“The 15th anniversary of the Budapest Open Access Initiative provided an excellent opportunity to take stock of global progress toward open access and to gauge the main obstacles still remaining to the widespread adoption of open access policies and practices. As part of this process, feedback was solicited through an open survey that was disseminated online, and that received responses from individuals in 60 countries around the world.
Markers of progress are clear. The lack of understanding of the concept of open access and a myriad of misconceptions that were pervasive at the time of the BOAI’s original convening have receded, as open access has become a widely accepted fact of life
in research and scholarship. These have been supplanted by concerns that are more operational and nuanced in nature, essentially moving from debates about the “what and why” of open access to the “how“—how to best get it done.
The survey showed two clear primary challenges. First and foremost, respondents noted the lack of meaningful incentives and rewards for scholars and researchers to openly share their work. This challenge resonated at both the global level (56% of respondents in Figure 1) and the local level (29.5% of respondents in Table 1). This was followed by concern over a lack of funds to pay for APCs or other open access-related costs (36% of respondents in Figure 1; 28.3% of respondents in Table 1).
The results of the survey indicate the transition from establishing open access as a concept—which the BOAI did for the first time in 2002—to making open the default for research and scholarship. These two key challenges point to areas where concerted effort needs to be focused to continue making progress towards open access. Strategies to align incentives and rewards for scholars to share their work openly and the need to construct affordable, sustainable, and equitable business models to support open access publishing must be embraced as primary working priorities by the open access community….”