Timeline before 2000
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This list is part of the Open Access Directory.
- This is a section within the larger Timeline of the open access movement.
- For reference, the timeline includes a small number of entries on the early history of the internet and world wide web, to show how quickly scholars moved to take advantage of the new medium. The dates for these entries are in a green font.
- 1966. Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) launched by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Research and Improvement and the National Library of Education.
- April 7, 1969. First Request for Comments (RFC) published by Steve Crocker, triggering a long series of free online documents on the development of the internet. See these details on the history of RFCs.
- August 30, 1969. Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) launched by the U.S. Department of Defense. It ceased operation in 1990. See these details on ARPANET's history.
- Late 1971. Ray Tomlinson sent the first networked email. After the initial test messages, the first message announced the existence of network email. Email-based discussion lists emerged soon after, though I can't tell when. See these details on the history of email discussion lists.
- 1974. The libraries of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) and Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron (DESY) began electronic cataloging of preprint literature in physics. Their catalog soon joined the Stanford Physics Information Retrieval System (SPIRES) High Energy Physics (HEP) online database. (Later the P stood for Public, not Physics.) See these details on SPIRES HEP's history.
- 1979. USENET launched by Tom Truscott, Jim Ellis, Steve Bellovin, and Steve Daniel. See these details on USENET's history.
- May 5, 1981. Because It's Time Network (BITNET) launched with a link between Yale and the City University of New York. See these details on BITNET's history.
- January 1, 1983. ARPANET switched from the NCP protocol to TCP/IP, marking what many consider to be the birth of the internet. See these details on the planning for this transition.
- September 21, 1985. Ronald Reagan's White House issued National Security Decision Directive 189: National Policy On The Transfer Of Scientific, Technical And Engineering Information, holding (inter alia) that "[i]t is the policy of this Administration that, to the maximum extent possible, the products of fundamental research remain unrestricted."
- July 1987. Perseus Project launched on CD's (not free until it moved to the web in [#1994 1994]).
- Fall 1987. New Horizons in Adult Education launched by the Syracuse University Kellogg Project. (An early free online peer-reviewed journal.) See these details on NHAE's history.
- November 1987. The Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) was launched by a group of humanities scholars, librarians, and computer scientists at a meeting at Vassar College. See these details on the history of TEI.
- 1989. Psycoloquy launched by Stevan Harnad. (An early free online journal that became peer-reviewed on January 28, 1990.) Psycoloquy is sponsored but not published by the American Psychological Association.
- June 1989. Eddy van der Maarel and most of his editorial board resigned from Vegetatio in order to launch the Journal of Vegetation Science. See Journal declarations of independence.
- August 16, 1989. The Public-Access Computer Systems Review launched by Charles W. Bailey, Jr. (An early free online journal with a peer-reviewed section starting in April 1992.)
- 1990. Hytelnet launched by Peter Scott. (The first online hypertext internet directory, noted especially for its links to network-accessible library catalogues.)
- September 21, 1990. Electronic Journal of Communication launched. (An early free online peer-reviewed journal.) See these details on EJC's history.
- September 30, 1990. Postmodern Culture launched by Eyal Amiran, Greg Dawes, Elaine Orr, and John Unsworth. (An early free online peer-reviewed journal.) See these details on PMC's history.
- October 1990. Tim Berners-Lee wrote first web client and server (released March 1991). On November 12, 1990, Berners-Lee published WorldWideWeb: Proposal for a HyperText Project, and on November 13, 1990, he wrote the first web page.
- November 1990. Bryn Mawr Classical Review launched. (An early free online peer-reviewed journal.) See these details on BMCR's history.
- 1991. Gopher launched by Paul Lindner and Mark McCahill.
- 1991. Surfaces launched by Jean-Claude Guèdon. (An early free online peer-reviewed journal.)
- February 4, 1991. Behavioral and Brain Sciences (not an open-access journal) launched an open-access FTP Preprints archive containing accepted papers but not their accompanying commentaries and responses. This became an open-access web archive in 1993 and an OAI-compliant eprint archive, BBSPrints, in 1999.
