Friday, March 15. 2013
The new Finch/RCUK policy started off on the wrong foot from the very beginning, downgrading cost-free Green OA self-archiving and preferentially funding Gold OA publishing: double-paid Fool's Gold. That was already at the behest of the publishing lobby.
But unfortunately that was aided and abetted by OA advocates in the thrall of Gold Fever and Rights Rapture, needlessly over-reaching for more than just the free online access that is already within reach, and making even that yet again escape our grasp. Yes, the publisher lobby is trying to divide and conquer.
But it will not succeed, because the HEFCE/REF mandate proposal has come to the rescue, dividing deposit and access-setting, requiring that deposit be immediate, in the author's IR, and relegating publishers' embargoes only to access-setting. It is that dividing that will conquer.
Tuesday, December 11. 2012
Thursday July 26 2012QED
All is far from lost, however. There is a simple way that funder mandates can immunize themselves against such perverse consequences. They need only include the following 8 essential conditions:
(1) immediate-deposit (no delayed deposit, even if access to the deposit is allowed to be embargoed -- and irrespective of whether the journal is green or gold)An example of such mutually reinforcing funder and institutional policies is the FRS-FNRS policy in Belgium.
Such an integrated, maximized-strength mandate model immunizes against publisher embargoes and should be adopted, complementarily and convergently, by all institutions and funders, in Europe and worldwide.
Here is the fundamental point that needs to be grasped: The only thing that is standing between the world and 100% OA is author keystrokes (for depositing the full text in an online repository). Once those keystrokes are done, even if some of those deposits are under an access embargo, nature and human nature will take its course, under pressure from the increasingly palpable benefits of OA, and embargoes will soon die their inevitable and well-deserved deaths of natural causes -- and journals will survive, and evolve, and adapt.
But it will take forever to happen if the keystrokes are not mandated. Journals will try to filibuster and embargo OA for as long as possible: it's a conflict of interest, between, on the one hand, research, researchers, their institutions, their funders, the R&D industry, and the tax-payers who fund the research, and, on the other hand, the research publishing industry.
Scholarly research is not funded and conducted as a service to the scholarly publishing industry (regardless of whether the publishers are commercial or "scholarly", and regardless of whether they are subscription publishers or Gold OA publishers).
It is time to stop allowing the publishing tail wag the research dog.
Mandating the Green OA keystrokes (even where embargoed) is the fastest, cheapest and surest way to get us to 100% Green OA -- and then all Gold OA, Libre OA will not be far behind.
But trying instead to mandate Gold OA preemptively as the Finch Committee have perversely proposed to do, under the influence of the publishing industry lobby, will only serve leave the UK, the former leader of the global OA movement, far behind.
Thursday, December 6. 2012
Re: "Finch access plan unlikely to fly across the Atlantic"It's not just the US and the Social Sciences that will not join the UK's Gold Rush. Neither will Europe, nor Australia, nor the developing world.
The reason is simple: The Finch/RCUK/BIS policy was not thought through. It was hastily and carelessly cobbled together without proper representation from the most important stake-holders: researchers and their institutions, the providers of the research to which access is to be opened.
Instead, Finch/RCUK/BIS heeded the lobbying from the UK's sizeable research publishing industry, including both subscription publishers and Gold OA publishers, as well as from a private biomedical research funder that was rather too sure of its own OA strategy (even though that strategy has not so far been very successful). BIS was also rather simplistic about the "industrial applications" potential of its 6% of world research output, not realizing that unilateral OA from one country is of limited usefulness, and a globally scaleable OA policy requires some global thinking and consultation.
Now it will indeed amount to "a handout from the British government" -- a lot of money in exchange for very little OA -- unless (as I still fervently hope) RCUK has the wisdom and character to fix its OA mandate as it has by now been repeatedly urged from all sides to do, instead of just digging in to a doomed policy:
Adopt an effective mechanism to ensure compliance with the mandate to self-archive in UK institutional repositories (Green OA), in collaboration with UK institutions. And scale down the Gold OA to just the affordable minimum for which there is a genuine demand, instead of trying to force it down the throats of all UK researchers in place of cost-free self-archiving: The UK institutional repositories are already there: ready, waiting -- and empty.
