Monday, July 29. 2013
How multitudes of people
can gather to gawk daily
at these magnificent, miserable creatures,
all brutally wrenched
from their devastated families
and forced to perform round after round
of cheap Skinnerian circus tricks,
for the rest of their wretched, ruined lives
in holding containers,
tormented day and night
by the bouncing echoes
from their own hopeless sonar cries,
food-deprived and "trained"
to do whatever it takes
to draw delighted cheers
from grinning crowds of humans of all ages...
Did it really require this revealing new movie, Blackfish, to open our eyes to the ugly, shameful fact that this, and all things like this, are wrong, horribly, unforgivably, wrong?
That we provide the mindless market for such heartless abuse, in order to make our children laugh, is as much a condemnation of the sociopathic spectatorship as of the merciless, mercenary management of sadistic sea circuses -- and all their land counterparts.
Perhaps the most chilling anomaly is how the "trainers" -- of whom some, clearly, "turned," eventually, after years of having been willing accomplices to the abuse of these helpless animals -- were themselves "trained" (by the management along with self-deception) to overlook the obvious, in exchange for the fees and the celebrity ("just following orders"? "being professional"?). It seems to have been various blends of venality and sensation-seeking, though some got into it naively, and then got attached to their prisoners and stayed so as to use what little leverage they had to make their fates less worse, rather than abandon them altogether. -- Or maybe that was just what they said for the camera? (I hope not.)
But most macabre of all was that some professed to have become Seaworld trainers to fulfill a dream that Seaworld itself had instilled in them as a child.
to provide sperm
for breeding more orcas
to be wrenched from their mothers
and put into entertainment servitude
for the rest of their miserable lives
to inspire more children
about the wonders of the sea
Friday, July 26. 2013
"Chorus" is a Trojan Horse
Note: David Wojick works part time as the Senior Consultant for Innovation at OSTI, the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, in the Office of Science of the US Department of Energy. He has a PhD in logic and philosophy of science, an MA in mathematical logic, and a BS in civil engineering. In the exchanges below, he sounds [to me] very much like a publishing interest lobbyist, but judge for yourself. He also turns out to have a rather curious [and to me surprising] history in environmental matters…
Let us fervently hope that the US Government/OSTP will not be taken in by this publisher Trojan Horse called "CHORUS." It is a tripping point, not a tipping point.
If not, we can all tip our hats goodbye to Open Access -- which means free online access immediately upon publication, not access after a one-year embargo.
CHORUS is just the latest successor organisation for self-serving anti-Open Access (OA) lobbying by the publishing industry. Previous incarnations have been the "PRISM coalition" and the "Research Works Act."
1. It is by now evident to everyone that OA is inevitable, because it is optimal for research, researchers, research institutions, the vast R&D industry, students, teachers, journalists and the tax-paying public that funds the research.[And why does the US Government not hire consultants who represent the interests of the research community rather than those of the publishing industry?]
Eisen, M. (2013) A CHORUS of boos: publishers offer their “solution” to public access
Giles, J. (2007) PR's 'pit bull' takes on open access. Nature 5 January 2007.
Harnad, S. (2012) Research Works Act H.R.3699: The Private Publishing Tail Trying To Wag The Public Research Dog, Yet Again. Open Access Archivangelism 287 January 7. 2012
1. The embargo length that the funding agencies allow is another matter, not the one I was discussing. (But of course the pressure for the embargoes comes from the publishers, not from the funding agencies.)
2. The Trojan Horse would be funding agencies foolishly accepting publishers' "CHORUS" invitation to outsource author self-archiving -- and hence compliance with the funder mandate -- to publishers, instead of having fundees do it themselves, in their own institutional repositories.
3. To repeat: Delayed Access is not Open Access -- any more than Paid Access is Open Access. Open Access is immediate, permanent online access, toll-free, for all.
4. Delayed (embargoed) Access is publishers' attempt to hold research access hostage to their current revenue streams, forcibly co-bundled with obsolete products and services, and their costs, for as long as possible. All the research community needs from publishers in the OA era is peer review. Researchers can and will do access-provision and archiving for themselves, in their own institutional OA repositories, at next to no cost. And peer review alone costs only a fraction of what institutions are paying publishers now for subscriptions.
5. Green OA is author-provided OA; Gold OA is publisher-provided OA. But OA means immediate access, so Delayed Access is neither Green OA nor Gold OA. (Speaking loosely, one can call author-self-archiving after a publisher embargo "Delayed Green" and publisher-provided free access on their website after an embargo "Delayed Gold," but it's not really OA at all if it's not immediate. And that's why it's so important to upgrade all funder mandates to make them immediate-deposit mandates, even if they are not immediate-OA mandates.)
WOJICK: "if delayed access is not open access in your view then why did you post the tipping point study, since it includes delayed access of up to 5 years? Most people consider delayed (green) access to be a paradigm of open access. That is how the term is used. You are apparently making your own language."That is the way publishers would like to see the term OA used, paradigmatically. But that's not what it means. And I was actually (mildly) criticizing the study in question for failing to distinguish Open Access from Delayed Access, and for declaring that Open Access had reached the "Tipping Point" when it certainly has not -- specifically because of publisher embargoes. [Please re-read my summary, above: I don't think there is any ambiguity at all about what I said and meant.]
But OA advocates can live with the allowable funder mandate embargoes for the time being -- as long as deposit is mandated to be done immediately upon acceptance for publication, by the author, in the author's institutional repository, and not a year later, by the publisher, on the publisher's own website. Access to the author's deposit can be set as Closed Access during the allowable embargo period, but meanwhile authors can provide Almost-OA via their repository's facilitated Eprint Request Button.
The Immediate-Deposit/Optional-Access (ID/OA) Mandate: Rationale and Model
Public Access to Federally Funded Research (Response to US OSTP RFI)
Comments on Proposed HEFCE/REF Green Open Access Mandate
We are clearly not understanding one another:
Yes, the US funder mandates are extremely important, even if they still need a tweak (as noted).
Yes, OA has not yet reached a tipping point. (That was my point.)
But no, Delayed Access is definitely not OA, let alone Green OA, although that is how publishers would dearly love to define OA, and especially Green OA.
WOJICK: "As for your Trojan horse point (#2) there is no author archiving with CHORUS."Yes, that's the point: CHORUS is trying to take author self-archiving out of the hands and off the sites of the researchers and their institutions, to put it in the hands and on the site of publishers. That is abundantly clear.
And my point was about how bad that was, and why: a Trojan Horse for the research community and for the future of OA.
But the verb should be CHORUS "would be," not CHORUS "is" -- because, thankfully, it is not yet true that this 4th publishers' Trojan Horse has been allowed in at all.
(The 1st Trojan Horse was Prism: routed at the gates. The 2nd was the "Research Works Act; likewise routed at the gates. The 3rd was the Finch Report: It slipped in, but concerted resistance from OA Advocates and the research community has been steadily disarming it. The 4th publisher Trojan Horse is CHORUS, and, as noted, OA Advocates and the research community are working hard to keep it out!)
WOJICK: "The author merely specifies the funder from a menu during the journal submission process and the publisher does the rest. Thus there is no burden on the authors and no redundant repository. The article is openly available from the publisher after the Federally specified embargo period. This is extremely efficient compared to the old NIH repository model."Indeed it would be, and would put publishers back in full control of the future of OA.
Fortunately, the CHORUS deal is far from a fait accompli, and the hope (of OA advocates and the concerned research community) is that it never will be.
The only thing the "old NH repository model" (PubMed Central, PMC) needs is an upgrade to immediate institutional deposit, followed by automatic harvesting and import (after the allowable embargo has elapsed) by PMC or any other institution-external subject-based harvester. With that, the OSTP mandate model would be optimal (for the time being).
1. The "This" is US federal funding agency Open Access mandates.
2. The "self" is the author, who is also the fundee, the one who is bound to comply with the conditions of the funder mandate.
3. The "archiving" is making the fundee's paper accessible free for all on the Web
4. The "Trojan Horse" is the attempt by publishers to take this out of the hands of the author/fundee/mandatee and put it into the hands of the publisher, who is not the fundee, not bound by the mandate, and indeed has a conflict of interest with making papers free for all on the Web.
