Monday, May 25. 2015
Alicia Wise wrote:
"This refresh of our policy [is| the first since 2004... Embargo periods have been used by us... for a very long time and are not new. The only thing that’s changed about IRs is our old policy said you had to have an agreement which included embargos..."Is this the old policy that hasn't changed since 2004 (when Elsevier was still on the "side of the angels" insofar as Green OA was concerned) until the "refresh"? (I don't see any mention of embargoes in it...):
Yes Alicia, the definition of authors providing free, immediate online access (Green OA self-archiving) has not changed since the online medium first made it possible. Neither has researchers’ need for it changed, nor its benefits to research.
What has changed is Elsevier policy -- in the direction of trying to embargo Green OA to ensure that it does not put Elsevier's current revenue levels at any risk.
Elsevier did not try to embargo Green OA from 2004-2012 — but apparently only because they did not believe that authors would ever really bother to provide much Green OA, nor that their institutions and funders would ever bother to require them to provide it (for its benefits to research).
But for some reason Elsevier is not ready to admit that Elsevier has now decided to embargo Green OA purely to ensure that it does not put Elsevier's current subscription revenue levels at any risk.
Instead, Elsevier wants to hold OA hostage to its current revenue levels -- by embargoing Green OA, with the payment of Fools-Gold OA publication fees the only alternative if an author wishes to provide immediate OA. This ensures that Elsevier's current revenue levels either remain unchanged, or increase.
But, for public-relations reasons, Elsevier prefers to try to portray this as all being done out of “fairness,” and to facilitate “sharing” (in the spirit of OA).
The “fairness” is to ensure that no institution is exempt from Elsevier’s Green OA embargoes.
And the “sharing” is the social sharing services like Mendeley (which Elsevier owns), about which Elsevier now believes (for the time being) that authors would not bother to use them enough (and their institutions and funders cannot mandate that they use them) -- hence that that they would not pose a risk to Elsevier's current subscription revenue levels.
Yet another one of the “changes” with which Elsevier seems to be trying to promote sharing is by trying to find a way to outlaw the institutional repositories’ "share button" (otherwise known as the “Fair-Dealing” Button).
So just as Elsevier is trying to claim credit for “allowing” authors to do “dark” (i.e., embargoed, non-OA) deposits, for which no publisher permission whatsoever is or ever was required, Elsevier now has its lawyers scrambling to find a formalizable way to make it appear as if Elsevier can forbid its authors to use the Share Button to provide individual reprints to one another, as authors have been doing for six decades, under yet another new bogus formal pretext to make it appear sufficiently confusing and threatening to ensure that the responses to Elsevier author surveys (for its "evidence-based policy") continue to be sufficiently perplexed and meek to justify any double-talk in either Elsevier policy or Elsevier PR.
The one change in Elsevier policy that one can applaud, however (though here too the underlying intentions were far from benign), is the CC-BY-NC-ND license (unless Elsevier one day decides to back-pedal on that too too). That license is now not only allowed but required for any accepted paper that an author elects to self-archive.
Let me close by mentioning a few more of the howlers that keep making Elsevier's unending series of arbitrary contractual bug-fixes logically incoherent (i.e., self-contradictory) and technically nonsensical, hence moot, unenforceable, and eminently ignorable by anyone who takes a few moments to think instead of cringe. Elsevier is trying to use pseudo-legal words to squeeze the virtual genie (the Web) back into the physical bottle (the old, land-based, print-on-paper world):
Locus of deposit: Elsevier tries to make legal distinctions on "where" the author may make their papers (Green) OA on the Web: "You may post it here but not there." "Here" might be an institutional website, "there" may be a central website. "Here" might be an institutional author's homepage, "there" might be an institutional repository.So Alicia, if Elsevier "admires [my] vision," let me invite you to consult with me about present and future OA policy conditions. I'll be happy to share with you which ones are logically incoherent and technically empty in today's virtual world. It could save Elsevier a lot of futile effort and save Elsevier authors from a lot of useless and increasingly arbitrary and annoying nuisance-rules.