Sunday, October 7. 2012
Sally Morris (Morris Associates) wrote on GOAL:
"Stevan overlooks the difference between 'publishing' an article in a repository and in a journal. As long as researchers prefer the latter (and there are lots of reasons why they seem to, in addition to peer review) then there will be a demand for journals in which to publish: selection and collecting together of articles of particular relevance to a given audience, and of a certain range of quality; 'findability'; kudos of the journal's title (and impact factor); copy-editing; linking; quality of presentation; etc etc...I completely agree with Sally about peer review: It is a decision by qualified specialists about whether a paper meets a journal's established standards for quality as well as subject matter, as certified by the journal's title and track-record, and, if not, how to revise it, if possible. (And I explicitly say so in the longer commentaries of which I only posted an excerpt on GOAL.)
But that, of course, does not change a thing about the fact that peer review is merely a service, which can be unbundled from the many other products and services with which it is currently co-bundled. It certainly does not imply that in order for referees or editors to make a decision about journal subject matter, there has to exist a set of articles co-bundled in a monthly or quarterly collection, being sold together as a co-bundled product, online or on-paper!
As to the rest of the co-bundled products and services Sally mentions: If she's right, then journals have nothing to fear from Green OA mandates, since those only apply to the author's peer-reviewed, revised, accepted final draft. That's what's self-archived in the author's institutional repository. If all those other products and services are indeed so indispensable, then reaching 100% Green OA globally will not make journal subscriptions unsustainable, because the need, and hence the market, for all those other essential co-bundled products and services Sally mentioned will still be there (for those who can afford them).
The only difference will be that all users -- not just subscribers -- will have access to all peer-reviewed, revised, accepted final drafts online. (That's Green OA, and once we are there, I can stop wasting my time and energy trying to get us there, as I have been doing for nearly 20 years now!)
But then can I ask Sally, please, to call off her fellow publishers who have been relentlessly (and successfully) lobbying BIS (and anyone else that will listen) not to mandate Green OA, and have been imposing embargoes on Green OA, on the (rather incoherent) argument that (1) Green OA is inadequate for researchers' needs and has already proved to be a failure and (2) that if Green OA succeeded it would destroy publishing, peer review, and research quality?
Otherwise this (incoherent) argument becomes something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, and we have the Finch Fiasco and RCUK Ruckus to show for it.
Monday, July 23. 2012
Anthony Watkinson wrote on LIBLICENSE:
"...There were three publishers on the Finch committee (out of seventeen members)... 
There were more than three publishers on the Finch committee -- Learned Societies are publishers too -- but three publishers would already be three publishers too many in a committee on providing open access to publicly funded research. (Besides, the lobbying began well before the Finch Committee, and already had a hand in how the Committee was constituted and where it was headed.)
Research is funded, conducted, refereed and reported as a service to research, researchers, their institutions, their funders, the R&D industry, and the public that pays for it all. Research is not a service to publishers: Publishers sell a service to research institutions, for which they are paid very handsomely. (I don't think any of this ruckus is about journal publishers being underpaid, is it?)
The recommendations of the Finch committee were identical to the ones for which publishers have been lobbying aggressively for years (ever since it has become evident that trying to lobby against OA itself in the face of the mounting pressure for it from the research community is futile and very ill-received by the research community).
The publisher lobbying has accordingly been for the following:
"Please phase out Green OA as inadequate, parasitic and likely to destroy publishing and peer review -- and please provide extra money instead to pay us for Gold OA, if you want OA so much."The Finch outcome was already pre-determined as a result of publisher lobbying before the committee was even constituted:
Finch on Green: "The [Green OA] policies of neither research funders nor universities themselves have yet had a major effect in ensuring that researchers make their publications accessible in institutional repositories… [so] the infrastructure of subject and institutional repositories should [instead] be developed [to] play a valuable role complementary to formal publishing, particularly in providing access to research data and to grey literature, and in digital preservation [no mention of Green OA]…"But that's all moot now, as both RCUK and EC have ignored it, instead re-affirming and strengthening their Green OA mandates the day after Mr. Willets announced the adoption of the recommendations of the Finch committee:
RCUK: "[P]eer reviewed research papers which result from research that is wholly or partially funded by the Research Councils... must be published in journals… [either] offering a “pay to publish” option [Gold OA] or allowing deposit in a subject or institutional repository [Green OA] after a mandated maximum embargo period… of no more than six months… except… AHRC and… ESRC where the maximum... is 12 months…"
The 2004 recommendations of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Science and Technology were based on 23 oral testimonials and 127 written testimonials. Mine (part 1 and part 2) was one of the 127 written testimonials. If anything had influence on the outcome, it was evidence and reasons.