5. On no account should the compliance with the funder mandate be outsourced and entrusted to a 3rd party that is not only not bound by the mandate, but in a conflict of interest with it.
WOJICK: "It is about the design of the Federal program, where I see no reason for redundant Federal archiving."The web is full of "redundant archiving": the same document may be stored and hosted on multiple sites. That's good for back-up and reliability and preservation, and part of the way the Web works. And it costs next to nothing -- and certainly not to publishers. (If publishers wish to save federal research money, let them charge less for journal subscriptions; don't fret about "redundant archiving.")
PubMed Central (PMC) is a very valuable and widely used central search tool. Its usefulness is based on both its scope of coverage (thanks to mandates) and on its metadata quality. It borders on absurdity for publishers to criticize this highly useful and widely used resource as "redundant." It provides access where publishers do not.
Nor does PMC's usefulness reside in the fact that it hosts the full-texts of the papers it indexes. It's the metadata and search capacity that makes PMC so useful. It would be equally useful if the URL for each full-text to which PMC pointed were in each fundee's own institutional repository, and PMC hosted only the metadata and search tools. (Indeed, it would increase PMC's coverage and make it even more economical; many of us are hoping PMC and other central repositories like Arxiv will evolve in that direction.)
WOJICK: "There is nothing in the CHORUS approach to the Federal program design that precludes author self archiving in institutional repositories as a separate activity."
If authors self-archived of their own accord, "as a separate activity," there would have been no need for federal Open Access mandates.
The federal mandates do not require fundees to provide toll-free access only after a year after publication: They require them to provide toll-free access within a year at the latest. Publishers have every incentive to make (and keep) this the latest, by taking self-archiving out of authors' hands and doing it instead of them, as late as possible.
Moreover, funder OA mandates are increasingly being complemented by institutional OA mandates, which cover both funded and unfunded research. This is also why institutions have institutional repositories (archives), in which their researchers can deposit, and from which central repositories can harvest. This is also the way to tide over research needs during OA embargoes, with the help of institutional repositories' immediate Almost-OA Button.
And again, no need here for advice from publishers, with their conflicts of interest, on how institutions can save money on their "redundant archives" by letting publishers provide the OA in place of their researchers (safely out of the reach of institutional repositories' immediate Almost-OA Button).
WOJICK: "The journals are part of the research community and they have always been the principal archive."Journals consist of authors, referees, editors and publishers. Publishers are not part of the research community (not even university or learned-society publishers); they earn their revenues from it.
Until the online era, the "principal archive" has been the university library. In the online era it's the web. The publisher's sector of the web is proprietary and toll-based. The research community's sector is Open Access.
And that's another reason CHORUS is a Trojan Horse.
WOJICK: "With CHORUS they will be again."What on earth does this mean? That articles in the publishers' proprietary sector will be opened up after a year?
That sounds like an excellent way to ensure that they won't ever be opened up any earlier, and that mandates will be powerless to make them open up any earlier.
WOJICK: "After all the entire process is based on the article being published in the journal."Yes, but what is at issue now is not publishing but access: when, where and how?
WOJICK: "It is true that this is all future tense including the Federal program, but the design principles are here and now."And what is at issue here is the need to alert the Federal program that it should on no account be taken in by CHORUS's offer to "let us do the self-archiving for you."
WOJICK: "I repeat, immediate access is not a design alternative. The OSTP guidance is clear about that. So most of your points are simply irrelevant to the present situation."The federal mandates do not require fundees to provide toll-free access only 12 months after publication: They require them to provide toll-free access 12 months at the latest.
Immediate OA (as well as immediate-deposit plus immediate Almost-OA via the Button) is definitely an alternative -- as well as a design alternative.
But not if OSTP heeds the siren call of CHORUS.
Right now, there is a presidential (OSTP) directive to US federal funding agencies to mandate (Green) OA.
It is each funding agency that will accordingly design and implement its own Green OA mandate, as the NIH did several years ago.
WOJICK: "The mandate (requirement) will, as always, be on the fundees: the authors of the articles that are to be made OA, as a condition of funding."The only mandate is on the Federal funding agencies to provide public access to funder-related articles within 12 months of publication.
The presidential (OSTP) directive is to the US federal funding agencies to mandate (Green) OA, meaning that all published articles resulting from the research funded by each agency must be made OA -- within 12 months of publication at the latest.
The articles are by fundees. The ones bound by the mandates are the fundees. Fundees are the ones who must make their research OA, as a condition of funding.
WOJICK: "CHORUS does this in a highly efficient manner, rendering an author mandate unnecessary."CHORUS does nothing. It is simply a proposal by publishers to funding agencies.
And to suggest that the the reason funding agencies should welcome the CHORUS proposal is efficiency is patent nonsense.
To comply with their funder's requirements, fundees must specify which articles result from the funding. The few fundee keystrokes for specifying that are exactly the same few fundee keystrokes for self-archiving the article in the OA repository.
No gain in efficiency for funders or fundees in allowing publishers to host and time the OA: just a ruse to allow publishers to retain control over the time and place of providing OA.
Because of the monumental conflict of interest -- between publishers trying to protect their current revenue streams and the research community trying to make its findings accessible as soon and as widely as possible -- control over the time and place of providing OA should on no account be surrendered by funders and fundees to publishers.
WOJICK: "Search is no problem as there are already many ways to search the journals."And there are also already many ways to search OA articles on the web or in repositories.
So, correct: Search is no problem, and not an issue. In fact, it's a red herring.
What is really at issue is: in whose hands should control over the time and place of providing OA be?
Answer: Findees, their institutions and their funders; not publishers.
WOJICK: "DOE PAGES, described in the first article I listed in my original post, is a model of an agency portal that is being designed to use CHORUS. It will provide agency-based search as well. CHORUS as well will provide bibliographic search capability."To repeat: The same functionality (and potentially much more and better functionality) is available outside the control of publishers too, via the web, institutional repositories, harvesters, indexers and search engines.
The only thing still missing is the OA content. And that's what publishers are trying to hold back as long as possible, and to keep in their own hands.
WOJICK: "We simply do not need a new bunch of expensive redundant repositories like PMC."And the research community simply does not need to cede control over the locus and timetable of providing OA to publishers.
WOJICK: "I am also beginning to wonder about your Trojan horse metaphor. The Trojan horse is a form of deception, but there is no deception here, just a logical response to a Federal requirement, one that keeps a journal's users using the journal. The publishers are highly motivated to make CHORUS work."CHORUS is all deception (and perhaps self-deception too, if publishers actually believe the nonsense about "efficiency" and "expense"), and the "logic" is that of serving publishers' interests, not the interests of research and researchers.
The simple truth is that the research community (researchers and their institutions) are perfectly capable of providing Green OA for themselves, cheaply and efficiently, in their own institutional OA repositories and central harvesters -- and that this is the best way for them to retain control over the time and place of providing OA, thereby ensuring that 100% immediate OA is reached worldwide as soon as possible.
Letting in the publishers' latest Trojan Horse, CHORUS, under the guise of increasing efficiency and reducing expense, would in reality be letting publishers maximize Delayed Access and fend off universal Green OA in favor of over-priced, double-paid (and, if hybrid, double-dipped) Fools Gold OA, thereby locking in publishers' current inflated revenue streams and inefficient modus operandi for a long time to come, and embargoing OA itself, instead of making publishing -- a service industry -- evolve and adapt naturally to what is optimal for research in the online era.
Publishing Lobby's Latest Trojan Horse (CHORUS)
2.1 On Mon, Jul 22, 2013 at 2:49 PM, David Wojick wrote:As far as I know, the publishers' CHORUS deal that you describe (and that I have referred to in my not-so-private language argument as a Trojan Horse) has not yet been accepted by the Federal Government, nor by its funding agencies.
Maybe they will accept it, maybe they won't. I and many others have been describing the many reasons they should not accept it.
You are repeating arguments about the redundancy and complexity and costliness of repositories to which I and many others have already replied.
But I am not trying to persuade you that researchers using their keystrokes to deposit in OA repositories is better for research and for OA than letting publishers do it for them: The ones I and many others are trying to persuade of that are the same ones that you and the rest of the publisher lobby are trying to persuade of the opposite: the Federal government and its research funding agencies.
