Ten years ago, the Budapest Open Access Initiative went public by inviting individuals and organizations to sign a statement in support of Open Access to the scholarly literature, defined as
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.
In essence, the declaration recommends to put scholarly communications under a Creative Commons Attribution License by default, except that such licenses didn’t exist at the time. It is an explicit statement that restrictions like Share-Alike, Non-Commercial or Non-Derivative are not to be considered Open Access (contrary to the marketing speak of a number of publishers), as they raise legal barriers that limit reuse.
The original motivation behind the quest for Open Access – initially better known as Free Online Scholarship – was to provide researchers with access to the research literature, and while we are still far from achieving this goal for all research conducted in all fields, the implementation of the Budapest principles by publishers like BioMed Central, PLoS, Hindawi, Frontiers, Copernicus, Pensoft and a growing number of others brought about a wealth of instances of scholarly communication that can be used for other purposes. In a sense, highlighting this is at the core of my Wikimedian in Residence project.
Today and tomorrow, leaders of the Open Access movement are meeting in Budapest again to hash out, for the next decade of Open Access, recommendations regarding “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.”
The wiki way of celebrating is to join WikiProject Open Access (recently started by Blue Rasberry), to help it cover topics like the Budapest Open Access Initiative and related topics, as well as exploring the reuse of Open Access materials. One way of doing this is via the Open Access File of the Day (which will now retire from this blog and continue on-wiki), another by reusing entire Open-Access articles, for which Wikimedia Germany approved a pilot project yesterday.