Friday, March 30. 2007
On Fri, 30 Mar 2007, Andrew A. Adams wrote:
You are right that scholarly society members need to be specially mobilised by OA advocates now, to get them aware and on-side. I think David Prosser and Fred Friend in the UK and Heather Joseph and Peter Suber in the US are in the best position to guide a systematic campaign to mobilise support for EC A1 and FRPAA from the society memberships. Many of the societies have signed the EU or US petitions (although obviously the most important membership targets are those whose officers have not signed)."On the subject of Scholarly Society Publishers, you agree that it is likely that the heads of scholarly societies will be lining up alongside the commercial publishers in lobbying against OA mandates in the US. Since most scholarly societies are semi-democratic bodies, we need to try to mobilise OA advocates to use those democratic avenues to transform the Scholarly Societies into lobbyists for instead of lobbyists against, OA. Of course, as always, this requires the time of OA advocates.
The specific goal would be to inform members about the great likelihood that their own officers will be actively lobbying against Green OA mandates (FRPAA and EC A1), and hence the need to make the will of the grassroots membership known, heard and felt.
The core issue is that Scholarly Society officers are taking exactly the same stance as commercial publishers (either opposing OA altogether, or opposing the OA Green Mandates that are designed to reach OA), but they are doing so in the name of protecting the society's publishing revenue streams for the sake of the society's "good works" (which consist of funding meetings, scholarships and lobbying) -- and they are doing so in the name of their memberships, without consultation, disclosure, or answerability.
The memberships have to be very clearly informed of this, and of the fact that renouncing OA in favour of protecting their society's publishing revenue streams in order to ensure that they can continue to subsidise meetings, scholarships and lobbying would amount to the individual members themselves agreeing to subsidise meetings, scholarships and lobbying with their own lost daily research impact and income, lost because would-be users of their work are being denied access to their work because their institutions cannot afford subscription access to it (the supplementary access that the Green OA Mandates are specifically meant to provide).
The findings on the way self-archiving doubles research usage and impact in all fields should be made very clearly known to the membership, so they fully understand and appreciate the central causal contingency that is actually at issue in all of this:
The solution is very simple: Scholarly society meetings, scholarships and lobbying should sustain themselves in other ways in the OA era, rather than by reducing members' research impact. Reducing research access is the exact opposite of the purpose of a scholarly society. Raising the registration fee for meetings, and adjusting membership fees to the level agreed upon for the funding of scholarships and lobbying makes the system far more open and answerable to the real needs of the membership.Bibliography of Findings on the Open Access Impact Advantage
(I am certain that members will be appalled once the publishing books are opened and they see how small a proportion of their society's publishing profits is actually being used for these good works: The books will show that those scholarly societies that have any sizeable publishing profits to speak of tend to use them, like all other publishers, to increase their publishing division's size, staff and perquisites, not to fund "good works." The American Chemical Society is the prime example of this. Publishing has become a state-within-a-state in the profitable societies, and that is why they sound so much like commercial publishers, differing only in the fact that they can add a specious note of self-righteousness to their resistance to OA, citing their "good works." The remedy, of course, is to remind the membership of the actual mandate of scholarly societies, which is to promote the scholarship, not to profit from limiting it.)
Moreover, a long period of peaceful coexistence between subscription revenues and Green OA self-archiving mandates is still ahead of us, because it takes time for the mandates to take effect, with OA growing anarchically across all journals, not individually, journal by journal. Even in fields that have had 100% Green OA for years now -- notably the American Physical Society and the Institute of Physics, which have both attested to this publicly -- Green OA self-archiving has not yet produced any detectable decline in subscription revenues.
Stevan HarnadBerners-Lee, T., De Roure, D., Harnad, S. and Shadbolt, N. (2005) Journal publishing and author self-archiving: Peaceful Co-Existence and Fruitful Collaboration.
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Thursday, March 29. 2007
Harnad, S. (2007) Open Access Scientometrics and the UK Research Assessment Exercise. To appear in: Proceedings of 11th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics, 25-27 June 2007, Madrid, Spain.
To read full-text, click here. Comments welcome.
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Tuesday, March 27. 2007
Once again, the reader would probably do better to read Peter Suber's incisive but gentle critique of the stunningly "confused and confusing" report of the Australian government's Productivity Commission on Public Support for Science and Innovation. My own uncharitable rant, from when I first laid eyes on it yesterday, follows below:
What a word salad is the Australian government Productivity Commission report on Public Support for Science and Innovation. All that jabber, a lot of it incoherent, but what it amounts to is a total confusion about Green and Gold, OA self-archiving and OA publishing, institutional repositories and central repositories, embargoes, and what needs to be mandated and how (and why). A perfect entry-way for the Trojan Horse of paying the asking price for pre-emptive Gold OA instead of just mandating Green OA. (Doesn't even seem to realize that combining payment with embargoes is adding insult to injury!)
