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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Celebrating 20 years of Bioline at CRIA

20 Years ago, scholarly communication via the Internet had only just started. Prior to the arrival of the Web, Bioline experimented with early communication systems such as Gopher, Telnet and file transfer protocols, and allowed early exchange of research globally [1]. CRIA, who provided the technical infrastructure for Bioline, was a pioneer in developing new tools and working with the UK in publication management. In 1993, along with the partner publishers in developing countries, the Bioline platform was launched.

In 2000, the University of Toronto Scarborough arrived as a new partner to take over the document management and international advocacy work. As an early adopter of the Web and provider of freely available journal articles, Bioline was invited to participate in the first Budapest Open Access Initiative meeting[2], an historical event that defined the Open Access movement. The early founders of Bioline could not have anticipated the global growth of Open Access. It now feels natural to share data and publications, 20 years ago it was a very new concept. But much still needed to be done, as the research carried out in the developing world remained ‘invisible’, due to lack of communication capability and other barriers [3]. Bioline made possible, distribution of research information between the South and the North and enabling capacity building of more appropriate development programs. The usage statistics of Bioline demonstrate the increasing value of the service. For example, the number of full text articles downloaded for the year of 2006 was 2.5 million, whereas the number for a single month in 2013 was 2.1 million.

Today open access is a global phenomenon. More and more organisations, funders and even countries are putting in place policies for the free and open exchange of publications and data. Bioline is very proud to have contributed to this movement and the transformation it has brought to the advancement of science communication throughout the world. On December 10th 2013, Bioline celebrated its 20th birthday, and looks forward to working with others in taking the process forward.

[1] https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/71/2/Bioline-ALPSP.pdf
[2] http://www.budapestopenaccessinitiative.org/read


Blogger Judy said...

Congratulations to the whole Bioline Team for 20 years or progress and achievements.

5:24 PM  

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