The Budapest Open Access Initiative is celebrating its 20th anniversary by releasing four major recommendations, informed by community input, to guide #openaccess in the next 10 years.

We became increasingly clear that OA is not an end in itself, but a means to other ends, above all, to the equity, quality, usability, and sustainability of research. We must assess the growth of OA against the gains and losses for these further ends. We must pick strategies to grow OA that are consistent with these further ends and bring us steadily closer to their realization.


Open access is not an end in itself, but a means to further ends. Above all, it is a means to the equity, quality, usability, and sustainability of research. Our four high-level recommendations address systemic problems that obstruct progress toward these ends.

1. Host OA research on open infrastructure. Host and publish OA texts, data, metadata, code, and other digital research outputs on open, community-controlled infrastructure. Use infrastructure that minimizes the risk of future access restrictions or control by commercial organizations. Where open infrastructure is not yet adequate for current needs, develop it further.

2. Reform research assessment and rewards to improve incentives. Adjust research assessment practices for funding decisions and university hiring, promotion, and tenure decisions. Eliminate disincentives for OA and create positive new incentives for OA.

3. Favor inclusive publishing and distribution channels that never exclude authors on economic grounds. Take full advantage of OA repositories and no-APC journals (“green” and “diamond” OA). Move away from article processing charges (APCs).

4. When we spend money to publish OA research, remember the goals to which OA is the means. Favor models which benefit all regions of the world, which are controlled by academic-led and nonprofit organizations, which avoid concentrating new OA literature in commercially dominant journals, and which avoid entrenching models in conflict with these goals. Move away from read-and-publish agreements.

Read the full recommendations:
Follow on Twitter: #BOAI20

Related Resources

  • Press Release: English (pdf)Spanish (pdf)
  • Podcast: Unsettling Knowledge Inequities podcast, “Budapest Open Access Initiative: 20 Years On
  • Reflections: A set of reflections written by noted thought leaders in the open access community providing additional perspectives on where the open access movement should concentrate its efforts will soon be released.