The 20th anniversary of open access marked by recommendations


Twenty years ago, the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) brought together a diverse group of stakeholders and launched a global campaign for open access (OA) to all new peer-reviewed research. BOAI deliberately brought together existing projects to explore how they could “work together to achieve broader, deeper and faster success”.

The result was a groundbreaking initiative that was widely embraced by stakeholders and spurred significant progress towards global understanding and the adoption of a new way of sharing knowledge. BOAI was the first to define the term “open access,” and its definition has since become canonical, frequently cited in the context of open access policies, practices, and laws around the world.

BOAI’s recognition of complementary strategies for implementing OA has been widely adopted across disciplines and in many countries.

”By ‘open access‘ to this [research] literature, we mean its free availability on the public Internet, allowing any user to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search or link to the full texts of these articles, explore them for indexing, transmit them in as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal or technical obstacles other than those inseparable from Internet access itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution and the only role of copyright in this area should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to proper acknowledgment and citation.

To mark its 20th anniversary, a global community consultation was conducted and a new set of recommendations are published that take stock of progress towards open access and examine the main obstacles to its widespread adoption.

Four key recommendations are highlighted – all of which are designed to ensure that existing inequities in knowledge sharing systems are dismantled and new structures are deliberately designed in a way that promotes inclusiveness in creating, contributing, learning. access to and benefit from knowledge:

1. Host OA research on open infrastructure. Host and publish open-access digital text, data, metadata, code, and other research results on an open, community-controlled infrastructure. Use an infrastructure that minimizes the risk of future access restrictions or control by commercial organizations. Where open infrastructure is not yet fit for today’s needs, develop it further.

2. Reform research assessment and rewards to improve incentives. Adjust research assessment practices for funding decisions and university hiring, promotion, and tenure decisions. Eliminate disincentives to OA and create new positive incentives for OA.

3. Prioritize inclusive publishing and distribution channels that never exclude authors for economic reasons. Take full advantage of APC-free OA repositories and journals (“Green” and “Diamond” OA). Stay away from Item Handling Charges (APC).

4. When we spend money to publish open access research, remember the goals for which open access is the means. Favor models that benefit all regions of the world, that are controlled by academic and nonprofit organizations, that avoid concentrating new OA literature in commercially dominant journals, and that avoid entrenching models that conflict with these goals. Stay away from read and publish agreements.

“For CLACSO – a network of 836 research centers in 55 countries – these #BOAI20 recommendations address the systemic issues that impede open access progress towards a more equitable and inclusive global open science future,” notes Karina Batthyány. , executive director of CLACSO.

A collection of thoughts written by reputable thought leaders in the open access community will also be published.

The reflections will provide additional perspectives on where the open access movement should focus its efforts.

A small working group of volunteers came together to synthesize community feedback and reflect on the values, goals, and ongoing efforts of the open access movement. The members of the BOAI20 steering group are listed in alphabetical order below:

Dominique Babiniopen science advisor, CLACSO

Leslie ChanDirector, Knowledge Equity Lab, University of Toronto Scarborough

Melissa HagemannSenior Program Officer, Open Society Foundations

Heather JosephExecutive Director, SPARC

Iryna KuchmaOpen Access Program Director, EIFL

Pierre SubierSenior Advisor on Open Access, Harvard Library

An open webcast featuring discussions with the BOAI Steering Committee is scheduled for Thursday, March 31 at 12:00 p.m. EST. Updates can be found on the organization’s website. Twitter.

“I am honored to take part in BOAI’s new recommendations,” said Peter Suber, senior advisor on open access at the Harvard Library. “The steering committee was overflowing with ideas and could have agreed on dozens of recommendations. But we quickly reached an agreement to focus on just four. These four reflect the changes that have taken place since BOAI was launched 20 years ago. They look beyond some current strategies for achieving OA towards strategies more aligned with the long-term goals for which OA is a means, in particular equity, quality, usability and sustainability of research.

Featured Image: Elena Mozhvilo, Unsplash.


Comments are closed.