May the best outcome (for the research community) win.
I want to close by reminding inquiring readers of just one of the many points that David Wojick and the other CHORUS lobbyists keep passing over in silence:
The Government directive is not to make funded research freely accessible 12 months after publication but within 12 months of publication.
The publishers' Trojan Horse would not only take mandate compliance out of the hands of fundees, making compliance depend on publishers rather than fundees, but it would also ensure that the research would not be made freely accessible one minute before the full 12 months had elapsed.
If I were a publisher, interested only in protecting my current income streams, come what may, I'd certainly lobby for that, just as I would lobby for untrammelled cigarette ads and zones, if I were a tobacco company, interested only in protecting my current income streams, come what may; or for the untrammelled manufacture and use of plastic bags, if I were a plastic bag company with similar "community" interests.
CHORUS is a terrific way of locking in publisher embargoes and Delayed Access for years and years to come, thereby leaving payment for Fools Gold as the sole option for providing immediate OA.
(Shades of Finch -- and RWA, and PRISM... The publishing lobby is a "part" of the research "community" indeed, heroically defending "our" joint interests! I'm ready for the usual next piece of rhetoric, about how un-embargoed Green OA would destroy journal publishing, and with it peer review and research quality and reliability... We've heard it all, many times over, for close to 25 years now...)
Here are the first few arguments you have not responded to. (I have no idea what you are attempting to sector off under the guise of responding only to "Federal system design" arguments):
1. that mandates are for public access within up to a year whereas CHORUS would provide it only at the very end
2. that OA mandates are intended to require authors to provide OA whereas CHORUS would take it out of authors' hands entirely (thereby mooting mandate compliance altogether, let alone earlier compliance or wider compliance, for unfunded and un-mandated research).
3. that repository deposit facilitates providing eprints during any OA embargo with the repository's eprint-request Button whereas CHORUS prevents it
4. that CHORUS locks in 1-year embargoes and puts and leaves publishers in control of both the hosting and the timetable for public access
5. that repository costs are small and mostly already invested, and for multiple uses, hence CHORUS would not save money but rather waste repositories
I have more, but that should be fine for a start...
WOJICK: "It is not an ad hominem to point out that the Federal policy is not anti-publisher, as many OA advocates are."I for one am not anti-publisher. But I'm very definitely against publisher anti-OA-mandate lobbying and I'm also against publisher embargoes on Green OA.
Apart from that, I have a long history of defending publishers against overzealous OA advocates or overpricing plainants -- as long as the publisher was on the "side of the angels," by endorsing immediate, unembargoed Green, as Springer and Elsevier did for many years.
The gloves came off when publishers started trying to renege on their prior endorsements of immediate Green.
WOJICK: "It is an important fact about the policy. I have to be repetitive because Harnad is presenting the same non-design arguments over and over."I have no idea what you mean by "non-design" arguments. The points above are against CHORUS as a means of implementing the funding agencies' Green OA mandate, that's all.
WOJICK: "Arguments such as that publishers cannot be trusted..."I have not said that. I said that compliance with funders' mandates on fundees to provide OA to their funded research should on no account be entrusted to publishers because of the obvious conflict of interest: The interest of research and researchers is that research should be OA immediately; the interest of publishers is that access should be delayed for as long as possible (12 months, within the "design" of the OSTP directive).
I fully trust that publishers would faithfully make articles publicly accessible -- on the very last day of the maximal allowable OA embargo
WOJICK: "[Arguments such as that] access should be immediate via institutional repositories…"I don't just repeat that over and over: I give the reasons why: Because Open Access means Open Access, and the reasons that make Open Access important at all make it important immediately upon publication, not 12 months later.
And it's institutional repositories because institutions are the providers of all research, funded and unfunded, in every discipline. Institutions have already created OA repositories. They have many reasons for wanting to archive, manage and publicly showcase their own research output in their own repositories -- over and above the reasons for OA itself (which are: maximizing research uptake, usage, applications, impact and progress).
And institutions themselves are also beginning to mandate Green OA. Hence funder and institutional mandates should be convergent and mutually reinforcing, not divergent and in conflict. All institutional research output should be deposited in the institutional repository immediately upon acceptance for publication. (Its metadata and URLs can then be harvested by whatever central access points, databases, indices and search engines disciplines wish to create.)
And if the author wishes to comply with a publisher embargo, access to the deposit can be set as Closed Access instead of Open Access during the embargo, in which case the repository's eprint-request Button can provide Almost-OA during the embargo (while embargoes last -- which will not be long, one hopes, once mandatory Green OA has become universal).
All of these benefits are lost if publishers are in control of providing public access on their sites, a year after publication.
WOJICK: "[Arguments such as that] delayed access is not open access, etc. My response does not vary."Delayed access means losing a year of Open Access. Your response does not vary because the publisher lobby is interested in minimizing, not maximizing Open Access. If the maximal allowable delay is 12 months, publishers will happily make sure it is not a minute less than 12 months, and on their site, with no Almost-OA Button to tide over the embargo, no integration with institutional mandates, and authors entirely out of the compliance loop for mandates that are intended to generate as much OA as possible, as soon as possible.
My own response varies as much as possible, in an effort -- with each new iteration -- to present from every angle the case for implementing OA mandates in such a way as to provide the maximum benefit to research and researchers, rather than just to protect the proprietary interests of publishers at the expense of research, researchers, and the public that funds them.
At the expense (to research and researchers) of impeding the growth of OA and OA mandates and ensuring that the allowable embargo length is always the maximum 12 months. ("If you want immediate-OA, please pay the Fools-Gold OA fee!|)
WOJICK: "Studies suggest [publishers] are losing 20% to PMC."And while publishers' download sites have lost the traffic, research has gained a great deal of functionality, as well as OA. Those who consider it in terms of the interests of the research community see this outcome as perfectly natural and welcome, given the power and potential of the online era.
WOJICK: "The publishers believe this, whether it is true or not, thus their motivation."Their motivation is in no doubt. But the issue is not what is best for publishers but what is best for research, researchers and the public that funds them.
WOJICK: "The mandate is that the articles be made publicly accessible and the articles are the publisher's so they are not third party contractors, whatever that might mean."My articles are my publisher's, not mine?
I think you might mean that the publishers are the holders of the copyright, or exclusive vending rights.
Well we're talking about a mandate here -- by the party of the second part, the author's funder, requiring the party of the first part, the author, to make the research they've funded publicly accessible within a year of publication at the very latest.
That's a condition of a contract the author must sign before ever doing the research, let alone signing any subsequent contract with any party of the third part regarding vending rights.
WOJICK: "The fundees need play no role."The fundees play no role? No role in what? The funder mandates bind the fundees, not some other party.
WOJICK: "The publishers are making a ground breaking concession by agreeing to the Federal embargo deadlines."Agreeing? It seems to me they don't have much choice! Who are publishers conceding to? And conceding what?
If this is publisher largesse rather than federal government duress I would really like to know to what we owe publishers' newfound magnanimity...
WOJICK: "This is great news for OA. I have no idea what you mean by letting them sit. They will be on view in their on-line journals, which is arguably where they belong."I think Cristóbal Palmer's "let[ting] them sit" may have been an ill-chosen descriptor, but I can still make sense of it:
Ceding the provision of public access to the publisher's site and the publisher's timetable means that research articles must sit for 12 months, accessible only to subscribers, even though the mandate states that they must be made publicly accessible within 12 months at the latest. Fundees could have deposited them in repositories immediately, and made them publicly accessible earlier, or, if they wished to comply with a publishers embargo, made them immediately Almost-OA, via the repository's Button, instead of sitting inaccessibly for 12 months.
And before you reply "fundees can still do that if they want to," let me remind you of the fundamental purpose of Green OA mandates: It's to get authors to provide OA. Un-mandated, they don't. Not because they don't want to. But because without a mandate from their funders or institutions, they dare not: because of fear of their publishers. The mandate releases authors from that fear.
And the CHORUS variant -- in which "the fundee has no role" -- would leave authors stuck in that fear, contractually unprotected by a funder mandate, and that would render the funder policy empty and ineffectual beyond its absolutely minimum requirement, which is public access after 12 months (but not a moment before).