[drawing by Judith Economos]
Thursday, May 21. 2015
I will not do yet another detailed, point-by-point rebuttal in response to Alicia/Elsevier's latest tergiversations ("COAR-recting the record"), just to have it all once again ignored, and instead replied to yet again with nothing but empty jargon and double talk:
"At each stage of the publication process authors can share their research: before submission, from acceptance, upon publication, and post publication."This “share” is a weasel word. It does not mean OA. It means what authors have always been able to do, without need of publisher permission: They can share copies — electronic or paper — with other individuals. That’s the 60-year old practice of mailing preprints and reprints individually to requesters. OA means free immediate access online to all would-be users.
"For authors who want free immediate access to their articles, we continue to give all authors a choice to publish gold open access with a wide number of open access journals and over 1600 hybrid titles “In other words, now, the only Elsevier-autthorized way authors can provide OA is to pay extra for it (“Gold OA”).
Since 2004 Elsevier had endorsed authors providing free immediate (un-embargoed) access (“Green OA”) by self-archiving in their institutional repositories. The double-talk began in 2012.
Elsevier can’t seem to bring itself to admit quite openly (sic) that they have (after a lot of ambiguous double-talk) back-pedalled and reneged on their prior policy, instead imposing embargoes of various lengths. They desperately want to be perceived as having taken a positive, progressive step forward. Hence all the denial and double-talk.
Elsevier tries to argue that their decision is “fair” and “evidence based” — whereas in fact it is based on asking some biassed and ambiguous questions to some librarians, authors and administrators after having first used a maximum of ever-changing pseudo-legal gibberish to ensure that they can only respond with confusion to the confusion that Elsevier has sown. In reality all Elsevier is doing is trying to make authors and their institutions hostage to either subscriptions or (Fools) Gold OA fees by embargoing Green OA. Anything that will sustain Elsevier's current revenue streams and M.O.
We cannot get Elsevier to retain a fair, clear policy (along the lines of their original 2004 policy) but we should certainly expose, name and shame them as loudly and widely as possible for the disgraceful and tendentious spin with which they are now trying to sell their unfair, unclear and exploitative back-pedalling.
Friday, May 1. 2015
On May 1, 2015, at 7:30 AM, Wise, Alicia (ELS-OXF)
I've looked over the latest Elsevier revision of its policy on author OA self-archiving, as requested.
The essential points of the latest policy revision are two:
I. Elsevier still endorses both immediate-deposit and immediate-OA, for the pre-refereeing preprint, anywhere (author's institutional home page, author's institutional repository, Arxiv, etc.).My advice is accordingly to go back to the original 2004 policy. You had it right the first time. The rest has only muddied Elsevier's reputation.
With best wishes,
On Fri, May 1, 2015 at 11:21 AM, Wise, Alicia (ELS-OXF)
Hi again Alicia,
I am afraid you missed what I was pointing out:
The 2004 Elsevier OA self-archiving policy endorsed immediate-deposit and immediate (unembargoed) OA.
The latest policy embargoes OA in institutional repositories.
You are using "self-archiving" ambiguously. No "permission" is needed to deposit. What is at issue is when the deposit can be made OA.
Nor do institutional mandates to deposit have anything whatsoever to do with anything. What is at issue is when the deposit can be made OA.
So, as I said in my prior posting, "Elsevier should state quite explicitly that its latest revision of its policy on author OA self-archiving has taken a very specific step backward from the policy first adopted in 2004."
"You are correct that under our old policy, authors could post anywhere without an embargo if their institution didn’t have a mandate."No, Elsevier's original 2004 policy (see below) made no mention of mandates whatsoever (although there were a number of institutional and funder mandates by that time).
Elsevier's attempt to create a link between the author's right to make the final draft OA and their institution's OA policy was made in 2012, after the prior Elsevier policy had been in effect for 8 years.
And then, as now, I maintained that the link with institutional OA policy is absurd and meaningless, and authors should ignore it completely.
"Our new policy is designed to be consistent and fair for everybody, and we believe it now reflects how the institutional repository landscape has evolved in the last 10+ years."The current Elsevier policy now removes the absurd link with institutional OA policy, which had been used as a pretext for embargoing OA. Elsevier makes it "consistent" by embargoing OA in all institutional repositories, whether or not they have an OA mandate.
