Open Access Part I - Early Canadian Involvement to 1999

Submitted by Dean Giustini on April 11, 2008 - 00:52

Canada’s involvement in the open access (OA) movement can be traced back to the early 1990s. In 1991, Jean-Claude Guédon of the Université de Montréal founded Surfaces, the first Canadian electronic scholarly publication.

Guédon is on the Board of Directors of the Open Society Institute's Information Program - one of the world's leaders of the OA movement. Guédon's In Oldenburg’s Long Shadow: Librarians, Research Scientists, Publishers, and the Control of Scientific Publishing is a detailed, thoughtful analysis of the history of scholarly communications. It has also been translated into 5 languages.

Another prominent Canadian in OA is University of Toronto's Leslie Chan. He serves as the Associate Director of Bioline International, a not-for-profit electronic publishing service committed to providing open access to quality research journals published in developing countries, thus reducing the south to north knowledge gap. Bioline International assists local publishers with developing top-quality electronic platforms, including high metadata standards and working with abstracting and indexing services to enhance the impact of scientists in developing countries. Medknow's Journal of Postgraduate Medicine is an excellent example of the high quality of the work of Bioline and its publishing partners.

Way back in 1989, Stevan Harnad founded one of the first "gold" open access journals, Psycoloquy. In 1993, he created BBSprints, an open access archive of preprints from Behavioral and Brain Sciences. Since 1990, his focus has been at the University of Southampton and as Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Sciences at the Université du Québec à Montréal.

In 1997 Harnad founded CogPrints, one of the early OA repositories, which was made OAI-compliant in 1999. During this period, Tim Brody, created Citebase, a citation-based, scientometric search engine as well as the worldwide Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR). Harnad's students and collaborators have amassed evidence of the usage and citation advantage of open access as a basis for promoting it. Further, his students and collaborators created Eprints, the first free OAI-compliant software for creating Institutional Repositories, which is now widely-used around the world. Harnad et al also provided the policy models for the Green OA self-archiving mandates by universities and funders that are now growing rapidly worldwide: see ROARMAP.

Incidentally, Harnad has moderated the American Scientist Open Access Forum since 1998. Links to his publications can be found here; his postings are archived on Open Access Archivangelism and the American Scientist Open Access Forum.

Note: I'll deal with the period 1999-2008 in part II. Dean Giustini

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I am grateful to Dean Giustini for his kind overview of my OA work... [snip]


Blogger's note - I have also added a few projects inadvertently left out initially, Dean