And that would of course suit publishers just fine. In fact, maybe that's the reason for their newfound magnanimity: "Concede" on public access after a 12-month embargo, take control of hosting and providing access, and maybe that pesky global clamor for immediate OA will go away -- or, better, maybe it will just redirect authors toward the Fools-Gold counter where they can pay hybrid publishers for immediate OA.
WOJICK: "The repository approach made sense when the publishers refused to provide access. That day has passed."Don't bank on it. The clamor for access is growing and growing. And that's immediate Open Access, not publisher-Delayed Access after 12 months.
Thursday, July 25. 2013
"The UK funding councils have narrowed the scope of their proposed open access mandate for the post-2014 research excellence framework."1. Model. The HEFCE proposal to mandate immediate (not retrospective) deposit of journal articles in the author's institutional repository in order to make them eligible for evaluation in the next Research Excellence Framework (REF) is wise and timely, and, if adopted, will serve as a model for the rest of the world. It will also complement the Green (self-archiving) component of the RCUK Open Access (OA) mandate, providing it with an all-important mechanism for monitoring and ensuring compliance.
2. Monographs. Exempting monographs for now was a good decision. The HEFCE mandate, like the RCUK mandate, applies only to peer-reviewed journal articles. These are all author giveaways, written solely for research impact, not royalty income. This is not true of all monographs. (But a simple compromise is possible: recommend -- but don't require -- monograph deposit too, but with access set as Closed Access rather than Open Access, with no limit on the length of the OA embargo. Author choice.)
3. Data. Ditto for open data: It's good judgment not to force it on researchers. Researchers must be allowed a fair period of first-expoitation rights on the data they have gathered. If it's immediately open to all, why bother to gather data at all? Just analyze the data of others immediately after they take the time and trouble to gather it. (But here too, a simple compromise would be to recommend -- but not require -- Closed Access deposit. Eventually, fair embargo length limits can be decided, on a discipline by discipline and project by project basis.)
4. Exceptions. The required compliance rate has not been reduced from 100% to 60-75% (and should not be). HEFCE is merely asking in the consultation, whether the research community prefers a reduced target percentage or case-by-case consideration of exceptions. The latter is a far better way of making the policy realistic and successful. Most of the notional reasons for non-compliance (e.g., publisher embargoes) are based on misunderstandings anyway. (Articles can be deposited immediately, even if there is a publisher OA embargo: access to the immediate-deposit can be set as Closed Access instead of OA during the embargo.) Percentage-targets would simply ensure that compliance rates were no higher than the allowable percentages.
5. Embargoes. The HEFCE mandate moots OA embargoes because it requires immediate deposit, whether or not access is immediately OA. This is the core reason the HEFCE mandate is so very important and provides an optimal mandate model for the rest of the world: Publisher OA embargoes no longer determine whether and when an article is deposited. And the institutional repositories have an eprint request Button with which individual users worldwide can request a single copy of a Closed Access article for research purposes with one click; and the author can choose to comply or not comply with one click. This tides over research needs during any allowable OA embargo with "Almost-OA."
6. Licenses. Once the allowable embargo (if any) elapses, any OA deposit can be accessed, read, searched, linked, downloaded, stored, printed off or locally data-mined by any user webwide. It will also be harvested and indexed for Boolean full text search by engines like Google. No further license is needed for any of this. Further re-use rights will come once effective Green OA mandates on the combined HEFCE/RCUK model are adopted globally by funders and institutions worldwide. Universal Green OA will also hasten the inevitable natural demise of all remaining OA embargoes.
7. Start-Date. The HEFCE consultation also inquires about when the mandate should start, and contemplates a grace period of two years, from 2014-2016. But there is really no reason why an immediate-deposit mandate for REF 2020 should not start immediately after REF 2014 for authors at UK institutions, for any article accepted after that date: Everyone begins preparing for the new REF the day after the old REF anyway.
8. Date-Stamp: Only one of the consultation questions is critical for the success of the HEFCE mandate model, and that is whether the requirement that the deposit be "immediate" refers to the date of publication or the date of acceptance for publication. It is crucially important that the date should be acceptance, not publication. Acceptance date is marked by a determinate date-stamped acceptance letter and is a natural point for deposit in the author's workflow. Authors usually don't even know when their accepted article will appear, or has appeared; the lag may be months or even years from acceptance. Nor is the date on the journal issue a marker, because issues often appear long after their calendar dates. Publication lags can be even longer than OA embargoes! Meanwhile, precious access and impact are being lost. The HEFCE immediate-deposit mandate will only succeed if it is pegged to the determinate acceptance date rather than the indeterminate publication date.
[Please post your own response to the HEFCE REF OA Policy Consultation HERE]
Executive Summary:I. The HEFCE proposal to mandate immediate repository deposit of articles as a precondition for eligibility for REF is excellent. If adopted and effectively implemented, it will serve as a model for OA mandates worldwide. It will also reinforce and complement the RCUK OA mandate, providing it with a uniform compliance monitoring and verification mechanism.
Question 1: Do you agree that the criteria for open access are appropriate (subject to clarification on whether accessibility should follow immediately on acceptance or on publication)?
Question 2a: Do you agree with the role outlined for institutional repositories, subject to further work on technical feasibility?
Question 2b: Should the criteria require outputs to be made accessible through institutional repositories at the point of acceptance or the point of publication?
Deposit should definitely be required at point of acceptance rather than at point of publication, for the following reasons:
Question 3a: Do you agree that the proposed embargo periods should apply by REF main panel?
Question 3b: Do you agree with the proposed requirements for appropriate licences?
Question 4: Do you agree that the criteria for open access should apply only to journal articles and conference proceedings for the post-2014 REF?
Question 5: Do you agree that a notice period of two years from the date of the policy announcement is appropriate to allow for the publication cycle of journal articles and conference proceedings?
Question 6: Do you agree that criteria for open access should apply only to those outputs listing a UK HEI in the output’s ‘address’ field for the post-2014 REF?
Question 7: Which approach to allowing exceptions is preferable?
I support Option a: Full compliance; exceptions considered on case by case basis, first by the HEI, and if not resolved, by the REF panel.
Tuesday, July 23. 2013
Richard Poynder has elicited a splendid summary of OA by the person who has done more to bring about OA than anyone else on the planet: Peter Suber
Here are a few supplements that I know Peter will agree with:
1. Potential CHORUS Catastrophe for OA: Peter's summary of OA setbacks mentions only Finch. Finch was indeed a fiasco, with the publishing lobby convincing the UK to mandate, pay for, and prefer Gold OA (including hybrid Gold OA), and to downgrade and ignore Green OA.
Peter notes the damage that the publisher lobby has successully inflicted on worldwide (but especially UK) OA progress with the Finch/RCUK policy, but I'm sure he will agree that if the Trojan Horse of CHORUS were to be accepted by the US federal government and its funding agencies, the damage would be even greater and longer lasting:
CHORUS is an attempt by the publishing lobby to take compliance with Green OA mandates out of the hands of the fundees whom OA mandates are designed to require to provide OA, and instead transfer control over the execution, the locus and the timetable for mandate compliance into the hands of publishers.
Adopting CHORUS would mean that President Obama's OSTP directive -- requiring that federally funded research must be made freely accessible online within 12 months of publication -- would instead ensure that it was made freely accessible after 12 months, and not one minute earlier;.
And CHORUS would ensure also that the authors whom all Green OA mandates worldwide are designed to require to provide OA -- because they want OA yet dare not provide it without a mandate from their institutions or funders, for fear of their publishers -- would no longer be affected by any mandate:
With CHORUS, publishers would have succeeded in locking in 12-month-embargoed Delayed Access instead of immediate Green OA for years to come, in the US and, inevitably, also worldwide.
So, as I am sure Peter will agree, CHORUS must be rejected at all costs, just as the previous Trojan Horses of the publishing lobby -- PRISM and the Research Works Act -- were rejected. It's bad enough that Finch slipped through.
2. Hybrid Gold OA has a few additional negative features, apart from the ones Peter already mentions:
Even if the publiser gives subscribing institutions a rebate to offset double-dipping, Hybrid Gold locks in current total publisher revenue -- from institutional subscription fees plus author hybrid Gold OA fees -- come what may. Hybrid Gold immunizes publishers from any pressure to cut costs by phasing out obsolete products and services in the online era.
