Independent journalist Richard Poynder has been conducting interviews with leaders, thinkers, and practitioners of the Open Access Movement for some time (list of interviews dating back to 2001). Recently, Poynder spoke with Fred Friend, librarian, committed advocate for Open Access and attendee at the 2001 meeting that led to the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI), where the term Open Access was coined and defined. Friend has also worked for the UK organization JISC, and has recently undertaken consultancy work for the European Commission and for Knowledge Exchange.
What in your view have been the major achievements of the OA movement since you helped draft the definition of OA in Budapest in 2001?
I am continually amazed by the fact that the concept of open access to publicly-funded research outputs, as we drafted in the Initiative, is now on the agenda of governments and funding agencies across the world.
We proved to be the “butterfly effect” that has led to the winds of change blowing through scholarly communication, not because we planned it that way but because what we proposed in the BOAI chimed with the until then unexpressed hopes of hundreds of thousands of researchers to use the Internet in ways which benefit human society.
What are your expectations for OA in 2013?
Obviously more growth in OA content and commitment, but perhaps even more important are the stories we are beginning to hear of the value of sharing research and teaching resources freely across the world.
Open access is good in itself, but the real benefit from the ability of researchers, teachers and learners to share content without financial, legal or technical barriers lies in the intellectual, economic and social growth which results from that sharing.
Click here for the complete Fred Friend interview.