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February 18, 2002
Volume 80, Number 7
CENEAR 80 7 p. 12
ISSN 0009-2347
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Two new initiatives aim to expand access to journal literature


In the past week, the Open Society Institute (OSI) announced the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI), a movement to remove the barriers that limit access to scholarly journals to those who can pay. And eight research library associations announced the formation of the International Scholarly Communications Alliance (ISCA) to "collaborate with scholars and publishers to establish equitable access to scholarly and research publications."

BOAI says it will help traditional journals fund implementation of free online access to their research literature content. It will also support the development of new online journals that have free-access policies. In addition, BOAI backers are encouraging authors and their institutions to deposit their peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as unreviewed preprints, in digital archives.

OSI is putting $3 million into open-access projects over the next three years. Supported by the investor and philanthropist George Soros, the institute develops and implements social programs in such fields as education, public health, and legal reform.

ISCA, for its part, intends to "ensure open and affordable access to scholarship across national boundaries." Alliance members are "prepared to act as a unified body in creating policies and taking actions" that promote the goals of "advancing the discovery of new knowledge and facilitating its dissemination." Possible outcomes include development of new journals as well as the establishment of online archives.

In all, the new alliance represents 11 million students and faculty, 600 research libraries, and more than $5 billion in library budgets. In addition to the U.S.-based Association of Research Libraries, ISCA includes library associations based in Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and the U.K.

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