Friend of Open Access
Fred Friend died two days ago, He had been a dedicated, tireless and inspired advocate for OA ever since the idea was first baptized with a name (Budapest 2001, where he was one of the original co-drafters and signatories of the BOAI). Fred's commitment to OA did not, I believe, originate only ex officio, as Director of Scholarly Communication at UCL, the serials crisis with which he and all other library directors have had to struggle for decades. Fred also had a profound sense of justice (one that extended beyond local happenings sub specie aeternitatis). He simply felt that OA was right. And what he did on its behalf he did out of character and conviction. (He was also extremely forgiving, as I can humbly attest.) Fred was, in his own words, a Friend of Open Access. It is undeniable that OA has now lost a precious ally. But I think it equally undeniable (and I am sure Fred knew it too) that OA is unstoppable now, and that that is in no small part true thanks to the efforts of this modest and faithful Friend. Heartfelt sympathy to Fred's family; I hope that in their pain they will also find room for some pride.
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