The 2004 Select Committee recommendation had been this:
“This Report recommends that all UK higher education institutions establish institutional repositories on which their published output can be stored and from which it can be read, free of charge, online. It also recommends that Research Councils and other Government funders mandate their funded researchers to deposit a copy of all of their articles in this way... [T]he Report [also] recommends that the Research Councils each establish a fund to which their funded researchers can apply should they wish to pay to publish...”At that time, despite the fact that the UK government (again under pressure from the publishing lobby) decided to ignore the Select Committee’s recommendation to mandate Green OA, RCUK and many UK universities adopted Green OA mandates anyway.
As a result, the UK became the global leader in the transition to Open Access.
If heeded, the Finch Committee recommendation to downgrade repository use to the storage and preservation of data, theses and unpublished work would have set back global OA by at least a decade.
Fortunately, the RCUK has again shown its sense and independence, reaffirming and strengthening its Green OA mandate. Let us hope UK’s universities — not pleased that scarce research funds, instead of being increased, are to be decreased to pay extra needlessly for Gold OA — will likewise continue to opt instead for cost-free Green OA by mandating it.
If so, the UK will again have earned and re-affirmed its leadership role in the global transition to universal OA.
Anthony Watkinson replied on LIBLICENSE:
"[In] 2003/2004 I was asked to be the expert adviser to the [UK Select] committee… and had a pleasant conversation with Ian Gibson, the member of parliament who was the committee chair. It seemed to me in our conversation that Dr. Gibson had already been lobbied by Professor Harnad or his disciplines [sic] and that his mind was already made up. I cannot remember now whether or not Dr. Gibson said that he had met Professor Harnad but it was definitely the impression I had."I am flattered that Dr. Watkinson feels I had special influence on Ian Gibson and his Select Committee. I wish I had had!
But alas the truth is as I have already written (above): I was not one of the 23 witnesses invited to give oral evidence (several publishers were).
Ian's parliamentary assistant Sarah Revell pencilled me in for a personal appointment on Wednesday October 13 2004 (depending on whether Ian's jury duty ended in time: it did), but my recall of that breathlessly brief audience was that it was too compressed for me to be able to stutter out much that made sense, and I left it pretty pessimistic.
And my subsequent over-zealous attempts to compensate for it via email were very politely but firmly discouraged by the committee's very able 2nd clerk, Emily Commander.
So my input to the Committee amounted to being one of the 127 who submitted written evidence, plus that tachylalic personal audience on the 13th.
The rest of the influence on the committee was from written reasons, not personal charisma.
I'm not aware of having had any "disciples," to lobby the Committee at that time (though extra disciplines, as well as discipline, are always handy in lobbying for the interests of research and researchers).
My understanding, however, is that Ian Gibson was indeed pre-lobbied in favour of OA, and indeed that's why the Committee was created. But that pre-lobbying in 2003 had been done by a Gold OA publisher, Vitek Tracz of BMC (and perhaps others), not by me; and the lobbying was not at all in favour of Green OA but in favour of Gold OA. This initial goldward bent is quite evident in the Committee's original call for evidence in late 2003, which was the first I ever heard of the Committee's existence:
"The Committee will be looking at access to journals within the scientific community, with particular reference to price and availability. It will be asking what measures are being taken in government, the publishing industry and academic institutions to ensure that researchers, teachers and students have access to the publications they need in order to carry out their work effectively.... What are the consequences of increasing numbers of open-access journals, for example for the operation of the Research Assessment Exercise and other selection processes? Should the Government support such a trend and, if so, how?"As a result, the Committee's final decision to recommend that institutions and funders mandate Green and merely experiment with funding Gold was an unexpected surprise and delight to me. It also turned out to be a historic turning point and blueprint for OA worldwide.