A mess. They should take it back and try (seriously this time) to think it through, clearly, and reduce it to the few sentences it merits. And those sentences are already known:
Mandate Green OA self-archiving of all published articles in Institutional Repositories (deposit required immediately upon publication, even if provisionally in Closed Access). Fund Gold OA only if you really have the spare change; otherwise, wait until it's needed: If/when institutional subscriptions are unsustainably cancelled, use (part of) the institutional savings to pay for the Gold OA publication charges for institutional research output. Not before!That's all that's needed. The rest is all confusion and folly.
Readers of this blog who do not regularly read Peter Suber's splendid Open Access News (OAN) should! OAN provides a wealth of immediate information about OA developments. It has been my first (and most frequent) daily port of call for years now.
Yesterday Peter did two characteristically fair and gentle -- but resolutely firm -- rejoinders to the increasingly shrill (but remarkably shallow) attempts by representatives and partisans of some -- certainly not all, possibly not even most -- sectors of the journal publishing industry to oppose the growing number of Green OA self-archiving mandates being adopted and proposed by research funders and universities worldwide.
The two articles Peter rebuts are by Brian Crawford, Chairman of the PSP Executive Council of AAP and an editorial by the CEO of ALPSP about a similar -- but somewhat more reasoned -- article by Nevada librarian Rick Anderson. As usual, the claim is that the Green OA self-archiving mandates that have been adopted and proposed will destroy journals and peer review by destroying subscription income. As usual, the reply is that (1) there is to date no evidence at all that Green OA self-archiving will not co-exist peacefully with subscription-based cost-recovery, but (2) if and when it no longer does, then there will be a conversion to Gold OA publishing-fee-based cost-recovery, paid for out of the very same money that institutions now spend on subscriptions, money they would have saved in having cancelled subscriptions (not money redirected from research). But the fact that 100% OA is both attainable via the Green OA mandates and highly beneficial -- to research, researchers, research institutions, research funders, the vast R&D industry, students, the developing world, and the tax-paying public that funds the research -- is beyond dispute. Research is not funded and conducted in order to guarantee the journal publishing industry's current revenue streams and current ways of doing business.
For Peter's much gentler rebuttals, please see: Crawford PSP/AAP Rebuttal and Anderson ALPSP Rebuttal
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Sunday, March 25. 2007
I append below another brilliant suggestion from the redoubtable N. Miradon (who may be retired but hardly retiring -- and tireless!) in the form of a proposed letter to European MPs and MEPs about the forthcoming EC deliberations on Open Access policy.
If I have not misunderstand, N. Miradon has drawn to our attention here an existing EU/EC policy under which it would be possible to implement an ID/OA mandate for EU research funding with no further legislative or consultative changes required at all!
(See comments further below: It looks to me as if pointing this out to the EC would be the shortest and easiest route to the adoption of the EC A1 recommendation -- since strongly supported by the Brussels Open Access Petition -- to implement Green OA self-archiving, for, in effect, it is already mandated! The only thing that still needs to be specified is trivial and noncontroversial: the locus and mode of submission and storage of the already mandated publication. Currently it needs to be sent in by email; the only change needed is to require it to be deposited in a Closed Access URL in an Institutional Repository! More about this below.)
A few suggestions are added below concerning the all-important locus of deposit of the published research documents.
It is very important (in order to generate a coherent, systematic, universally scaleable solution) that the default locus of deposit should be specified as the researcher's own (OAI-compliant) Institutional Repository (IR). Other loci are possible if the researcher's institution does not yet have an IR: there are numerous possible Central Repositories (CRs), national and international, and the EU could perhaps also provide one of its own; but the preferred locus should be the researcher's own IR. The EU policy will also help encourage research institutions to create their own IRs if they have not done so already, and to fill them also with their non-EU-funded research output. That will complement the funded research and make all European peer-reviewed research output OA, maximising its usage and impact:
Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR)
"Central vs. Distributed Archives" (began Jun 1999)
"Central versus institutional self-archiving" (began Nov 2003)
"France's HAL, OAI interoperability, and Central vs Institutional Repositories" (started Oct 2006)
Optimizing OA Self-Archiving Mandates: What? Where? When? Why? How?
A few comments and suggestions on N. Miradon's text:
On Sat, 24 Mar 2007, N. Miradon wrote in the American Scientist Open Access Forum:I would add here that depositing them in an interoperable OAI-compliant repository would be optimal, preferably the researcher's own Institutional Repository (IR).