- April 1991. EJournal launched by Edward M. Jennings. (An early free online peer-reviewed journal.) See these details on EJ's history.
- May 17, 1991. World Wide Web standard released by CERN and Tim Berners-Lee.
- July 2, 1991. Allan Bromley enunciated what are now known as the "Bromley Principles" Regarding Full and Open Access to "Global Change" Data in Policy Statements on Data Management for Global Change Research, U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy, July 2, 2001.
- July 10, 1991. The Mathematical Physics Preprint Archive or mp_arc was launched by H. Koch, R. de la Llave, and C. Radin at the University of Texas at Austin.
- August 16, 1991. arXiv launched by Paul Ginsparg, originally hosted at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). It is now hosted by Cornell University.
- 1992. Computer Science Technical Reports (CS-TR) launched. The project ended in 1996. See these details on CS-TR's history.
- 1992. Entrez launched by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (on CD's, not free until [#1993 1993]).
- 1992. Ibiblio launched, originally as the SunSite repository of public domain source code. It adopted its current name in September 2000.
- March 1992. The Logic Journal of the IGPL launched by the Interest Group in Pure and Applied Logics. (An early free online peer-reviewed journal.)
- April 27, 1992. First Symposium on Scholarly Publishing on the Electronic Networks: Visions and Opportunities in Not-for-Profit Publishing [no web site], sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries and the Association of American University Presses.
- December 5-8, 1992. Second Symposium on Scholarly Publishing on the Electronic Networks: Visions and Opportunities in Not-for-Profit Publishing, sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries and the Association of American University Presses.
- 1993. The Aboriginal Studies Electronic Data Archive (ASEDA) was launched on gopher by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. A web edition appeared in 1994.
- 1993. Bioline Publications was launched by Biostrategy Associates in partnership with Brazil's Reference Center on Environmental Information. In 2000 management was transferred to the University of Toronto Libraries and the service was relaunched Bioline International. BI used a mix of open access and toll access until February 2004, when it went completely open access. See these details on BI's history.
- 1993. Network Entrez launched, replacing priced CD's with free network access (pre-web).
- 1993. Christian Classics Ethereal Library launched by Harry Platinga.
- January 1993. Project Bartleby launched by Steven H. van Leeuwen.
- January 14, 1993. The Langley Technical Report Server (an open FTP service for research papers) was launched by NASA's Langley Research Center. A WAIS server was added on February 10, 1993. The web version was launched in August 1993. See these details on LTRS's history, and these details on the web version.
- January 19, 1993. Education Policy Analysis Archives launched by Gene Glass. (An early free online peer-reviewed journal.)
- February 1993. National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and Marc Andreesen released the alpha version of Mosaic.
- February 1, 1993. Working Papers in Economics (WoPEc) launched by Thomas Krichel.
- April 1993. Project MUSE launched by the Milton S. Eisenhower Library and the Johns Hopkins University Press. PM is not open access but it was a pioneer in online distribution. It provided free online full-text searching and JHU Press allowed authors to retain copyright.
- April 1993. Association des Bibliophiles Universels (ABU) launched by Pierre Cubaud.
- April 30, 1993. CERN announced (Page 1, Page 2) that it was putting the basic web software into the public domain, relinquishing all intellectual property rights to it, and granting permission for all to "use, duplicate, modify and redistribute" it without charge. The signatures on this historic document are W. Hoogland, Director of Research, and H. Weber, Director of Administration.
- May 1993. The Unified Computer Science Technical Report Index (UCSTRI) launched by Marc VanHeyningen and Indiana University. See these details on UCSTRI's history.
- June 1993. The Online Books Page launched by John Mark Ockerbloom.
- August 1993. The Electronic Journal of Analytic Philosophy launched by Indiana University. (An early free online peer-reviewed journal.)
- 1994. Digital Libraries Initiative launched by the National Science Foundation and other U.S. federal agencies.