Only globally mandated Green OA self-archiving in repositories by authors can force publishers to downsize to the post-Green essentials alone.
And if a hybrid Gold journal also imposes an embargo on Green, that is tantamount to legally sanctioned extortion, even without double-dipping: "If you want to provide immediate OA, you must pay me even more than I am already being paid by your institution for subscriptions -- and your institution only gets back a tiny fraction of the rebate from your surcharge."
(This is also the option to which CHORUS, in tandem with Finch, would hold immediate OA hostage for many years more. Since immediate OA is optimal for research, hence inevitable, publishers, if funders take in their Trojan Horse, will have succeeded in delaying OA for as long as they possibly could, in defence of their current revenue streams. This is also the publishers' self-serving scenario in which COPE institutions would unwittingly collude, if they funded Gold OA without first mandating immediate-deposit Green OA.)
3. Pre-Green Fools Gold vs. Post-Green Fair Gold: The only thing that can bring the cost of peer-reviewed journal publishing down to a fair, affordable, sustainable price is globally mandated Green OA. Only Green OA will allow institutions to cancel their journal subscriptions, thereby forcing journals to adapt naturally to the online era by cutting obsolete costs, downsizing and converting to Fair Gold. Once Green OA mandates fill them, it is the global network of Green OA repositories that will allow publishers to phase out all the products and services associated with access-provision and archiving. CHORUS and Finch are designed to allow publishers to keep co-bundling (and charging) for their obsolete products and services as long as possible.
Monday, July 22. 2013
Bravo to Danny Kingsley for her invaluable antipodean OA advocacy!
I think Danny is spot-on in all the points she makes, so these are just a few supplementary remarks:
1. The publishing industry is using Green OA embargoes and lobbying to try to hold OA hostage to its current inflated revenue streams as long as possible-- by forcing the research community to pay for over-priced, double-paid (and double-dipped, if hybrid) Fools Gold if it wants to have OA at all.
It's time for the research community to stop stating that it will stop mandating and providing Green OA if there's ever any evidence that it will cause subscription cancelations. Of course Green OA will cause cancelations, eventually; and so it should.
Green OA will not only provide 100% OA but it will also force publishers to phase out obsolete products and services and their costs, by offloading all access-provision and archiving onto the worldwide nework of Green OA repositories.
Once subscriptions are made unsustainable by mandatory Green OA, journals will downsize and convert to post-Green Fair-Gold, in place of today's over-priced, double-paid (and double-dipped, if hybrid) Fools-Gold.
Green OA embargoes have one purpose, and one purpose only: to delay this optimal, inevitable, natural and obvious outcome for as long as possible.
Research is not funded, conducted, peer-reviewed and made public in order to provide or guarantee revenues for the publishing industry, but to be used, applied and built upon, to the benefit of the public that funds it.
Globally mandated Green OA will not only provide OA, but it will also force publishers to cut obsolete costs and downsize to just managing peer review. All access-provision and archiving will be done by the worldwide network of Green OA Institutional Repositories.
It's in order to delay that outcome that publishers are using every means at their disposal -- embargoing Green OA and lobbying against Green OA mandates with PRISM, the Research Works Act, the Finch Report and CHORUS -- to fend off Green OA as long as possible and force the research community instead toward over-priced, double-paid (and, if hybrid, double-dipped) Fools Gold if they want to have any form of OA at all.
2. There is a powerful tactical triad -- tried, tested and proven effective -- to moot publisher delay tactics (embargoes and lobbying) -- and that triad is for both funders and insitutions to
(i) mandate immediate deposit in institutional repositories, whether or not the deposit is made immediately OA,3. The research community should resolutely resist publishers' attempt to imply that "Green OA" means "Delayed (embargoed) OA." It does not. OA means immediate, unembargoed access. It is publishers who are trying to impose embargoes, in order to delay OA and preserve their current inflated revenue streams for as long as possible, forcing authors to pay for grotesquely overpriced Fools Gold if they want immediate OA.
The immediate-deposit mandate (with the Button) immunizes against those tactics. "Delaying OA" is publishers' objective, against the interests of research, researchers, their universities, their funders, the vast R&D industry, students, teachers, the developing world, journalists, and especially the general public who is funding the research. Immediate-deposits mandates are the way for the research community to ensure that the interests of research. Otherwise (I have said many times), it is the publishing tail continuing to wag the research dog.
4. OA Metrics will follow, not precede OA. The reason we do not have 100% OA yet is not because of bias against Gold OA journals. It is because of researcher passivity, publisher activism (embargoes and lobbying) and lack of clear information and understanding about OA and how to make it happen.
It is normal and natural that journals' quality and importance should be based on their prior track-record for quality and importance (rather than their cost-recovery model). New journals (whether OA or non-OA) first need to establish a track record for quality and importance. Besides the journal's track record and citation impact, however, we also have citation counts for individual authors and articles, and we are slowly also developing download counts and other metrics of research usage and impact. There will be many more OA metrics too -- but for that to happen, the articles themselves need to be made OA! And that is why mandating Green OA is the priority.
Sunday, July 21. 2013
The cynical, self-serving spin of Springer's replies to Richard Poynder is breathtaking: Is it a sign of Springer's new ownership?
Despite the double-talk, applying a 12-month embargo where the policy has been to endorse unembargoed immediate-Green for 10 years could hardly be described (or justified) as "simplifying" things for the author, or anyone. It would be a pure and simple bid to maintain and maximize revenue streams from both subscriptions and Gold OA. (Note that I say "would" because in fact Springer is still Green and hence still on the Side of the Angels: read on.)
Green OA means free, immediate, permanent online access; hence a 12-month embargo hardly makes Green OA sustainable, as Springer suggests! It's not OA at all.
As stated previously, the distinction between an author's institutional repository and an author's "personal website" (which is of course likewise institutional) is a distinction between different sectors of an institutional disk. The rest is a matter of tagging.
The purpose of research, and of tax-payer funding of research, and of the online medium itself, is certainly not to make the subscription model sustainable for publishers.
The only service from publishers that needs to be sustained is the management of peer review. Researchers already do all the rest for free (write the papers and peer-review the papers); if they can now also archive their peer-reviewed papers and provide online access to them for all users, what justification is there for saying that the subscription model needs to be sustained?
Paying for Gold OA today, at its current arbitrarily inflated price for a bundle of no longer necessary products and services (print, PDF, archiving, access-provision), is paying for Fools-Gold.
And paying for it while subscriptions continue to be sustainable -- hence while paying for them continues to be essential for institutions -- is double-payment: Subscription fees plus Fools-Gold OA fees.
If, in addition. the payment is to the very same hybrid-Gold publisher, then it's not just double-paid Fools-Gold: it also allows double-dipping by the publisher.
Nor is double-dipping corrected if (mirabile dictu) a publisher really does faithfully lower annual subscription fees by every penny of its total annual hybrid Gold revenues, because if an institution (as one subscriber out of, say, 2000 subscribing institutions) pays $XXX in Fools-Gold OA fees, over and above its subscription fees, then its own share of the subscription rebate is just 1/2000th of the $XXX that it has double-paid the hybrid Gold publisher. The rest of the rebate goes to the other 1999 beneficieries of that institution's hybrid-Gold Fools-Gold double-payment.
And this disparity for the hybrid double-payer would perist until (as Springer hopes), all institutions are paying today's Fools-Gold instead of subscriptions. That would be a perfect way for publishers to sustain today's revenue streams, come what may -- and that's exactly what Springer hopes to do, by holding Green OA hostage to embargoes, and thereby holding institutions hostage to subscriptions untill they are all coughing up the same amount for Fools Gold instead, its price determined by whatever sustains today's subscription revenues rather than what institutions and researchers actually need -- and what it actually costs.
This is why Green OA is anathema to publishers, even as they purport to be "all for OA." For Green OA is the only thing that would force publishers to downsize to the true essentials of peer-reviewed research publishing in the online era, instead of continuing to exact vastly inflated prices for mostly obsolete products and services, just in order to sustain their current revenue streams and their current M.O..