The web page or portal can be harvested from the EU researchers' IRs, or it can consist of a list of the projects, or the papers resulting from the projects, together with a link to their URL in the IR in which they are deposited.
The OAI protocol is the standard for making the IRs interoperable. There may need to be some further tag for specifically selecting EU funded publications.
This existing EU/EC policy is already a godsend, as it already provides the basis for the EU to adopt the Immediate-Deposit/Optional-Access Mandate (ID/OA) (also called the "dual deposit/release strategy") without any further need of legislation or consultation:
As the EU already requires (i.e., mandates) both (1) the electronic copy of the publication, and (2) the right to make it OA (if and when the copyright agreement with the publisher allows it), the only thing left to stipulate is how "send[ing] to the commission an electronic copy" should be done, immediately upon acceptance for publication, in the form of depositing it in the researcher's own IR (preferably, or in a OAI-compliant CR otherwise), in immediate Open Access if possible, otherwise in Closed Access -- and merely sending the commission the URL for the (Closed Access) deposit!
The EU can harvest the document if it wishes, or link it in a portal. The only change involved here is a specification of the mode of submission for what has already been mandated by the EC.
"Optimizing OA Self-Archiving Mandates: What? Where? When? Why? How?"
"Generic Rationale and Model for University Open Access Self-Archiving Mandate: Immediate-Deposit/Optional Access (ID/OA)"
Dual Deposit/Release Strategy
A National Open Access Policy
(The NIH had a similar opportunity to do this in 2004, but failed to take notice.)
"A Simple Way to Optimize the NIH Public Access Policy(Oct 2004)"
And through links to the researcher's own IR.
Compare the above to the ID/OA Mandate (or "Dual Deposit/Release Strategy"):
"Deposit, in the author's own Institutional Repository (IR), of the author's final, peer-reviewed draft of all journal articles is required immediately upon acceptance for publication... but whether access to that deposit is immediately set to Open Access or provisionally set to Closed Access (with only the metadata, but not the full-text, accessible webwide) is left up to the author..."
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Saturday, March 24. 2007
Below is a posting, with permission, of an offline exchange with Jan Velterop, of Springer Open Choice. I have labelled the dramatis personae and indented for chronology. (The title "Clarifying the Logic of Open Choice" is mine, not Jan's.)
Jan argues that paying for Open Choice Gold OA at this time, while subscriptions are still paying all the costs of publishing, would not be double-paying for OA.
I argue that it would be.
Jan argues that mandating Green OA -- as ERC, ARC, NHMRC, 5 RCUK research councils, and a growing number of universities have done, and as FRPAA, NIH, EC, CIHR and EURAB propose to do -- will destroy journals and peer review.
I argue that it will provide OA -- and that if it ever does cause subscription cancellation, then that will be the time to convert to Gold OA, paying the institutional Gold OA publishing costs out of the institutional subscription cancellation savings themselves, rather than pre-emptively double-paying, as we would be doing if we did it now, while subscriptions are still paying all the costs of publishing.
(I will let Jan have the last word in this posting and will reply separately to a few of his points in my next posting. My surmise is that the careful reader of this exchange will not need my subsequent reply -- though this surmise could be wrong.)
Monday, March 19. 2007
Peter Suber's OA News reports that Emory University student Brian Pitts has blogged a student resolution (modelled on the University of Florida student resolution) in support of the Federal research Public Access Act (FRPAA) Green OA mandate. Below is a letter to Brian and other students suggesting that they can help OA even more by also lobbying in support of a Green OA Mandate at their own university, rather than just waiting for the passage of the FRPAA mandate:
Sunday, March 18. 2007
Many thanks for M. Miradon's remarkable analysis and valuable advice in his commentary on Richard Poynder's rousing article about the struggle for Open Access to European Research.
(M. Miradon, I do not know who you are, but I infer you are a present or formal EC official with a great deal of experience with EU politics and a certain sympathy for OA. The OA movement is indeed indebted to you for your insights and insider information.)
The "OA movement" is really just a loose federation of mostly academics. It is not skilled or experienced in the area of political lobbying, alas. Some sectors (SPARC US and Europe, perhaps) might be in a position to become more sophisticated in lobbying, but the individual OA activists, being employed academics -- researchers first and activists only second -- are not.
The lobbying wings of industries are paid professionals. We have none of those. There is a hope, though, namely, a strategic alliance (perhaps mediated by EURAB) between the academic-researcher OA activists and the vast R&D industry that applies the fruits of research. The R&D industries are far bigger than the publishing industry. They need to be explicitly mobilized to our side (because they too have a strong interest in open access to research, not for themselves directly [which they can easily afford to pay] but for all researchers worldwide [who cannot]: It is researcher-to-researcher access and collaborative/cumulative research progress that supplies R&D industries with the research findings for their R&D applications.