In contrast, the equally absurd attempt to prevent Arxiv authors from continuing to do what they have been doing since 1991 has now been dropped, so unembargoed OA in Arxiv, previously "forbidden" (though authors have been doing it uninterruptedly for nearly a quarter century) is now offically "permitted" -- in Arxiv but not in institutional repositories.
So neither consistency nor fairness is at issue -- quite the opposite. This is back-pedalling from 2004 (and 2012) being disguised as consistency and fairness, to make it look like a positive rather than a negative step.
"We require embargo periods because for subscription articles, an appropriate amount of time is needed for journals to deliver value to subscribing customers before the manuscript becomes available for free. Libraries understandably will not subscribe if the content is immediately available for free. Our sharing policy now reflects that reality."Although there is still no objective evidence that OA self-archiving reduces subscriptions, I am quite ready to believe that once all journal articles (of all journal publishers) are accessible as immediate OA, subscriptions will become unsustainable. That outcome is inevitable -- and it will happen with or without OA mandates and with or without publisher OA embargoes.
What Elsevier's OA policies are attempting to do is to delay the inevitable for as long as possible, in order to sustain subscription revenue for as long as possible, by embargoing OA.
Fine. There is a fundamental conflict of interest here, between what is best for the publishing industry and what is best for the research community, its institutions, its funders, and the tax-paying public that funds the funders.
OA embargoes impede research. It's as simple as that. But they also sustain subscription revenue. So publishers are simply impeding research in order to sustain subscription revenue.
It would be nice if publishers stated that honestly, in justifying their embargo policies, rather than trying to disguise it as trying to help research and the research community in any way.
The attempt to embargo OA will of course fail -- although it will succeed in slowing OA progress, as it has been doing so far.
What will undermine the attempts to sustain subscription revenue at all costs will be the eventual realization by the research community that all the essential functions of peer-reviewed journal publishing can be provided at far, far lower cost to the research community than either subscription fees or (today's) inflated Gold OA fees (which I have come to call "Fools Gold").
And that is via "Fair-Gold" peer-review service fees, paid for out of a fraction of institutions' windfall savings from cancelling all subscriptions.
And what will make those subscription cancellations possible is exactly what Elsevier and other publishers are trying to prevent, or at least delay as long as possible, by embargoing it, namely universal, immediate, unembargoed Green OA: precisely what the research community is trying to mandate.
Harnad, S (2014) The only way to make inflated journal subscriptions unsustainable: Mandate Green Open Access. LSE Impact of Social Sciences Blog 4/28The outcome is inevitable, and optimal (for the research community and the public); the only part that is not predictable (because human rationality is not always predictable) is how long publishers will succeed in delaying the optimal and inevitable...
Thursday, April 23. 2015
In my own opinion there have been four main reasons for the exceedingly slow growth of OA (far, far slower than it could have been) — (1) author inertia and needless copyright worries, (2) publisher resistance via lobbying and OA embargoes, (3) premature and needless fixation on Gold OA publishing and (4) premature and needless fixation on Libre OA (re-use rights, CC-BY).
By far the most urgent and yet fully and immediately reachable objective has always been free online access to refereed journal articles (“Gratis OA”), which could long ago have been provided by authors as Green OA (exactly as computer scientists spontaneously began doing in the 1980s with anonymous ftp archiving, and physicists began doing in the 1990s with XXX (then Arxiv).
Instead, authors in most other fields have proved extremely sluggish — because of (1), and eventually also (2) -- and the public campaign for OA became needlessly and counterproductively focussed on Gold OA and Libre OA, which were neither as urgently needed as Gratis OA, nor could they be as easily provided as Gratis OA.
OA mandates by funders and institutions then began to be recommended and adopted, but these too have been exceedingly slow in coming, and needlessly weak, having gotten needlessly wrapped up in Libre and Gold OA, even though Gratis Green OA is the easiest, most effective and most natural thing to mandate.
And the irony is that this premature and needless fixation on Libre and Gold OA (which still persists) has not only helped slow the progress of Gratis Green OA, but it has also slowed its very own progress.
Because the fastest and surest way to Libre, Fair-Gold OA is to first mandate Gratis Green OA -- which, once it is being universally provided, will usher in Libre, Fair-Gold quickly and naturally. This is evident to anyone who simply thinks it through.