- 1994. HighWire Press launched by the Stanford University Libraries (fall or winter).
- 1994. The Human Genome Project launched its open-access web site. The research project began in 1990. See these details on the history of the HGP.
- 1994. Networked Computer Science Technical Reference Library (NCSTRL) launched by DARPA and NSF, merging the two prior projects, CS-TR and WATERS. NCSTRL was suspended in 2001, but might be revived in an OAI-compliant form. See these details and these on NCSTRL's history.
- 1994. Perseus Project launched its free web version (formerly limited to priced CD's).
- 1994. Projekt Gutenberg-DE launched by Gunter Hille.
- January 16, 1994. Wide Area Technical Report Service (WATERS) launched on the web by the Computer Science Departments of Old Dominion University, SUNY Buffalo, University of Virginia, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. (It emerged from discussions at the 1992 Snowbird Conference for Computer Science Department Heads and may have had a pre-web incarnation but I'm still investigating that.) See these details on WATERS' history.
- March 1994. The National Academies Press started the practice of creating free online full-text editions of all its priced, printed books, and documenting that the former help sell the latter.
- June 1994. NASA Technical Report Server (NTRS) launched by NASA, to search the many distributed LTRS-inspired digital libraries at the agency. The NTRS became OAI-compliant in May 2003.
- June 27, 1994. Self-archiving first proposed by Stevan Harnad. (Also see Harnad's reflections 10 years later.)
- July 1994. Electronic Green Journal launched by the University of Idaho Library. (An early free online peer-reviewed journal.) See these details on the history of EGJ.
- August 1994. Information Bulletin on Variable Stars demo launched at the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union. A few months later the electronic version of the small journal started regular service. Published by Konkoly Observatory, Budapest, Hungary.
- September 1994. Electronic Journal of Sociology launched. (An early free online peer-reviewed journal.)
- October 1994. The Social Science Research Network (SSRN) launched by Wayne Marr and Michael Jensen. See these details on the history of SSRN.
- November 28, 1994. Florida Entomologist, a print journal launched in 1917, converted to open access. By April 27, 1999, all back issues to 1917 were also open access.
- 1995. Jusline, an open access portal to German law and legal scholarship, launched by Norbert Gugerbauer.
- April, 1995. Information Research launched by T.D. Wilson. (An early free online peer-reviewed journal.)
- May 21, 1995. HighWire Press announced its first hosted or co-published journal, the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
- June 1995. The Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory launched its preprint server. See these details on the project's history.
- June 1995. The Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication launched by Indiana University. (An early free online peer-reviewed journal.)
- July 1995. D-Lib Magazine launched.
- September 1995. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy launched by Edward Zalta.
- Fall 1995. Making of America launched by the University of Michigan and Cornell University with funding from the Mellon Foundation.
- 1996. Electronic Publishing Trust for Development (EPT) launched.
- 1996. The Journal of Hebrew Scriptures launched. (An early free online peer-reviewed journal.)
- 1996. Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) launched by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
- January 1, 1996. The Journal of Clinical Investigation converted to open access (witout using this term). It had been published since 1924 by the American Society for Clinical Investigation. (An early free online peer-reviewed journal.)
- February 1996. Romanticism on the Net launched by Michael Eberle-Sinatra. (An early free online peer-reviewed journal.)
- February 28, 1996. Participants at the International Strategy Meeting on Human Genome Sequencing issued the Bermuda principles, asserting that "all human genomic sequence information, generated by centres funded for large-scale human sequencing, should be freely available and in the public domain". The U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) adopted the Bermuda principles as policy for all US-funded research on April 9, 1996.
- May 10, 1996. The Nordic Journal of Philosophical Logic published its first issue. (An early free online peer-reviewed journal with a priced print edition.) It had to cease publishing its open-access edition in January 2003.
- June 1996. Brewster Kahle launched the Internet Archive.