But let me make a parallel point: OA is (fortunately) not doomed to wait for legislation, and for lobbying and convincing legislators, in order to prevail. Let us not forget for a minute that if researchers themselves had any sense, we would already have 100% OA, for we would simply self-archive spontaneously. We are too sluggish, busy and confused. Fine, so we need mandates from our research funders and institutions (who are merely busy and confused). Part of their confusion is that they cannot mandate (Green) OA because of something or other having to do with the publishing industry. (It is as vague as that!)
So the problem falls into the laps of legislators, who must mandate the researchers' funders and institutions to mandate the researchers to move their fingers. But legislators have not only laps, but bottoms, which they must protect -- from the many lobbying interests to which they are vulnerable.
So lobbying becomes the name of the game, for the legislative route.
But there is a parallel route, and it has already been engaged in the UK (first) and to an extent also in Europe and Australia: This is the research funding councils (RCUK, ERC, ARC), who can take a cue from the inclinations and interests of the research community, and proceed with a Green OA mandate even if the legislators are deadlocked. And they have begun. And so have individual universities and research institutions. See ROARMAP. And in that sector OA activists can be effective (and have been) without having to learn to navigate the corridors of legislative power.
So, in my view, the Brussels meeting was a way to display the will of the research community: the EC petition did that, and now it has given birth to a US petition too. Petitions, of course, will not generate mandates either. But they will help the OA movement "lobby" funders and universities directly, to mandate. Indeed, funders, universities, research institutions, academies and societies, and R&D industries are signing the petitions, officially, as organisations. There remains but a small step to point out that these organisations need not petition the legislators to mandate them to mandate: They can mandate directly themselves!
That is the next step: There was already a logical gap in 2002, between researchers (34,000) signing the PLoS petition to publishers, demanding OA, yet not moving their fingers to deposit their own papers. There is now a second logical gap in research funders and institutions signing the EU and US petitions to legislators to mandate Green OA globally, while they do not go ahead individually and mandate OA locally, for their own funding body or their own university!
The gap between fingers signing petitions, fingers adopting mandates and fingers depositing papers will be bridged now. It has become too glaringly obvious to be ignored, with all these somber OA declarations, initiatives and manifestos, signed, but no practical action taken!
We will keep pursuing the indirect legislative route for global mandates, yes, but we will also publicise and accelerate the direct research-community route of divide and conquer: Local mandates are fully within our own hands, especially at the university level.
See: Generic Rationale and Model for University Open Access Self-Archiving Mandate: Immediate-Deposit/Optional Access (ID/OA) (also known as the "Dual Deposit/Release Strategy")
American Scientist Open Access Forum
PS The request to present the petition to the commissioner in public at the Brussels meeting was denied, but it was nevertheless presented (in private), the presentation was photographed (by Leslie Chan) and the photos were presented at the last session of the meeting, publicly, in Alma Swan's stirring Powerpoint series.
Saturday, March 17. 2007
Institutional Repositories: Evaluating the Reasons for Non-use of Cornell University's Installation of DSpace. Davis, P.M. & Connolly, M.J.L. D-Lib Magazine 13(3/4) March/April 2007On the contrary; little has been done to develop IRs apart from creating them; moreover, many surveys and analyses have evaluated faculty non-participation and identified how and why to remedy it: By mandating deposit. (See Sale and Swan references at the end of this posting.)
D & C: "Results: Cornell's DSpace is largely underpopulated and underused by its faculty."This is most decidedly true! The reason is that Cornell researchers are being given equivocal advice instead of an unequivocal mandate. (See: Cornell's Copyright Advice: Guide for the Perplexed Self-Archiver)
(I note that, unlike Harvard, Cornell is not one of the 132 Universities that have signed in support of the US Federal Green OA Mandate, the FRPAA; this may be a sign of equivocation, but in Cornell's defense, none of the 132 have yet practised what they petitioned (by adopting locally the global mandate they are urging federally). European, Australian and Asian Universities have been faster off the mark.
D & C: "[The only] steady growth [is in] collections in which [Cornell] university has made an administrative investment, such [as] requiring deposits of theses and dissertations into DSpace."This passage states the problem (empty IRs) as well as the solution (mandating deposit) -- but the article itself then proceeds to ignore this obvious and already known outcome, and instead goes on and on about the many groundless (and easily answered) reasons faculty cite for not depositing unless it is mandated.
