The Access to Knowledge (A2K) movement is a loose collection of civil society groups, governments, and individuals converging on the idea that access to knowledge should be linked to fundamental principles of justice, freedom, and economic development.
The idea and practise of providing free online access to journal articles began at least a decade before the term "open access" was formally coined. Computer scientists had been self-archiving in anonymous ftp archives since the 1970s and physicists had been self-archiving in arxiv since the 1990s. The Subversive Proposal to generalize the practice was posted in 1994.The term "open access" itself was first formulated in three public statements in the 2000s: the Budapest Open Access Initiative in February 2002, the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing in June 2003, and the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities in October 2003, and the initial concept of open access refers to an unrestricted online access to scholarly research primarily intended for scholarly journal articles.
Open Journal Systems (OJS) is an open-source software for the management of peer-reviewed academic journals, and is created by the Public Knowledge Project, released under the GNU General Public License.
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.
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