(Of course Springer changed its policy in part because of Finch/RCUK: Green OA and Green OA mandates were already anathema, but Green publishers back-pedalling on that alone would have looked very bad: all stick and no carrot. Finch/RCUK provided the perfect carrot: UK government funds to pay for Fools-Gold, including hybrid Fools-Gold -- with the UK government not only funding the Fools-Gold option, but explicitly preferring it over cost-free Green. An offer no publisher could refuse, and a perfect cover for taking it, under the pretext of complying with government mandates, simplifying things for authors, and facilitating OA -- in the form of lucrative Fools-Gold OA.)
But it's not that easy to keep holding the entire worldwide research community hostage to an obsolete technology and outrageous, unnecessary prices, simply by embargoing Green OA.
First, as noted, the distinction between an author's institutional repository and the author's institutional website won't wash: The difference is just in what we name them. Springer authors can go ahead and provide immediate, unembargoed Green OA based on Springer's current policy.
But even if Springer were then to go on to bite the bullet, embargo all OA self-archiving, and admit that it has stopped being a Green publisher (iin order to protect its current revenue streams come what may), authors could still deposit immediately; and if they wished to comply with Springer's embargo, they could set access to the immediate-deposit as Closed Access. The institutional repository's facilitated reprint request Button can then allow any would-be user to request -- and the author to provide -- an eprint with just one click each, almost-immediately.
This "Almost-OA" will not only serve research needs almost as well as OA itself during the embargo, but it will also have the same effect, almost as quickly, as immediate Green OA, in forcing publishers to cut costs, downsize, and convert to Fair-Gold, at an afforable, sustainable price, precisely because it make the subscription model unsustainable.
This is why it is so important that all institutional and funder mandates should be immediate-deposit mandates (regardless of whether the deposit is immediately-OA or embargoed).
Springer: "there is widespread, if not universal, acceptance that systematic and widespread author manuscript deposit (“green” open access) of subscription-based journal articles in repositories requires an embargo period in order to ensure the sustainability of the journals"The sustainability at issue for Springer is not the sustainability of journals but the sustainability of the subscription model (or an equal-sized revenue stream for publishers).
And the only ones convinced that the subscription model or an equal-sized revenue stream needs to be sustained at all costs are publishers.
Springer: "Springer, which has been committed to open access in deeds, not just words, for almost 10 years, is focused on offering two models which we believe to be stable and sustainable: embargoed green open access, and immediate gold open access."That's two models that are designed to sustain Springer's current revenue streams: charging for Fools Gold and embargoing cost-free Green, so that Green cannot provide immediate OA and force down the price of pre-Green Fools Gold to post-Green Fair Gold.
Springer: "We modified the [former Springer unembargoed Green] policy to make it simple and consistent for our authors, for funders and for our employees, as all forms of open access continue to grow."Translation: We embargoed Green in order to hold OA hostage to our current revenue streams.
Springer: "In order to ensure that green open access deposit remains sustainable on a large scale, we are standardizing the embargo period for all repository archiving to 12 months."Translation: We embargoed Green in order to hold OA hostage to our current revenue streams.
Springer: "this means that Springer authors can deposit into a funder repository after a 12-month embargo period even if the funder does not require the author to do so."Whereas formerly Springer authors could deposit immediately upon publication.
Springer: "www.eprints.org describes institutional repositories, e.g. hosted by Eprint, as "a collection of digital documents [… which] share the same metadata, making their contents interoperable with one another." Author websites on the other hand serve various purposes and are not specifically created for document collection."All websites have metadata. Interoperability allows the metadata to be harvested by service-providers. Interoperability is a matter of degree. All websites are harvestable (e.g., by google). What is Springer's point? That there is a threshold on degree of interoperability that distinguishes an "institutional website" from an "institutional repository"? There is no such threshold point. And if there were, it would be arbitrary and irrelevant to the justification of a Green OA embargo, which would, as always, rest purely on the publisher's attempt to hold OA hostage to its current revenue streams.
Springer: "We have eliminated from our policy the distinction between institutional repositories and others, such as subject and funder repositories, and created one simple rule that applies across the board -- authors may deposit in any repository they like, and regardless of whether they are required by a mandate or not, as long as the embargo period is observed."Translation: Formerly we endorsed immediate, unembargoed Green OA self-archiving, now we are embargoing it in order to hold OA hostage to our current revenue streams.
Springer: "This supports green OA by making it sustainable, and therefore making it possible for Springer as a publisher to actively encourage and facilitate it. It also helps to clarify the respective benefits of the Green and Gold models, each of which is likely to have a place going forward."Translation: We embargoed Green in order to hold OA hostage to our current revenue streams.
Harnad, S. (2007) The Green Road to Open Access: A Leveraged Transition. In: Anna Gacs (Ed). The Culture of Periodicals from the Perspective of the Electronic Age. L'Harmattan. 99-106.
Harnad, S. (2008) Waking OA’s “Slumbering Giant”: The University's Mandate To Mandate Open Access. New Review of Information Networking 14(1): 51 - 68
Harnad, S. (2009) The PostGutenberg Open Access Journal. In: Cope, B. & Phillips, A (Eds.) The Future of the Academic Journal. Chandos.
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).
Harnad, S. (2011) Gold Open Access Publishing Must Not Be Allowed to Retard the Progress of Green Open Access Self-Archiving. Logos: The Journal of the World Book Community. 21(3-4): 86-93
Harnad, S. (2011) Open Access to Research: Changing Researcher Behavior Through University and Funder Mandates. JEDEM Journal of Democracy and Open Government 3 (1): 33-41.
Harnad, S (2012) The Optimal and Inevitable outcome for Research in the Online Age. CILIP Update September 2012
Houghton, J. & Swan, A. (2013) Planting the Green Seeds for a Golden Harvest: Comments and Clarifications on "Going for Gold". D-Lib Magazine 19 (1/2)
Saturday, July 20. 2013
Summary: The findings of Eric Archambault’s (2013) pilot study “The Tipping Point - Open Access Comes of Age” on the percentage of OA that is currently available are very timely, welcome and promising. The study finds that the percentage of articles published in 2008 that are OA in 2013 is between 42-48%. It does not estimate, however, when in that 5-year interval the articles were made OA. Hence the study cannot indicate what percentage of articles being published in 2013 is being made OA in 2013. Nor can it indicate what percentage of articles published before 2013 is OA in 2013. The only way to find that out is through a separate analysis of immediate Gold OA, delayed Gold OA, immediate Green OA, and delayed Green OA, by discipline.
“This paper re-assesses OA availability in 2008”For papers that were published in 2008 -- but when were those articles made available OA?
8% of all articles published in 2008 (or 1/5 of the 42% that were OA) were made OA via Gold, which means they were made available OA in 2008.
But 34% (or 4/5 of the 42% that were OA) were either Green or hybrid Gold or delayed Gold [it is not at all clear why these were all conflated in the analysis]:
Of this 4/5 of what was made OA, it is likely that the largest portion was Green. But when each article was made Green OA is unknown. Some was made Green OA immediately in 2008; but some was delayed Green – potentially up to any point in the interval between 2008 and the date the sampling was done.
For the proportion of the 4/5 OA that was delayed Gold OA (i.e., made OA by the subscription publisher after 6-12 months or longer) that delay has to be calculated. (Bjork and Laakso found that the second largest portion of OA was delayed Gold. The names of the delayed Gold journals are known, and so are their delay periods.)
The portion of the 4/5 OA that was hybrid Gold was made Gold OA immediately in 2008 by the publisher, but hybrid Gold represents the smallest portion of the 4/5 OA. The names of the hybrid Gold journals are known. Whether the articles were hybrid Gold or Green needs to be ascertained and separate calculation need to be made.
Until all this is known, it is not known what proportion of 2008 articles was OA in 2008. The rest of the findings are not about OA at all, but about embargoed access through some indeterminate delay between 2008 and 2013 (5 years!).
“the tipping point for OA has been reached and… one can expect that, from the late 2000s onwards, the majority of published academic peer-reviewed journal articles were available for free to end-users. ”But when? What publication date was accessible as of what OA date for that publication? Otherwise this is not about OA (which means immediate online access) but about OA embargoes and delays. This is not what is meant by a “tipping point.”