The D & C article also wrongly imagines that the primary purpose of IRs is to preserve digital content, rather than to maximise research usage and access by supplementing paid journal access with free access to the author's final draft: (See: Against Conflating OA Self-Archiving With Preservation-Archiving )
D & C: "Cornell faculty have little knowledge of and little motivation to use DSpace."Correct. And in that respect Cornell faculty are exactly like faculty at all other universities worldwide that have IRs but no deposit mandate:
Swan, A. (2006) The culture of Open Access: researchers' views and responses, in Jacobs, N., Eds. Open Access: Key Strategic, Technical and Economic Aspects, chapter 7. Chandos.
D & C: "Many faculty use alternatives to institutional repositories, such as their personal Web pages and disciplinary repositories"If all or most faculty were indeed spontaneously despositing their peer-reviewed articles on their personal Web pages or in central disciplinary repositories (CRs) (like Arxiv), there would be no problem: 100% Open Access (OA) would already be upon us, for IRs could easily fill themselves by simply harvesting their faculty's output from their web-pages and CRs.
The trouble is that -- except where mandated -- most faculty are not depositing their articles on their Web pages today, and only a few sub-disciplines are depositing in CRs. Hence OA is only at about 15% today.
D & C: "[CRs] are perceived to have higher community salience than one's affiliate institution."Right now, the only two CRs with any appreciable content -- Arxiv and PubMed Central -- certainly do have "higher community salience" than IRs, since most IRs are mostly empty. But institutions need merely mandate depositing and the "salience" of their IRs will sail, along with the size of their contents.
(Moreover, the true success rate of a repository -- whether IR or CR -- is the percentage of its total annual target content that it is currently capturing. By that proportionate measure, central disciplinary CRs are in fact doing just as badly as unmandated IRs and the real champions are (unsurprisingly) the harvesters like Citeseer, OAIster and Google Scholar that trawl their contents from the distributed IRs and CRs.)
All IRs are OAI-compliant and interoperable. Researchers' institutions cover all of research output space. Hence researchers' own IRs are the natural and optimal locus for direct deposit. Institutions also have a proprietary interest in showcasing, monitoring, evaluating and storing their own research output -- as well as in maximizing its research impact. Hence both funders and institutions should mandate direct deposit in the researcher's own IR. (CRs can then harvest therefrom, if they wish.) (See: Optimizing OA Self-Archiving Mandates: What? Where? When? Why? How?)
D & C: "Faculty gave many reasons for not using repositories: redundancy with other modes of disseminating information"There is no "redundancy" with OA's target content: peer-reviewed journal articles. Those users who can afford paid access, have paid access. Those who do not, have no access. The purpose of OA self-archiving in IRs is to supplement the existing paid access, providing free access to the author's final draft, self-archived online, for those would-be users who do not have paid access to the journal's proprietary version.
(The authors of this article, D & C, as we shall see, draw precisely the conclusions from their article that they have themselves put into it, in the form of assumptions, often incorrect ones. Apart from that, all the do is amplify the volume of the faculty misunderstandings they sample, instead of correcting them.)
The purpose of maximizing research access is to maximise research impact (download, usage, applications, citations, productivity, progress).
D & C: "the learning curve [for depositing articles online]"A non-problem, cured by a few moments of instruction, plus a mandate:
Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2005) Keystroke Economy: A Study of the Time and Effort Involved in Self-Archiving)
D & C: "confusion with copyright"A non-problem, already completely mooted by the Immediate-Deposit/Optional-Access Mandate: (See: Generic Rationale and Model for University Open Access Self-Archiving Mandate: Immediate-Deposit/Optional Access (ID/OA))
Only the depositing itself is mandated; setting access to the deposit as Open Access versus Closed Access is recommended but optional.
D & C: "fear of plagiarism"An old canard, cured by referring to Self-Archiving FAQ.
D & C: "having one's work scooped"Another old canard.
D & C: "associating one's work with inconsistent quality"Yet another old canard.
D & C: "concerns about whether posting a manuscript constitutes 'publishing'."One of the oldest canards of them all.
D & C: "Conclusion: While some librarians perceive a crisis in scholarly communication as a crisis in access to the literature, Cornell faculty perceive this essentially as a non-issue."Librarians' journal affordability problems helped draw attention to the research accessibility problem, but the affordability and accessibility problems are not the same, nor are their solutions.
Cornell faculty are right to regard the affordability problem as not their problem. The accessibility problem, however, is their problem, both from the point of view of Cornell researchers' own lost access to the work of researchers at other institutions (in journals that even Cornell cannot afford to subscribe to) and -- even more important (as most researchers at other institutions are not sitting as pretty as Cornell for subscriptions) -- from the point of view of Cornell researchers' lost research impact (owing to the access problems of would-be users at other institutions).
