An Open Question
When the group returned to their homes around the globe from this gathering, the world would get a better understanding of their shared vision via the definition set out in the Budapest Open Access Initiative:
"By open access, we mean its immediate, free availability on the public Internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search or link to the full text of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software or use them for any other lawful purpose…"
Even a decade after this game-changer of an idea was formally defined, the journey toward full open access for STM and scholarly publishing is just really beginning, says Heather Joseph. Joseph—the executive director of Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct what they see as imbalance in the scholarly publishing system—says open access has become the preferred model "for basically everyone in academia."
According to Joseph, although fewer than 20 percent of all academic works today are published via open access, that number is a giant leap from the handful of open access journals that were out there back at the end of 2001.
"We've really accepted [open access] as central to our vision as to how work can and should be done in the academic world," she says.
Joseph and SPARC celebrated the anniversary with a release that marked the event. But they're not just looking back at that milestone for open access. She says the Washington-D.C.-based group is also looking ahead to what will help push open access forward into the mainstream in the coming years.
"What do we do for the next 10 years?" she asks. "We've taken stock of what we've done and asked ourselves what we have to do to push it over the edge. How do we make open access the norm for communication of scholarship and research in the next 10 years?"