The Budapest Open Access Initiative was drafted in December of 2001 and was clearly ahead of its time. This last week, while prepping for a meeting with the Seattle Journal for Social Justice, I went back and read this document again and was amazed at how simply it states the principles and reason for open access. I also realized that FFIP and myself personally had not officially signed the document. I fixed that oversight today and urge everyone else committed to open access scholarship to do the same.
The first paragraph of the initiative follows:
“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. Removing access barriers to this literature will accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be, and lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge.”