D & C: "Each discipline has a normative culture, largely defined by their reward system and traditions. If the goal of institutional repositories is to capture and preserve the scholarship of one's faculty, institutional repositories will need to address this cultural diversity."The target content of OA IRs is peer-reviewed journal articles. If there are any disciplines that do not care about maximising the usage and impact of their peer-reviewed journal article output, then there are indeed reasons to examine discipline differences. If not, then what is needed is not discipline-difference studies but pandisciplinary deposit mandates.
D & C: "most faculty host their digital objects on a personal website, where their long-term preservation is not secure. If institutions truly value the content created by their faculty, they must take some responsibility for the long-term curation of this content."OA IRs are for supplementary access-provision and usage-maximisation, not for preservation. (What needs preservation is the journal published version, not the author's OA draft.) (See: Against Conflating OA Self-Archiving With Preservation-Archiving)
But of course IRs can and will preserve their contents, to make sure their supplementary access provision perdures.
D & C: "There are two opposing philosophical camps among those who work to justify institutional repositories: one that views IRs as competition for traditional publishing, the other that sees IRs as a supplement to traditional publishing."There are indeed two opposing views of what IRs are for, but the opposition is certainly not about whether IRs compete with or supplement traditional publishing. It is about whether IRs are primarily for OA content (i.e., peer-reviewed research) or for other kinds of content (e.g., "grey literature"). (There is also some related confusion about whether IRs are primarily for supplementing access or for digital preservation.)
Among OA advocates there is no divergence whatsoever on the fact that OA IRs (Green OA) supplement journal publishing; they are not a substitute for it, nor a competitor to it.
(There is competition between subscription-based publishing and Gold OA publishing, but that is an entirely different matter, having nothing to do with IRs or Green OA.)
Here is a core example of how the authors of this article first make incorrect assumptions, and then simply proceed to derive their inevitably incorrect consequences:
D & C: "In 1994, Stevan Harnad wrote his Subversive Proposal for Electronic Publishing, in which he argued that all academics should make their research articles publicly available through open repositories. This collective effort would help to reduce the power wielded by publishers who have built economic barriers to limit scholars' access to the literature."(1) From the very outset, the Subversive Proposal was to supplement traditional publishing with (what we have since come to call) Green OA self-archiving of the author's peer-reviewed final draft. Self-archiving was never proposed as a substitute for peer-reviewed journal publication -- as a google search on "harnad supplement substitute" will repeatedly confirm!
Latent in the Subversive Proposal -- a Green OA supplement proposal -- was, of course, the possibility of an eventual transition to Gold OA publishing. But that is and always was treated as a hypothetical possibility, whereas Green OA self-archiving (which eventually led to the first OA IR software, EPrints, and eventually to the OA IR movement) was proposed as a concrete, practical action, within reach of all researchers -- a practical action that has since been widely tried, tested, and confirmed empirically to work, and to deliver the enhanced research usage and impact for which it was intended.
(2) Davis & Connolly have also completely conflated the explicitly stated purpose of the Subversive Proposal -- which was to maximize research access and usage -- with the library community's struggle with the journal affordability problem. Green OA self-archiving is not about "reducing publisher power" nor about changing economics. It is just about maximizing research access.
D & C: "In opposition, Clifford Lynch views IRs as supplements, not primary venues for scholarly publishing, and warns against assuming the role of certification in the scholarly publishing process."All OA IR advocates view IRs as supplements: a way to provide free access to the author's peer-reviewed final draft, accepted for publication by the "primary venue" (the journal) -- not as a substitute form of peer review or certification or publication.
D & C: "[Lynch] argues that "the institutional repository isn't a journal, or a collection of journals, and should not be managed like one""Preaching to the choir: No one thinks IRs are journals.
D & C: "Lynch fears that viewing IRs as instruments for undermining the economics of the current publishing system discounts their importance and reduces their ability to promote a broader spectrum of scholarly communication."IRs are not "instruments for undermining the economics of the current publishing system" they are instruments for maximizing the access and impact of currently published research articles.
D & C: "Institutional repositories may better serve to disseminate the so-called "grey literature": documents such as pamphlets, bulletins, visual conference presentations, and other materials that are typically ignored by traditional publishers."The idea that IRs should focus on the grey (unpublished) literature instead of the OA Green literature remains just as off-the-mark and wrong-headed today as on the day it was first mooted: (See: Cliff Lynch on Institutional Archives)
D & C: "DSpace was not conceived as competition to commercial publishers, but as a resource to capture, preserve and communicate the diversity of intellectual output of an institution's faculty and researchers It was designed specifically to deal with a wide range of content types including research articles, grey literature, theses, cultural materials, scientific datasets, institutional records, and educational materials, among others."More's the pity that DSpace does not now, nor did it ever, have its priorities straight. The #1 priority for IRs is and always has been (or ought to have been!) OA. (See: EPrints, DSpace or ESpace?)
