1. Paul Ginsparg launched arXiv in August 1991, originally hosted by the Los Alamos National Laboratory and limited to high energy physics. It now resides at Cornell University and has expanded its scope to nearly every branch of physics as well as mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, and nonlinear sciences. ArXiv is the oldest OA eprint archive still in operation, and also one of thelargest and most heavily used. It has earned a central place in physics researchworldwide. As a result of arXiv, a larger percentage of physicists deposit theirwork in OA archives, and search OA archives for the work of others, thanresearchers in any other field. In some branches of physics the self-archiving rateapproaches 100%. While that’s important for sharing knowledge andaccelerating research in physics, it’s also a valuable “proof of concept” for other disciplines. ArXiv demonstrates that archiving technology can scale up to a whole discipline, that a disciplinary culture can adapt to (indeed, enthusiastically adopt) OA archiving, that OA archiving needn’t be delayed in order to answer skeptical doubts (but can answer these doubts as it goes), and that high-volume OA archiving needn’t undermine subscription journals. Indeed, we are left to wonder how far the success of ar Xiv is transferable to other disciplines.
2. Brewster Kahle launched the Internet Archive (IA) in June 1996. From the start, IA provided OA to its mirror of the historical internet as well as to many special collections. IA sponsors the OA Text Archive, Ourmedia, and the new Open Education Resources project, and co-sponsors the OA Million Book Project with Carnegie Mellon University. One of its most important OA projects is the Open Content Alliance (OCA), launched in October 2005. The OCA is a non-profit coalition of for-profit and non-profit organizations, led by IA, dedicated to digitizing print books for OA. Unlike the Google Library project, the OCA will limit itself to public-domain books and copyrighted books for which the copyright holder has consented to participate. Also unlike Google, the OCA will offer full OA whenever it has permission to do so, while Google disables printing and downloading in the user’s browser even for public-domain books. Among the other members of the OCA are Yahoo, Microsoft, the Research Libraries Group, the European Archive, National Archives of the UK, and 19 major research universities. Finally, the IA has agreed to host a (forthcoming) universal OA repository that would mirror and preserve all the other, willing repositories in the world, and accept deposits from scholars who don’t have repositories in their institutions or fields.