- October 25, 1996. Version 1 of Charles W. Bailey, Jr.'s Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography appeared. (The first online edition of a bibliography with earlier electronic editions.) See these details on SEPB's history.
- 1997. Die Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Society) launched a retrospective digitization project for library holdings that eventually became the Göttinger Digitalisierungs-Zentrum (Goettingen Digitization Center).
- March 1997. SciELO (Scientific Electronic Library Online) was launched by the São Paulo Science Foundation (FAPESP) and the Latin America and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME). See these details on SciELO's history. Wikidata: Q7433389.
- March 21, 1997. The Making of America digital library at the University of Michigan first announced in a message from John Price-Wilkin to the DigLib mailing list.
- March 25, 1997. University Provosts' Initiative launched.
- May 12, 1997. Research Papers in Economics (RePEc) launched by Thomas Krichel.
- June 26, 1997. The National Center for Biotechnology Information launched PubMed. At the same time, Medline content, already online, became free when incorporated into PubMed. See these details on the launch.
- August 19, 1997. CogPrints launched by Stevan Harnad.
- September 1997. Slashdot launched by Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda. Many consider Slashdot to be the first blog.
- September 1997. CiteSeer (sometimes called ResearchIndex) launched by Kurt Bollacker, Lee Giles, and Steve Lawrence of NEC Research Institute. The research project began in June 1997; it became operational within NEC in September 1997; and it opened to the public in the spring of 1998.
- 1998. Campaign for the Freedom of Distribution of Scientific Work (aka Free Science Campaign) launched by Stefano Ghirlanda.
- 1998. The International Consortium for the Advancement of Academic Publication (ICAAP) launched.
- 1998. Most of the editorial board of the Journal of Academic Librarianship resigned in order to launch Portal: Libraries and the Academy. (FOSN for 10/26/01.) See Journal declarations of independence.
- January 1998. A group of classics scholars launched Suda On Line, a collaborative open-access translation of the 10th century Byzantine encyclopedia.
- May 1998. African Journals Online (AJOL) launched by the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publication (INASP).
- June 1998. Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) launched by ARL.
- August 25, 1998. The September98Forum (later called the American Scientist Open Access Forum) launched by American Scientist, moderated by Stevan Harnad.
- August 4, 1998. Manifesto for Responsible Scholarly Publishers released by Stephen Boyd and others on the Stanford Academic Council Committee on Libraries.
- October 1998. The National Electronic Article Repository (NEAR) proposed by David Shulenburger.
- November 1998. Michael Rosenzweig and the rest of his editorial board resigned from Evolutionary Ecology in order to create Evolutionary Ecology Research. See Journal declarations of independence.
- 1999. The Open Citation Project (OpCit) launched.
- 1999. The reveus.org launched. A French portal of books and journals online, specialising in social sciences, and humanities.
- 1999. Electronic Information for Libraries Direct (eIFL Direct) launched by the Open Society Institute.
- April 1, 1999. First Polish open journal for librarians Bulletin EBIB was launched by Aleksander Radwański, Bożena Bednarek-Michalska, Anna Filipowicz and other librarians at the National Library in Warsaw.
- April 22, 1999. Jointly Administered Knowledge Environment (jake) launched by the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library at the Yale University School of Medicine.
- April 26, 1999. BioMed Central announced plan to offer free online access to all its journals. See these details on the history of BMC.
- July 1, 1999. Declaration on Science and the Use of Scientific Knowledge issued by the UNESCO-ICSU World Conference on Science.
- October 21, 1999. The Universal Preprint Service (UPS) prototype was unveiled for study and discussion at the Sante Fe meeting (October 21-22, 1999). The UPS eventually evolved into the Open Archives Initiative (OAI). See these details on the history of the UPS.
- October 22, 1999. Sante Fe Convention issued. See these details on the history of the Sante Fe Convention.
- November 1999. The entire 50 person editorial board of the Journal of Logic Programming resigned in order to launch Theory and Practice of Logic Programming. (FOSN for 5/11/01.) See Journal declarations of independence.