D & C: "On May 1st, 2005, a policy was enacted that recommended, not required, that all researchers receiving grant monies from the National Institutes of Heath deposit final copies of their manuscripts in PubMed Central (PMC), a free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature. PMC offers many valuable services to authors, such as indexing in Medline (the primary literature index for the biomedical and life sciences), as well as dynamic links to the published version of their article. After eight months, the participation rate remained a dismal 3.8%. Lack of awareness of the policy was not cited as contributing to the low compliance rate. On December 14th, 2005, Senator Joseph Lieberman introduced the CURES Act (S.2104), which would require (not recommend) mandatory deposit of final manuscripts"The NIH Public Access Policy failed for three reasons (in order of priority):
The remedy for this was pointed out in advance to NIH (but went unheeded): "A Simple Way to Optimize the NIH Public Access Policy")(1) because it was not a mandate, but merely a request,
The remedy -- the ID/OA mandate -- has since been taken on board in the European Research Advisory Board's policy recommendation.
ID/OA has just been adopted by University of Liege -- the first, let's hope, of many adopters, including the US's omnibus Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA). (See: How to Counter All Opposition to the FRPAA Self-Archiving Mandate)
D & C: "Cornell's DSpace is largely underpopulated and underused by its faculty. Its complex organization is seen at comparable institutions, but may discourage contributions to DSpace by making it appear empty. In addition, faculty have little knowledge of and no motivation to use DSpace."The only thing Cornell's DSpace is missing is the ID/OA mandate. That mandate needs to replace or at least complement Cornell's Copyright Advice: Guide for the Perplexed Self-Archiver.
D & C: "Each discipline has a normative culture, largely defined by their reward system and inertia. If the goal of institutional repositories is to capture and preserve the scholarship of one's faculty, IRs will need to address this cultural diversity."No, the remedy is not to delve into disciplinary diversity. It is to promote what all disciplines (indeed all of research) have in common, which is the need to maximize the usage and impact of their peer-reviewed research findings -- by mandating Green OA.
Stevan HarnadSwan, A. (2005) Open access self-archiving: An Introduction. JISC Technical Report.
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Thursday, March 15. 2007
On Sat, 10 Mar 2007, Jan Velterop, of Springer Open Choice, wrote in liblicense:
JV: "The Howard Hughes (HHMI-Elsevier) deal is not a setback for open access, even if it is not the greatest imaginable step forwards perhaps."It is not a setback for the minuscule number of articles for which HHMI will finance paid (Gold) OA. It is a setback for all the other articles that could be made (Green) OA through mandated author self-archiving, for free, while subscriptions are still continuing to pay the publication costs.
It is not only a waste of money, but it plays into the hands of those who are trying to delay or derail Green self-archiving mandates at all costs.
JV: "To knock the HHMI for getting into this deal is short-sighted."It is HHMI that is being short-sighted (and gullible). HHMI ought instead simply to mandate Green OA self-archiving, and to leave it at that.
JV: "And subject lines like 'Trojan Horse' with their insidious negativity raise the suspicion that the agenda of some list participants is not really 'open access', but a desire to get rid of publishers or of the notion that publishing, including open access publishing, actually costs money."Nonsense. Open Choice is a Trojan Horse if it is taken as a pretext for paying for Gold OA instead of mandating Green OA. No one is trying to get rid of publishers. We are trying to get rid of access-barriers. Green OA does just that. And while subscriptions are still being (amply) paid for, no one is unaware of the fact that publishing costs money. What is urgently needed today is not money to pay for Gold OA, but mandates to provide Green OA.
JV: "It's a delusion that one can get open access by self-archiving mandates that imply having to rely on librarians to keep paying for subscriptions to keep journals alive."Institutions are paying for subscriptions today. That is no delusion.
There is little OA today. That is no delusion.
Green self-archiving mandates will generate 100% OA. That is no delusion.
What happens to subscriptions after that is speculation, not delusion.
JV: "Or is the idea that librarians keep paying for journals of which the articles are available with open access part of the proposed mandates?"Institutions are paying for librarians today. That is not proposed; that is already going on.
What is not already going on is OA self-archiving.
That is what the Green mandates are for.
Whether and when institutions will cancel subscriptions because of mandated Green OA is a purely speculative matter, today. What is not speculative is that if and when institutions ever do cancel subscriptions, that money will then be freed to pay for Gold OA costs; not before. Nor is it speculation that Green OA will already have provided 100% OA by then.
JV: "Authors can self-publish easily these days and provide open access to their articles to their hearts' content."Why is Jan telling us this? OA is not -- and never has been -- about self-publishing; nor is it about unpublished articles. It is about providing Open Access to peer-reviewed, published articles.