Instead, we now continue to be bogged down in (1) - (4), with many weak and wishy-washy OA policies, Fools’ Gold (as well as predatory junk Gold OA) (3) from publishers clouding the landscape, and an almost superstitious obsession with a Libre OA (2) that most research and researchers don’t need anywhere near as urgently as they need Gratis OA itself.
Meanwhile, hardly noticed, is the fact that mandates could be incomparably stronger and more effective if they simply focussed on requiring Green Gratis OA, in institutional (not institution-external) repositories, where institutions can monitor and ensure compliance by designating immediate-deposit as the sole mechanism for submitting publications for research evaluation (as Liege and HEFCE have done) and implementing the copy-request Button as the antidote against publisher OA embargoes.
In yet another effort to try to get mandates on the fast track — requiring Gratis Green OA — we have now analyzed the few existing OA policies’ effectiveness to identify which conditions maximize compliance, in the hope that the research community can at last be persuaded to adopt evidence-based policies instead of ideology-driven ones:
Vincent-Lamarre, Philippe, Boivin, Jade, Gargouri, Yassine, Larivičre, Vincent and Harnad, Stevan (2015) Estimating Open Access Mandate Effectiveness: I. The MELIBEA Score.Here is a quick little history of OA, particularly highlighting Southampton’s contribution:
Carr, L., Swan, A. and Harnad, S. (2011) Creating and Curating the Cognitive Commons: Southampton’s Contribution. In: Curating the European University
Saturday, March 28. 2015
The HEFCE/REF exception is not to the deposit requirement but to the OA requirement, and that makes all the difference in the world.
No publisher can block deposit; all they can do is embargo the date on which access to the deposit is set as Open Access (OA).
All REF submissions must be deposited immediately upon acceptance for publication -- embargo or no embargo. The length of the allowable OA embargo, and exemptions from it, are an entirely separate matter.
Immediate-deposit allows a uniform mandate to be adopted by all institutions and funders, regardless of publisher OA embargo policy.
Once deposited, even if embargoed, access to an individual copy for research purposes can nevertheless be requested and provided on a one-to-one basis by one click each from the requestor to request and one click from the author to comply, thanks to the institutional repositories' copy-request Button.
But only if -- and when -- the papers are deposited.
Sale, Arthur; Couture, Marc; Rodrigues, Eloy; Carr, Les and Harnad, Stevan (2014) Open Access Mandates and the "Fair Dealing" Button. In: Dynamic Fair Dealing: Creating Canadian Culture Online (Rosemary J. Coombe & Darren Wershler, Eds.). University of Toronto Press.
The scaleable, sustainable solution for global OA is for each author's own mandated institutional repository to be the designated locus of deposit for all published articles. These can of course also be exported to any other locus desired (actually only the link need be exported, once metadata interoperability is ensured).
Arxiv depositors will of course be able to keep on depositing directly in Arxiv as long as they wish. Why not? They were, after all, among the first wave of OA providers, and have been faithfully doing it for decades, unmandated. Their Arxiv deposits can instead be harvested back to their institutions instead of trying to make these heroic depositors change their long-standing and progressive habits because other disciplines didn't have the sense to do it unmandated,
But it remains true that today most papers (across all disciplines) are not being deposited in Arxiv, nor in institutional repositories, nor deposited anywhere within the first year of publication. Mandates from institutions and funders will remedy that.
But for mandates to be effective, they must demand minimal effort from authors and institutions, and it must be possible to monitor and ensure compliance.
The simplest and surest way to monitor and ensure compliance is for both institutions and funders to require convergent deposit in the author's institutional repository. That covers all papers, funded and and unfunded (except the tiny minority by institutionally unaffiliated authors, who can deposit directly in institution-external repositories),
On the web, distributed locus of deposit does not "fragment the literature." No one deposits directly in google; google harvests. Google currently inverts all data and still has the best search functionality.
Once enough of the OA corpus is deposited in institutional repositories (IRs) to make it worthwhile bothering, it will be a piece of cake for an enterprising grad student to write the harvest and search code across the global network of OA IRs, and generations of grad students will continue optimizing these tools beyond even the imagination of today's sluggish, non-depositing scholarly and scientific researcher community...
