Friend of Open Access

About this web-site


Join in opening up access to research literature and data!

This web-site has been set up without any public or commercial funding to support open access to reports, publications, data and other information resulting from taxpayer-funded research and teaching. The aim is to report on, comment on, and recommend activities which will take forward the vision of open access enshrined in the Budapest Initiative of 2002 and the Berlin Declaration of 2003. The target audience for this web-site are individual researchers and university or funding administrators who are able to change the way publicly-funded research is made available through the internet.


A realisable vision!


The vision in the Budapest Open Access Initiative is set out at : “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.”


The measure of success!


The BOAI definition of open access provides us with a yardstick by which to measure whether open access is being achieved or only claimed: “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.”



More than access from open access!


The Goals of the Berlin Declaration are described as : “Our mission of disseminating knowledge is only half complete if the information is not made widely and readily available to society. New possibilities of knowledge dissemination not only through the classical form but also and increasingly through the open access paradigm via the Internet have to be supported. We define open access as a comprehensive source of human knowledge and cultural heritage that has been approved by the scientific community. In order to realize the vision of a global and accessible representation of knowledge, the future Web has to be sustainable, interactive, and transparent. Content and software tools must be openly accessible and compatible.”


Where we are now

Despite considerable opposition from vested interests, policies and infrastructure have been put in place to support open access and some 20% of the world’s taxpayer-funded research outputs are now freely available on the internet. Much remains to be achieved before there is open access to all publicly-funded reports, publications and data.