JV: "Once they involve a publisher, though, they don't do that out of altruistic motives."No. Nor does the publisher. But publishers are being paid in full, today, by subscriptions, whereas Open Access is not being provided, today. And consequently research impact is needlessly being lost today.
It would not just be altruism but profligacy to double-pay for Gold OA today. And it would be (and is) not altruistic but foolhardy in the extreme to continue doing without OA, and with the attendant daily loss in research impact and progress, for failure to mandate Green OA.
(Foolhardy for the research community, and the public that funds it, I mean: Not necessarily foolhardy for the publishing community!)
JV: "They don't 'give' their articles to publishers. They come to ask for a 'label', a 'mark', an official journal reference that makes their article from a piece of text, perhaps interesting, but not recognised by the academic community, into a formally peer-reviewed and published article. It's not the publishers that compel them to do that."I don't know why we are being regaled with all this rhetorical complexity: Researchers submit their papers to journals for two reasons:
(1) to get them peer-reviewed andThat is what subscriptions are already paying for. OA is for those would-be users who cannot afford access to the subscription version.
It is not authors who seek or get the revenues from subscriptions, it is publishers. No altruism on either side. And the only thing missing, in the online age, is OA. And Green OA mandates will provide that.
JV: "And publishers cannot provide those services, on the scale they are needed, on a philanthropic basis."No one is asking them to: Subscriptions are paying, amply. OA is about those users who cannot afford access to the subscription version.
JV: "This may be possible for a number of small journals, and where it is possible it deserves to be done that way and probably is already."Jan (and the publishing community) keep talking about journals and journal cost-recovery models. Fine.
The research community is talking about OA, and impact-loss-recovery methods.
The only tried, tested, successful method of impact-loss-recovery within immediate reach is mandating OA self-archiving. That has nothing to do with journal cost-recovery models. Jan is talking at cross-purposes with OA, with his fixation on payment models (when there is no non-payment problem today, whereas there is a no-access problem today).
In thus talking at cross-purposes, Jan (and those of the same persuasion) are standing in the way of a tried, tested, successful, and immediately reachable means of solving the access problem. They are instead promoting a Trojan Horse.
JV: "But the worldwide scientific enterprise needs sustainable large-scale industrial-strength publishing to deal with the publication of more than a million new articles a year (and in terms of submissions a multiple of that, given that most papers are rejected at least once)."Can we transfer the problem of the "sustainability of large-scale industrial-strength publishing" to another venue than discussions of OA?
OA is an immediate, pressing, and immediately solvable problem for research and researchers. Its solution is for research institutions and funders to mandate Green OA, as a few have already begun doing, others have proposed to do, and researchers and institutions have petitioned them to do.
The quest for a solution to the "the problem of the sustainability of large-scale industrial-strength publishing" can proceed in parallel with the quest for OA, but it should not be conflated with it, or get in the way of it.
To oppose Green OA mandates and urge "Open Choice" in their stead is precisely the Trojan Horse against which I am warning.
JV: "The HHMI deal is a very positive step towards sustainable open access and should be recognised for that. The 'cure' of OA publishing is to be preferred to the 'palliative' of self-archiving. The derision that funding agencies suffer who put open access first, and not cost reduction, is uncalled-for."Who on earth is talking about cost-reduction?
The disease is needless, ongoing, online research access/impact loss. The cure is OA. Green OA is OA. It might be merely a "palliative" for "the problem of the sustainability of large-scale industrial-strength publishing" but it is a cure for the disease of research access/impact loss.
What deserves exposure and derision is the attempt to deter and devalue and deride a sure and reachable immediate cure for the disease of research/impact loss in the name of some other uncured "disease" that has next to nothing to do with the research community's immediate, pressing, and solvable access/impact needs today.
JV: "If a full, safe cure for a disease is possible, though not necessarily cheaper than lifelong symptom-management and the real possibility of a much shorter life, is it better to go for cheap palliative care than for this full cure?"As usual, we are talking about two different "diseases." One -- "the sustainability of large-scale industrial-strength publishing" -- is a long-term, hypothetical money-matter with which the publishing community is concerned; the other -- research access/impact loss -- is an immediate, urgent, ongoing practical research-matter with which the research community is concerned -- and it has an immediate, practical solution: Mandated Green OA.
To deter, defer or derail the research community's solution to the research community's problem, by portraying the publishing community's industrial long-term sustainability problem as if it were the same problem as the research community's immediate access/impact problem is simply false and misleading.
To oppose the research community's immediately reachable solution to its access/impact problem (mandated Green OA) in favour of paying for Gold OA today is nothing more nor less than what I have called it: The promotion of a Trojan Horse.
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