harnad of the University of Southampton/Université du Québec à Montréal
- Rick Johnson of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)
- Manfredi La Manna of the Electronic Society for Social Scientists
- Monika Segbert, Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) Project consultant
- Sidnei de Souza, Informatics Director at CRIA, Bioline International
- Peter Suber, Professor of Philosophy, Earlham College and The Free Online Scholarship Newsletter
- Jan Velterop of BioMed Central
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.
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.
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." 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.
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