The Global Open Access List (GOAL), until January 2012 the American Scientist Open Access Forum, is the longest-standing online discussion forum on Open Access (free online access to peer-reviewed research). It was created by the American Scientist, which is published by Sigma Xi, in September 1998, before the term "Open Access" (OA) was coined, and it was originally called the "September98-Forum." Its first focus was an article  published in American Scientist in which Thomas J Walker of the University of Florida proposed that journals should furnish free online access out of the fees authors pay them to purchase reprints. Stevan Harnad, who had in 1994 made the Subversive Proposal that all researchers should self archive their peer-reviewed research, was invited to moderate the forum, which was not expected to last more than a few months. It continued to grow in size and influence across the years and is still the site where most of the main developments in OA are first mooted, including self-archiving, institutional repositories, citation impact, research performance metrics, publishing reform, copyright reform, open access journals, and open access mandates.
The "Subversive Proposal" was an Internet posting by Stevan Harnad on June 27 1994 (presented at the 1994 Network Services Conference in London ) calling on all authors of "esoteric" research writings to archive their articles for free for everyone online (in anonymous FTP archives or websites). It initiated a series of online exchanges, many of which were collected and published as a book in 1995. This led to the creation in 1997 of Cogprints, an open access archive for self-archived articles in the cognitive sciences and in 1998 to the creation of the American Scientist Open Access Forum (initially called the "September98 Forum" until the founding of the Budapest Open Access Initiative which first coined the term "Open Access"). The Subversive Proposal also led to the development of the GNU EPrints software used for creating OAI-compliant open access institutional repositories.
The proposal was updated gradually across the years, as summarized in the American Scientist Open Access Forum on its 10th anniversary.
A retrospective was written by Richard Poynder.
was posted on its 15th anniversary in 2009. An online interview of Steven Harnard was conducted by Richard Poynder on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the subversive proposal.