Foundational Text: Budapest Open Access Initiative

The Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) was one of the first declarations to popularize the notion of Open Access (OA) for peer reviewed research.

Launched in February of 2002 after a meeting of the Open Society Foundation in Budapest in December of 2001, the declaration aimed to “accelerate progress in the international effort to make research articles in all academic fields freely available on the Internet” (source).

The document not only lays out several philosophical reasons for OA but presents two strategies for achieving it: Self-archiving, whereby scholars are free to deposit copies of articles they’ve written in freely accessible archives, and OA journals, where access to journal content is free without the need for archiving.

Not all of the BOAI declaration’s recommendations are followed today. For example, many OA journals still exist which charge subscription or access fees.

You can read the full BOAI declaration, as well as supplementary material related to the background of the declaration and what’s been happening since, at the Budapest Open Access Initiative home page.