08 March 2007

The Tim O'Reilly of Open Access

I thought I knew open access history pretty well, but to my shame I seem to overlooked Melissa Hagemann:

Hagemann's strategic, behind-the-scenes planning on behalf of the Open Access movement during the past five years set in motion the series of events that have affected scholarship around the globe. It began in the summer of 2001, following critical developments in the Open Archives Initiative; the Public Library of Science petition advocating free access to research; and the establishment of BioMed Central. An environmental scan led her to layer her own assessment of what libraries and researchers needed on top of the varied, independent initiatives for free access underway among players in scholarly communication. She and her OSI colleagues brainstormed on a way to unify the movement under one umbrella – the umbrella of as yet-unnamed Open Access – and OSI gave her the go-ahead to convene the initial BOAI meeting.

BOAI refers to the Budapest Open Access Initiative; it was at this meeting that the phrase "open access" was coined and defined. In other words, it stand in the same relationship to the open access movement as the Freeware Summit does to open source. Which pretty much makes Hagemann the Tim O'Reilly of open access, I suppose. (Via Open Access News.)

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