As to publishers, and learned-society publishers: they are pretty much of a muchness in their fealty to their bottom lines. The only learned societies that could testify (for either the 2004 Gibson Committee or the 2012 Finch Committee) with a disinterested voice (let alone one that represented the interests of learned research rather than earned revenues) would be the learned societies that that were not also publishers.
Friday, July 20. 2012
Professor Adam Tickell (pro-VC, U. Birminhgam): "Critically, the minister for universities and science wanted to ensure that all relevant stakeholders - universities, funders, learned societies and publishers - were represented"
The only "relevant stakeholders" are those by and for whom research is funded, conducted, refereed and reported. That does not include publishers, whether commercial or learned-society.Professor Tickell: "Open access is not a significant issue for most academic researchers: we already have access to most research papers."
In searching the latest literature in his field, is Adam Tickell one of the rare academics who has not reached (frequently) an access-denied link offering pay-to-view with a hefty price-tag?Professor Tickell: "Many UK-based learned societies rely on income from publishing - most of which is export income - to remain viable"
Are Green Open Access Mandates rendering anyone's publishing income nonviable?Professor Tickell: "As green was unacceptable to funders unless learned societies and publishers were willing to allow it with minimal embargo periods (which would undermine their business models), the group recommended gold as part of a mix that includes elements of all forms of open access."
Are the interests of publishers, whether commercial or learned-society, the arbiters of what is in the interest of those by and for whom research is funded, conducted, refereed and reported? And what was the green part of the Finch "mix"? This?:
"The [Green OA] policies of neither research funders nor universities themselves have yet had a major effect in ensuring that researchers make their publications accessible in institutional repositories… [so] the infrastructure of subject and institutional repositories should [instead] be developed [to] play a valuable role complementary to formal publishing, particularly in providing access to research data and to grey literature, and in digital preservation [no mention of Green OA]…"FINCH ON GREEN:
Tuesday, July 17. 2012
Irony of ironies, that it should now appear (to some who are not paying attention) as if the
Finch/Willets, under the influence of the publisher lobby, have recommended abandoning cost-free Green OA and instead spending scarce research money on paying publishers extra for Gold OA.
What Finch/Willets have mandated is that £50,000,000 of the UK's scarce research budget be taken away annually from UK research and redirected instead to paying publishers for Gold OA.
The UK government is free to squander its public funds as it sees fit.
But as long as cost-free Green OA mandates remain in effect, that's just a waste of money, not of progress in the global growth in OA.
(A lot of hard, unsung work had to be done, by many, many people, to fend off the concerted efforts of the publishing industry lobby -- so brilliantly successful in duping Finch/Willets -- in the effort to dupe the
"A Serious Potential Bug in the RCUK Open Access Mandate"
"Hybrid Gold OA and the Cheshire Cat's Grin"
“The new policy, which will apply to all qualifying publications being submitted for publication from 1 April 2013, states that peer reviewed research papers which result from research that is wholly or partially funded by the Research Councils… must be published in journals which are compliant with Research Council policy on Open Access.This is eight years almost to the day in 2004 when the UK Parliamentary Select Committee made its revolutionary recommendation to mandate Green OA:
“This Report recommends that all UK higher education institutions establish institutional repositories on which their published output can be stored and from which it can be read, free of charge, online. It also recommends that Research Councils and other Government funders mandate their funded researchers to deposit a copy of all of their articles in this way.”At that time, despite the fact that the UK government (under pressure from the publishing lobby) decided to ignore the Select Committee’s recommendation to mandate Green OA, RCUK and many UK universities adopted Green OA mandates anyway. As a result, the UK became the global leader in the tranistion to Open Access.
If heeded, the Finch Committee recommendation to downgrade repository use to the storage and preservation of data, theses and unpublished work would have set back global OA by at least a decade.
Fortunately, the RCUK is again showing its sense and independence. Let us hope UK’s universities — not pleased that scarce research funds, instead of being increased, are to be decreased to pay extra needlessly for Gold OA — will likewise continue to opt instead for cost-free Green OA by mandating it.
