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JISC-REPOSITORIES  February 2012

JISC-REPOSITORIES February 2012

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Subject:

[BOAI] Ten Years On, Researchers Embrace Open Access - Blog post re BOAI 10 on soros.org (fwd)

From:

Stevan Harnad <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Stevan Harnad <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 15:53:20 +0000

Content-Type:

MULTIPART/Mixed

Parts/Attachments:

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TEXT/PLAIN (103 lines) , TEXT/PLAIN (6 lines)



---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 14 Feb 2012 17:30:25 +0200
From: Iryna Kuchma <[log in to unmask]>
To: boai-forum <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: [BOAI]  Ten Years On,
     Researchers Embrace Open Access - Blog post re BOAI 10 on soros.org

Blog post re BOAI 10 on soros.org
To mark the 10th anniversary of the BOAI -http://blog.soros.org/2012/02/ten-years-on-researchers-embrace-open-access/


Ten Years On, Researchers Embrace Open Access
February 14, 2012 | by Melissa Hagemann

How long does it take for an idea to turn into a movement for change? And
how long before that movement achieves its goals? Today, the tenth
anniversary of the Budapest Open Access Initiative, seems like a good time
to ask these questions.

The term “Open Access” (OA), the free online availability of research
literature, was first coined at an Open Society sponsored meeting in
Budapest in December 2001. The Information Program had supported the
distribution of hard copies of scientific journals to universities in
Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, and was interested
in harnessing the power of the internet to more easily put academic research
in the hands of those who could benefit.

So we brought together leaders who were exploring alternative publishing
models. The group hammered out a declaration that would provide the public
with unrestricted, free access to scholarly research—much of which is
publicly funded. The declaration, the Budapest Open Access Initiative, urged
academics to place their research in institutional archives and it
encouraged the creation of new open access journals. The result? Ten years
on, troves of scholarly research and information—which had largely been the
domain of elite universities and wealthy countries who could afford it—are
freely  available to the public.

Today, Open Access is at the forefront of discussions about scholarly
communications in the digital age. Open Access  is taught in universities,
debated in Parliaments, embraced and opposed by publishers, and most
importantly, mandated by over 300 research funders and institutions,
including the largest funder of research in the world, the U.S. National
Institutes of Health. This rise to prominence is all the more remarkable
when considering how ambitious the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI)
was, as it sought to change an $8 billion industry.  Few beyond the initial
BOAI participants shared the vision that change was possible.

The release of the BOAI declaration, urging publishers and academics to make
research freely available, was followed by two similar initiatives that
strengthened the base of support for Open Access:  the Bethesda Statement
from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Berlin Declaration which
originated from the Max Planck Society.  While HHMI, Max Planck, and OSF
provided the framework, it has been the library and research communities who
have organized their members and driven the Open Access agenda.

Today, scholarly content and research is freely available online to doctors,
patients, professors, and students around the world. Nearly 7,500 academic
journals are readily accessible in the Directory of Open Access Journals and
more than 2,000 archives are included in the Directory of Open Access
Repositories.

While much has been achieved to make research freely available, it’s fair to
say the BOAI was initially greeted with immense scepticism – even ridicule –
by the traditional scholarly publishing sector. Many of my favorite
milestones for the movement have to do with the gradual softening of that
initial stance, as some traditional publishers have begun to see the value
of Open Access to their business. The launch in 2006 of PLoS One, the Open
Access “mega-journal,” has been much copied by traditional publishers, and
has put its OA publisher, the Public Library of Science, firmly in the
black. The purchase of the OA publisher BioMed Central in 2008 by one of the
two market leaders in scholarly journal publishing, Springer, further
vindicated the OA model.

We are also encouraged by support from major donors for medical research and
from academic institutions. The Wellcome Trust in the UK was the first
funder in the world to mandate Open Access to the research it funds.  Many
of the schools of Harvard University have also adopted OA mandates.  But the
single most exciting development in this field has been the National
Institutes of Health mandate, launched in 2008, that requires research they
fund using taxpayer money be made publicly available. This mandate alone
places $30 billion of research in the hands of the public every year.

However the fight for open access to research has not been won.  The U.S.
Congress is considering reversing the NIH mandate in a bill – the Research
Works Act – backed by traditional publishers.

Discussions of Open Access policies will be just one item on the agenda of a
gathering of OA leaders, taking place today and tomorrow in Budapest.  We
plan to develop a set of recommendations which will help guide the movement
over the next ten years. We will be exploring issues of sustainability, what
we can do to further support OA in developing and transition countries, and
what implications OA has for measuring the impact of research, and
encouraging its reuse. But just like the first meeting in Budapest, we will
be keeping the agenda as open as possible. We want to encourage the creative
thinking that led to the conception of Open Access in the first place,
thinking that has inspired a global movement which cannot now be claimed by
any single institution, but is a testament to the power of a good idea to
spread across institutional boundaries and disciplines.




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