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Fw: Budapest Open Access Initiative

I am forwarding this announcement, which came to me today, to the
list.  It may be of interest to many of you.  You can follow the
links to find out more about it, if you want to.

Albert S. Bregman, Emeritus Professor
Dept of Psychology, McGill University
1205 Docteur Penfield Avenue
Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 1B1

     Phone:  +1 (514) 398-6103
     Fax: +1 (514) 398-4896
Home phone & Fax: +1 (514) 484-2592
Email:   al.bregman@mcgill.ca

----- Original Message -----
From: "S.Harnad" <harnad@coglit.ecs.soton.ac.uk>
To: <bregman@hebb.psych.mcgill.ca>
Sent: 16-Feb-02 7:56 AM
Subject: Budapest Open Access Initiative

> This message is addressed to scholars and scientists and it
concerns the
> Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI)
> launched on 14 February by George Soros's Open Society
> To be useful, research must be used. To be used (read, cited,
> extended) it must be accessible. There are currently 20,000
> peer-reviewed journals of scientific and scholarly research
> publishing over 4 million articles per year, every single one
of them
> given away for free by its researcher-authors and their
> research-institutions, with the sole goal of maximizing their
> and usage by further researchers, and hence their impact on
> research, to the benefit of learning and of humanity.
> Yet access to those 4 million annual research articles can only
be had
> for a fee. Hence they are accessible only to the lucky
researchers at
> that minority of the world's research institutions that can pay
> them. And even the wealthiest of these institutions can only
afford a
> small and shrinking proportion of those annual 20,000 journals.
> result is exactly as if all those 4 million articles had been
> for royalties or fees, just the way most of the normal
literature is
> written, rather than having been given away for free by their
> and their institutions for the benefit of research and
> As a consequence, other researchers' access to all this work,
and hence
> its potential impact on and benefit to research progress, is
> minimized by access tolls that most research institutions and
> individuals worldwide cannot afford to pay.
> Those access tolls were necessary, and hence justified, in the
> Gutenberg era of print-on-paper, with its huge real costs, and
> alternatives. But they are no longer necessary or justified,
and are
> instead in direct conflict with what is best for research,
> and society, in today's PostGutenberg era of on-line-eprints,
> virtually all of those Gutenberg costs have vanished, and those
> remaining costs can be covered in a way that allows open
> The Budapest Open Access Initiative is dedicated to freeing
> access to this all-important but anomalous (because give-away)
> literature, now that open access has at long last become
possible, by
>     (I) providing universities with the means of freeing online
>     to their own annual peer-reviewed research output (as
published in
>     the 20,000 established journals) through institutional
>     self-archiving,
> as well as by
>     (II) providing support for new alternative journals that
offer open
>     online access to their full text contents directly (and for
>     established journals that are committed to making the
transition to
>     offering open full-text access online).
> It is entirely fitting that it should be George Soros's Open
> Institute that launches this initiative to open access to the
> refereed research literature at last. Open access is now
> indeed already overdue, at a mounting cost in lost benefits to
> and to society while we delay implementing it. What better way
to open
> society than to open access to the fruits of its science and
> scholarship, already freely donated by its creators, but until
now not
> freely accessible to all of its potential users? Fitting too is
> fact that this initiative should originate from a part of the
> that has known all too long and all too well the privations of
a closed
> society and access denial.
> Please have a look at the BOAI at
> and, if you or your organization are implementing, or planning
> implement either Strategy I or Strategy II, I hope you will
> the BOAI, either as an individual or an organization.
> Below, I append links to some of the press coverage of the BOAI
so far.
> Sincerely,
> Stevan Harnad
> Declan Butler, Soros Offers Access to Science Papers (for
> http://makeashorterlink.com/?U21535A6
> Ivan Noble, Boost for Research Paper Access (for BBC)
> Michael Smith, Soros Backs Academic Rebels (for UPI)
> http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=12022002-031227-9710r
> [Alexander Grimwade, Open Societies Need Open Access (The
> http://www.the-scientist.com/yr2002/feb/comm_020218.html ]
> [Denis Delbecq, L'abordage des revvues scientifiques
> Paris)
html ]
> [http://slashdot.org/]