If so, the UK will again have earned and re-affirmed its leadership role in the global transition to universal OA.
Friday, June 29. 2012
The UK’s universities and research funders have been leading the rest of the world in the movement toward Open Access (OA) to research with “Green” OA mandates requiring researchers to self-archive their journal articles on the web, free for all. A report has emerged from the Finch committee that looks superficially as if it were supporting OA, but is strongly biased in favor of the interests of the publishing industry over the interests of UK research. Instead of recommending building on the UK’s lead in cost-free Green OA, the committee has recommended spending a great deal of extra money to pay publishers for “Gold” OA publishing. If the Finch committee were heeded, the UK would lose both its lead in OA and a great deal of public money -- and worldwide OA would be set back at least a decade.
Open Access (OA). Open Access means online access to peer-reviewed research, free for all. (Some OA advocates want more than this, but all want at least this.) Subscriptions restrict research access to users at institutions that can afford to subscribe to the journal in which the research was published. OA makes it accessible to all would-be users. This maximizes research uptake, usage, applications and progress, to the benefit of the tax-paying public that funds it.
Green and Gold OA. There are two ways for authors to make their research OA. One way is to publish it in an OA journal, which makes it free online. This is called “Gold OA.” There are currently about 25,000 peer-reviewed journals, across all disciplines, worldwide. Most of them (about 90%) are not Gold. Some Gold OA journals (mostly overseas national journals) cover their publication costs from subscriptions or subsidies, but the international Gold OA journals charge the author an often sizeable fee (£1000 or more).
The other way for authors to make their research OA is to publish it in the suitable journal of their choice, but to self-archive their peer-reviewed final draft in their institutional OA repository to make it free online for those who lack subscription access to the publisher’s version of record. This is called “Green OA.”
UK Leadership in Mandating Green OA. The UK is the country that first began mandating (i.e., requiring) that its researchers provide Green OA. Only Green OA can be mandated, because Gold OA costs extra money and restricts authors’ journal choice. But Gold OA can be recommended, where suitable, and funds can be offered to pay for it, if available.
The first Green OA mandate in the world was designed and adopted in the UK (University of Southampton School of Electronics and Computer Science, 2003) and the UK was the first nation in which all RCUK research funding councils have mandated Green OA. The UK already has 26 institutional mandates and 14 funder mandates, more than any other country except the US, which has 39 institutional mandates and 4 funder mandates -- but the UK is far ahead of the US relative to its size (although the US and EU are catching up, following the UK’s lead).
Optimizing Green OA Mandates and Accelerating Adoption.To date, the world has a total of 185 institutional mandates and 52 funder mandates. This is still only a tiny fraction of the world’s total number of universities, research institutes and research funders. Universities and research institutions are the universal providers of all peer-reviewed research, funded and unfunded, across all disciplines, but even in the UK, far fewer than half of the universities have as yet mandated OA, and only a few of the UK’s OA mandates are designed to be optimally effective. Nevertheless, the current annual Green OA rate for the UK (40%) is twice the worldwide baseline rate (20%).
What is clearly needed now in the UK (and worldwide) is to increase the number of Green OA mandates by institutions and funders to 100% and to upgrade the sub-optimal mandates to ensure 100% compliance. This increase and upgrade is purely a matter of policy; it does not cost any extra money.
Gold OA. What is the situation for Gold OA? The latest estimate for worldwide Gold OA is 12%, but this includes the overseas national journals for which there is less international demand. Among the 10,000 journals indexed by Thomson-Reuters, about 8% are Gold. The percentage of Gold OA in the UK is half as high (4%) as in the rest of the world, almost certainly because of the cost and choice constraint of Gold OA and the fact that the UK’s 40% cost-free Green OA rate is double the global 20% baseline, because of the UK’s mandates.
Publisher Lobbying and the Finch Report. Now we come to the heart of the matter. Publishers lobby against Green OA and Green OA mandates on the basis of two premises: (#1) that Green OA is inadequate for users’ needs and (#2) that Green OA is parasitic, and will destroy both journal publishing and peer review if allowed to grow: If researchers, their funders and their institutions want OA, let them pay instead for Gold OA.
