Re: when did the Open Access movement "officially" begin

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2007 20:24:19 +0100

On Wed, 27 Jun 2007, Tony Hey wrote:

> The particle physics community had a tradition of open access long
> before Paul Ginsparg's arXiv was set up. Indeed, it was set up and worked
> because of the tradition of circulating paper preprints at the same time
> as one's paper was submitted for publication. Paul just offered to save
> us all the postage. This tradition was in place when I was a particle
> physics grad student in 1967 ...

Tony is quite right that the tradition of sharing pre-publication
preprints among particle physicists started much earlier. He is also
spot-on in pointing out that all that the Internet, and email, and the
Web, and Arxiv provided was a much more powerful and efficient way of
doing what they were doing already. BUT: (1) Sharing paper preprints is
not Open Access. It is just sharing paper preprints.

(2) Although other disciplines did not have the tradition of
sharing unrefereed preprints, most did have the tradition of sending
postpublication reprints to all reprint requesters (but that too is
not OA).

(3) Open Access is free online access (to peer-reviewed postprints)
for one and all, webwide.

(4) OA only became possible with the online era (FTP sites and then

Charles Bailey is right to point out that the very first OA journals
began in the late 1980s. But I think OA self-archiving by computer
scientists started even earlier, probably at Bell labs and DARPA. After
all, as computer science was the discipline that invented the Internet
(though physicist Tim Berners-Lee then went on to invent the Web)...

Stevan Harnad

If you have adopted or plan to adopt a policy of providing Open Access
to your own research article output, please describe your policy at:

    BOAI-1 ("Green"): Publish your article in a suitable toll-access journal
    BOAI-2 ("Gold"): Publish your article in an open-access journal if/when
    a suitable one exists.
    in BOTH cases self-archive a supplementary version of your article
    in your own institutional repository.
Received on Wed Jun 27 2007 - 23:29:44 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:48:59 GMT