Thursday, March 5. 2015
(March 3rd 2015 Concordia University, Montreal, Canada)
Professor Kim Lane Scheppele, Princeton University, USA
(Prof A Bozoki, Central European University) (1 of 4 videos)
How the EU can help restore Democracy in Hungary
(Prof KL Scheppele, Princeton University) (2 of 4 videos)
(Prof. A Gollner, Concordia University) (3 of 4 videos)
Hungarian government response... (4 of 4 videos)
Friday, February 20. 2015
THE CASE OF HUNGARY
March 3rd 2015
Concordia University 767 Hall Bldg, 1455 Maisonneuve
Professor Kim Lane Scheppele, Princeton University, USA
Professor András Bozóki, Central European University, Hungary
Professor András Göllner, Concordia University, Canada
Tuesday, February 3. 2015
Many physicists say — and some may even believe — that peer review does not add much to their work, that they would do fine with just unrefereed preprints, and that they only continue to submit to peer-reviewed journals because they need to satisfy their promotion/evaluation committees.
And some of them may even be right. Certainly the giants in the field don’t benefit from peer review. They have no peers, and for them peer-review just leads to regression on the mean.
But that criterion does not scale to the whole field, nor to other fields, and peer review continues to be needed to maintain quality standards. That’s just the nature of human endeavor.
And the quality vetting and tagging is needed before you risk investing the time into reading, using and trying to build on work -- not after. (That's why it's getting so hard to find referees, why they're taking so long (and often not doing a conscientious enough job, especially for journals whose quality standards are at or below the mean.)
Open Access means freeing peer-reviewed research from access tolls, not freeing it from peer review...
Harnad, S. (1998/2000/2004) The invisible hand of peer review. Nature [online] (5 Nov. 1998), Exploit Interactive 5 (2000): and in Shatz, B. (2004) (ed.) Peer Review: A Critical Inquiry. Rowland & Littlefield. Pp. 235-242. http://cogprints.org/1646/
Harnad, S. (2009) The PostGutenberg Open Access Journal. In: Cope, B. & Phillips, (Eds.) The Future of the Academic Journal. Chandos. http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/265617/
Harnad, S. (2010) No-Fault Peer Review Charges: The Price of Selectivity Need Not Be Access Denied or Delayed. D-Lib Magazine 16 (7/8). http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/21348/
Harnad, S. (2014) Crowd-Sourced Peer Review: Substitute or supplement for the current outdated system? LSE Impact Blog 8/21 August 21 2014 http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2014/08/21/crowd-sourced-peer-review-substitute-or-supplement/
Friday, January 23. 2015
All the author opinions cited by U. Utah librarian Rick Anderson in his recent UKSG squib are familiar ones, based largely on author ignorance. Their rebuttals have been known for years (e.g., the self-archiving FAQ since 2001 and even earlier in the AmSci OA Forum). Most are covered in this:
Harnad, S. (2006) Opening Access by Overcoming Zeno's Paralysis, in Jacobs, N., Eds. Open Access: Key Strategic, Technical and Economic Aspects, chapter 8. Chandos.The very same prima facie author objections would no doubt have been voiced if authors had been polled in advance on the (universal) mandate to publish or perish.
Although it’s unclear what his underlying motivation is, Utah librarian Rick Anderson has consistently sounded like a publisher’s advocate (or subscription agent!) for years and years now, and in his UKSG squib he is simply citing the persistence of author ignorance and the status quo as evidence and justification for the persistence of author ignorance and the status quo!
The remedy, of course, is effective global Green OA mandates.
Green OA and Green OA mandates grow anarchically, article by article and institution/funder by institution/funder, rather than journal by journal. So journals can only be cancelled once all or almost all of their contents are accessible via Green OA — and that day arrives only when Green OA and effective Green OA mandates have become global and are generating full or almost full compliance.
Harnad, S (2014) The only way to make inflated journal subscriptions unsustainable: Mandate Green Open Access. LSE Impact of Social Sciences Blog 4/28
On past postings by Rick Anderson:
More Skulduggery from SSP's Scholarly Scullery February 15. 2014
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