“The paper presents the results for the pilot phase of a study that aims to estimate the proportion of peer-reviewed journal articles which are freely available, that is, OA for the last ten years (the pilot study is on OA availability in 2008). ”This study seems to be on OA availability of 2008 articles, not OA availability in 2008. And availability somewhere within 10 years is not OA.
“An effective definition of OA for this study is the following: ‘OA, whether Green or Gold, is about giving people free access to peer-reviewed research journal articles. ”(Free online access. But to be OA, the access must be immediate, not delayed, and permanent, not temporary.)
“OA is rarely free”This is not quite the point: It is publication that is not free. Its costs must be paid for -- either via subscriptions, subsidies or publication charges.
Subscription fees cover publication costs by charging subscribers, for access. Author publication fees cover publication costs by charging authors, for publication.
OA is simply toll-free online access, irrespective of whether publication is paid for via subscriptions, subsidies, or publication fees.
“Thus, the term toll-access, to distinguish the non-OA literature, is avoided here. ”Toll access is the correct term when access must be paid for. This should not be conflated with how publication costs are paid for.
“The core use of Ulrich in this project was to calibrate the proportion of papers from each of 22 disciplines used to present disaggregated statistics. ”But were the disciplines weighted also by their proportion of total annual article output?
(Treating disciplines as equal had been one of our mistakes, resulting in some discrepancies with Bjork & Laakso. When disciplines are properly weighted, our figures agree more with Bjork & Laakso’s. -- The remaining discrepancy is more challenging, and it is about the uncertainty of when articles were made OA, in the case of Green: the publication date is not enough; nor the sampling date, unless it is in the same year! We are now conducting a study on publication date vs OA date, to estimate the proportion of immediate-Green vs the average latency of delayed Green compared to immediate Gold and delayed Gold.)
“When selecting journals to be included for an article-level database such as Scopus, deciding whether to include a journal has a direct impact on production costs and partly because of this, database publishers tend to have a bias towards larger journals”True, but WoS and SCOPUS also have quality criteria, whereas Ulrichs does not. Ulrich can and does cover all.
“Despite a 50% increase in journal coverage, Scopus only has about 20% more articles. A sensitivity analysis was performed”There is still the question of quality: Including more probably journals may mean lowering average quality.
And there is also the question of discipline size: Estimating overall and average %OA cannot treat 22 disciplines as equal if some publish much more articles than others.
“For gold articles, an estimate of the proportion of papers was made from the random sample by matching the journals that were known to be gold in 2008. ”This solves the problem of the potential discrepancy between publication date and OA date for Gold OA -- but not for Green OA, of which there is about 3 times as much as Gold. Nor for delayed Gold OA.
“ [Articles] were selected by tossing the 100,000 a few more times using the rand() command in Excel, then proceeding to the selection of the required number of records. ”This presumably provided the articles in the 22 disciplines, but were they equal or proportionate?
“A test was then conducted with 20,000 records being provided to the Steven Harnad team in Montreal. ”But what was the test? To search for those 20,000 records on the web with our robot? And what was the date of this OA test (for articles published in 2008)?
“the team led by Harnad measured only 22% of OA in 2008 overall ‘out of the 12,500 journals indexed by Thomson Reuters using a robot that trawled the Web for OA full-texts’ (Gargouri et al., 2012) ”Our own study was %OA for articles published in 2008 and indexed by WoS, as sampled in 2011: The Archambault pilot study was conducted two years later, and on articles indexed by SCOPUS. There may have been more 2008 articles made OA two years later; and more indexed by SCOPUS than WoS.
It is also crucial to estimate both the %OA and the latency of the OA, in order to estimate the true annual %OA and also its annual growth rate (for both Green and delayed Gold). And it has to be balanced by discipline size, if it is to be a global average of total articles, rather than unweighted disciplines.
“a technique to measure the proportion of OA literature based on the Web of Science produces fairly low recall and seriously underestimates OA availability. ”Agreed, if the objective is a measure of %OA based indiscriminately on total quantity of articles.
But the WoS/SCOPUS/Ulirichs differences could also be differences in quality -- and definitely differences in the degree to which researchers need access to the journals in question. WoS includes all the "must have" (“core”) journals, and then some; SCOPUS still more; and Ulrichs still more. So these four layers and their %OA should be analyzed and interpreted separately too.
“This extensive analysis therefore suggests that 48% of the literature published in 2008 may be available for free. ”Yes, but when were those 2008 articles made available free?
“one can infer that OA availability very likely passed the tipping point in 2008 (or earlier) and that the majority of peer-reviewed/scholarly papers published in journals in that year are now available for free in one form or another to end-users. ”It's not clear what a "tipping point" is (50%?). And a tipping point for what: OA? Or eventual delayed OA after an N-year embargo?
What the pilot study’s result shows is not that OA reached the 50% point for 2008 in 2008! It reached the 50% point for 2008 somewhere between 2008 and when the sampling was done!
What we need to know now is how fast %OA per year for that year (or the immediately preceding one) reaches 50%.
“These results suggest that using Scopus and an improved harvester ‘to trawl the Web for OA full-texts’ could yield substantially more accurate results than the methods used by Björk et al. and Harnad et al. ”But why bundle hybrid and delayed Gold with Green, immediate and delayed? They are not at all the same thing!
Hybrid Gold is immediate Gold.
“Embargo” is ambiguous – it can be "delayed Gold," provided by the publisher after an embargo, or it can be embargoed Green, provided by the author after an embargo.
These mean different things for OA and need to be calculated separately.
For hybrid Gold and delayed Gold, the OA dates can be known exactly. For Green they cannot. This is a crucial difference, yet Green is the biggest category.
“Pay-per-article OA, journals with embargo periods and journals allowing partial indexing following granting agencies’ OA policies are considered hybrid, and these data are bundled here with green OA (self-archiving). ”"Journals with embargo periods" is ambiguous, because there are subscription journals that make their own articles free online after an embargo period (“delayed Gold”), and there are subscription journals that embargo how long before their authors can make their own papers Green OA.
And some authors do and some authors don't make their articles Green OA.
And some authors do and don't comply with the Green embargoes.
And some authors are mandated to make their articles Green OA by their funders or institutions.
And allowable embargo lengths vary from mandate to mandate.
And mandates are growing with time.
What is needed is separate analysis (by discipline, weighted) for Gold, hybrid Gold, Delayed Gold and Green. And Green in particular needs to be separately analyzed for immediate-Green and delayed Green.
Only such an analysis will give an estimate of the true extent and growth rate for immediate Gold, immediate Green, and delayed Gold and delayed Green (per 6-month increment, say), by discipline.
“It seems that the tipping point has been passed (OA availability over 50%) in Biology, Biomedical Research, Mathematics & Statistics, and General Science & Technology”Much as I wish it were some I am afraid this is not yet true (or cannot be known on the basis of the results of this pilot study).
50% has only been reached for 2008 articles some time between 2008 and the time the study’s sample was collected. And the fields are of different size. And the dates are much surer for Gold, hybrid Gold than for delayed Gold and Green, both immediate and delayed.
“many previous studies might have included disembargoed papers and pay-per-article OA, which is not the case here”But both hybrid Gold and Delayed Gold should be analyzed separately from Green because their respective OA dates is knowable. And as such, the results should be added to pure Gold, to estimate overall Gold OA, immediate and delayed.
Green OA, though bigger, has to have estimates of Green OA latency, by the field: i.e., the average delay between publication date and OA date, in order to estimate the percentage of immediate Green and various degrees of delayed Green.
“These data present the relative citation rate of OA publications overall, Gold OA and hybrid OA forms relative to publications in each discipline. ”First, it has to be repeated that it is a mistake to lump together Green with Hybrid and Delayed Gold, for the reasons mentioned earlier (regarding date of publication and date of OA), but also because the Gold OA vs non-OA citation comparison (for pure Gold as well as Delayed Gold) is a between journal comparison – making it hard to equate for content and quality -- whereas the Green OA vs non-OA citation comparison is a within journal comparison (hence much more equivalent in content and quality).
(Hybrid Gold, in contrast, does allow within-journal comparisons, but the sample is very small and might also be biased in other ways.)
