ⓘ Budapest Open Access Initiative


ⓘ Budapest Open Access Initiative

The Budapest Open Access Initiative is a public statement of principles relating to open access to the research literature, which was released to the public 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 – at the time 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. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the initiative, it was reaffirmed in 2012 and supplemented with a set of concrete recommendations for achieving "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."


1. Initiative

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.


2. 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.


3. Signatories

The 16 original signatories of the Budapest Open Access Initiative included some of the worlds early leaders in the open access movement: Leslie Chan of Bioline International; Darius Cuplinskas, Melissa Hagemann, Rima Kupryte and Istvan Rev of Open Society Institute; 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 Guedon of the Universite de Montreal; Stevan Harnad of the University of Southampton/Universite du Quebec à Montreal; 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.net 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.