The Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) is a public statement of principles relating to open access to the research literature, which was released to the public February 14, 2002. It arose from a conference convened in Budapest by the Open Society Institute on December 1–2, 2001 to promote open access – at the time also known as Free Online Scholarship. This small gathering of individuals is recognised as one of the major defining events of the open access movement. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the initiative, it was reaffirmed in 2012 and supplemented with a set of concrete recommendations for achieving "the new goal that within the next ten years, OA will become the default method for distributing new peer-reviewed research in every field and country."
Budapest Open Access Initiative Wikipedia
The opening sentence of the Budapest Open Access Initiative encapsulates what the open access movement is all about, and what its potential is:
The document also contains one of the most widely used definitions of open access, which has subsequently been reaffirmed as the definition of open access, 10 years after it was first published:
The 16 original signatories of the Budapest Open Access Initiative included some of the world's early leaders in the open access movement: Leslie Chan of Bioline International; Darius Cuplinskas, Melissa Hagemann, Rima Kupryte and István Rév of Open Society Institute; Michael Eisen of the Public Library of Science; Fred Friend († April 23, 2014) of University College London; Yana Genova of Next Page Foundation; Jean-Claude Guédon of the Université de Montréal; Stevan Harnad of the University of Southampton/Université du Québec à Montréal; Rick Johnson of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC); Manfredi La Manna of the Electronic Society for Social Scientists; Monika Segbert, Electronic Information for Libraries (eIFL.net) Project consultant; Sidnei de Souza, Informatics Director at CRIA, Bioline International; Peter Suber, Professor of Philosophy, Earlham College and The Free Online Scholarship Newsletter; Jan Velterop of BioMed Central.
On February 14, 2002, the BOAI was released in a version that could be signed by the public. As on 14th Feb. 2016, more than 5,932 individuals and 837 organizations have signed it.
The initiative was sponsored with a USD $3 million grant from the Open Society Institute.