“many Gold journals are younger and smaller”Yes, but even more important, many Gold OA journals are not of the same quality as non-OA journals. Journals are hard to equate for quality. That is why within-journal comparisons are more informative than between-journal comparisons for the citation advantage.
“Gold journals might provide an avenue for less mainstream, more revolutionary science. ”Or for junk science (as you note): This speculative sword can cut both ways; but today it's just speculation.
“the ARC [citation impact] is not scale-invariant, and larger journals have an advantage as this measure is not corrected sufficiently for journal size”This is another reason the OA citation advantage is better estimated via within-journal comparisons rather than between-journal comparisons.
“the examination of OA availability per country”Again, country-differences would be much more informative if clearly separated by Gold, Hybrid Gold, Delayed Gold and Green, as well as by levels of journal quality, from WoS core, to rest of WoS, to SCOPUS, to Ulrichs.
“Finding that the tipping point has been reached in open access is certainly an important discovery”If only it were sure!
By the way, "tipping point" is a pop expression, and it does not particularly mean 50%. It means something like: the point at which growth in a temporal process has become unstoppable in its trajectory toward 100%. This can occur well before 50% or even after. It requires other estimates rather than just one-off total percentages. It needs year to year growth curves. What we have here is the 50% point for 2008 papers (in some fields), reached some time between 2008 and today!
“This means that aggressive publishers such as Springer are likely to gain a lot in the redesigned landscape”It is not at all clear how this pilot study finding of the 50% point for free access to 2008 articles (via Gold, and even more via Green OA) has now become a message about "aggressive" publishers (presumably regarding some form of Gold OA)? The finding is not primarily about Gold OA publishing!
“green OA only appears to move slowly, whereas Gold OA and hybrid toll before the process as opposed to toll after are in the fast lane”It is even less clear how these results – concerning year 2008 articles, made OA some time between 2008 and now, about one third of them Gold OA and about 2/3 of them Green, with no year by year growth curves -- show that Green grows slowly and Gold is in the fast lane?
(There has probably indeed been a growth spurt in Gold in the past few years, most of it because of one huge Gold mega-journal, PLOS ONE: But how do the results of the present study support any conclusion on relative growth rates of Gold and Green? And especially given that Green growth depends on mandate growth, and Green mandates are indeed growing, with 20 new US major funding agencies mandating Green just this year [2-13]!)
“The market power will shift tremendously from the tens of thousands of buyers that publishers’ sales staff nurtured to the millions of researchers that will now make the atomistic decision of how best to spend their publication budget”Where do all these market conjectures come from, in a study that has simply shown that 50% of 2008 articles are freely accessible online 5 years later, partly via Gold, but even more via Green?
Tuesday, July 16. 2013
"Remaining a fair player, The Royal Society ensures that published open access articles bearing a publication fee are deducted from subscription prices through its Transparent Pricing Mechanism"The Royal Society thereby pledges that it will not "double-dip" for hybrid Gold OA. The RS continues to collect subscription fees from institutions worldwide, but whatever additional revenue if gets from individual authors for hybrid Gold OA, it pledges to return as a subscription rebate to all subscribing institutions.
But does this mean the RS is a "fair player" insofar as OA is concerned?
Yet this is not because the hybrid Gold OA rebate amounts to individual authors' full payments for Gold OA subsidizing the subscription costs of institutions worldwide. (The author's own institution only gets back a tiny fraction of its authors' Gold OA fee in its tiny portion of the worldwide subscription rebate.)
No. Whether the RS is indeed a fair player depends on whether RS authors have the choice between providing Gold OA by paying the RS that additional cost -- over and above what the world's institutions are already paying the RS in subscriptions -- or providing Green OA at no additional cost, by self-archiving their own article free for all online.
For if the RS does not give its authors this choice, then it is certainly not a "fair player": It is holding RS authors who want to provide OA hostage to the payment of an additional hybrid Gold OA fee.
From 2005-2010, the RS had a chequered history with OA.
In 2010, however, the RS came down squarely on "the side of the angels", endorsing immediate, unembargoed Green OA self-archiving of the author's final refereed draft.
But now -- perhaps -- the RS seems to have adopted a 12-month embargo on Green OA (under the fell influence -- perhaps -- of the new Finch/RCUK OA policy?):
"You are free to post…the “Author Generated Postprint” - Your personal copy of the revised version of the Article as accepted by Us… on Your personal or institutional web site and load it onto an institutional or not for profit repository no earlier than 12 months from the date of first publication of the Definitive Published Version."Or is this just another (silly) attempt to distinguish between authors posting on their "institutional website" (unembargoed) versus posting in their "institutional repository" (embargoed) -- in which case RS authors can happily ignore this empty pseudo-distinction, knowing that their institutional repository is indeed their institutional website.
But the RS would do itself a historic favour if it dropped all this double-talk, unworthy of such a venerable institution, and lived up to its decree that:
"In keeping with its role as the UK's national academy of science, The Royal Society is committed to the widest possible dissemination of research outputs."by not trying to hold Green OA self-archiving hostage to sustain the RS's subscription revenues at all costs.
There will be time for the RS to go Gold at a fair, affordable, sustainable price, single-paid instead of over-charged and double-paid, as now (with or without double-dipping) -- after Green has prevailed worldwide and made subscriptions no longer sustainable.
But that will be post-Green Fair-Gold. What the RS (and other publishers, less venerable) are trying to use OA embargoes for today is to force authors to pay pre-emptively for pre-Green Fools-Gold if they want to provide OA, so as to ensure that their revenue streams do not shrink either way (subscription or Gold).
But shrink they must, because in the imminent post-Green PostGutenberg era, the only service the RS or any other research journal publisher will need to perform is the management of peer review. The global network of Green OA institutional repositories will do all the rest (access-provision and archiving) at not extra cost to the publisher (hence no grounds for an extra charge to authors or users either).
Caveat Emptor. And peer review alone costs only a fraction of what -- whether subscription, Gold or hybrid) are being paid now (with or without double dipping).
Hence the RS "Membership Programme" is -- like all hybrid Fools-Gold -- a Trojan Horse. Caveat Emptor
Saturday, July 6. 2013
Ring 1: 2012: Fidesz Government (i.e., Mr. Viktor Orban, P.M.) decides to use parliamentary supermajority power (yet again), this time to reduce the number of tobacco concession licenses countrywide from 40,000 to about 5,500.
Ring 2: Ostensible pretext: To reduce smoking
Ring 3: Owners of about 40,000 tobacco shops ("Trafiks") countrywide, some of them decades-old family businesses, are informed that all of them will lose their right to sell tobacco and must apply to a nationwide assessment that will distribute the 5,500 licenses that will remain.
Ring 4: The assessment takes place, and the recipients almost all turn out to be Fidesz supporters and their families, some families and individuals being awarded multiple concessions (one each to the husband and wife in one family, 9 to the cleaning lady of another family,).
Ring 5: Almost none of the original 40,000 concessionaires were awarded licenses; almost all those who did win them had no prior experience in the trade: their only common attribute was their Fidesz connection.
Ring 6: News of the outcome emerges; Fidesz denies bias: licenses were awarded to the best qualified.
Ring 7: Testimony as well as tapes emerge of the deliberations in selecting the winners, and the explicit criterion is Fidesz fidelity.
Ring 8: The public demands to see the data on the deliberations.
Ring 9: Orban uses Fidesz supermajority power (yet again), to make the data inaccessible to the public; for good measure, evidence also being systematically destroyed.
Ring 10: July 1 2013: Fidesz preparing to declare its anti-smoking campaign a great success, and to declare Hungary again a model for the rest of the world, as it is in so many other things: finance, governance, justice, constitutionality, and anti-corruption measures.
Ring 11: July 3, 2013: EU votes to put Hungary's government under monitoring for breaching fundamental rights: EU vote is bipartisan, supported by both the left and the right.
Ring 12: Orban uses Fidesz supermajority power (yet again) in a Hungarian parliamentary vote that declares the EU parliamentary vote a biassed, illegal and anti-Hungarian conspiracy of the EU Green/liberal/left under the influence of the international business and bank lobby opposed to Fidesz's utility expense rebate to Hungarian voters...
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