Both these arguments have been accepted, uncritically, by the Finch Committee, which, instead of recommending the cost-free increasing and upgrading of the UK’s Green OA mandates has instead recommended increasing public spending by £50-60 million yearly to pay for more Gold OA.
Green OA: Useless? Let me close by looking at the logic and economics underlying this recommendation that publishers have welcomed so warmly: What seems to be overlooked is the fact that worldwide institutional subscriptions are currently paying the cost of journal publishing, including peer review, in full (and handsomely) for the 90% of journals that are non-OA today. Hence the publication costs of the Green OA that authors are providing today are fully paid for by the institutions worldwide that can afford to subscribe.
If publisher premise #1 -- that Green OA is inadequate for users’ needs -- is correct, then when Green OA is scaled up to 100% it will continue to be inadequate, and the institutions that can afford to subscribe will continue to cover the cost of publication, and premise #2 is refuted: Green OA will not destroy publication or peer review.
Or Destructive Parasite? Now suppose that premise #1 is wrong: Green OA (the author’s peer-reviewed final draft) proves adequate for all users’ needs, so once the availability of Green OA approaches 100% for their users, institutions cancel their journals, making subscriptions no longer sustainable as the means of covering the costs of peer-reviewed journal publication.
What will journals do, as their subscription revenues shrink? They will do what all businesses do under those conditions: They will cut unnecessary costs. If the Green OA version is adequate for users, that means both the print edition and the online edition of the journal (and their costs) can be phased out, as there is no longer a market for them. Nor do journals have to do the access-provision or archiving of peer-reviewed drafts: that’s offloaded onto the distributed global network of Green OA institutional repositories. What’s left for peer-reviewed journals to do?
Peer review itself is done for publishers for free by researchers, just as their papers are provided to publishers for free by researchers. The journals manage the peer review, with qualified editors who select the peer reviewers and adjudicate the reviews. That costs money, but not nearly as much money as is bundled into journal publication costs, and hence subscription prices, today.
But if and when global Green OA “destroys” the subscription base for journals as they are published today, forcing journals to cut obsolete costs and downsize to just peer-review service provision alone, Green OA will by the same token also have released the institutional subscription funds to pay the downsized journals’ sole remaining publication cost – peer review – as a Gold OA publication fee, out of a fraction of the institutional windfall subscription savings. (And the editorial boards and authorships of those journal titles whose publishers are not interested in staying in the scaled down post-Green-OA publishing business will simply migrate to Gold OA publishers who are.)
So, far from leading to the destruction of journal publishing and peer review, scaling up Green OA mandates globally will generate, first, the 100% OA that research so much needs -- and eventually also a transition to sustainable post-Green-OA Gold OA publishing.
But not if the Finch Report is heeded and the UK heads in the direction of squandering more scarce public money on funding pre-emptive Gold OA instead of extending and upgrading cost-free Green OA mandates.
Tuesday, June 19. 2012
1. The Finch Report is a successful case of lobbying by publishers to protect the interests of publishing at the expense of the interests of research and the public that funds research.
2. The Finch Report proposes to do precisely what the (since discredited and withdrawn) US Research Works Act (RWA) failed to do: to push "Green" OA self-archiving (by authors, and Green OA self-archiving mandates by authors' funders and institutions) off the UK policy agenda as inadequate and ineffective and, to boot, likely to destroy both publishing and peer review -- and to replace them instead with a vague, slow evolution toward "Gold" OA publishing, at the publishers' pace and price.
3. The result would be very little OA, very slowly, and at a high Gold OA price (an extra 50-60 million pounds per year), taken out of already scarce UK research funds, instead of the rapid and cost-free OA growth vouchsafed by Green OA mandates from funders and universities.
4. Both the resulting loss in UK's Green OA mandate momentum and the expenditure of further funds to pay pre-emptively for Gold OA would be a major historic (and economic) set-back for the UK, which has until now been the worldwide leader in OA. The UK would, if the Finch Report were heeded, be left behind by the EU (which has mandated Green OA for all research it funds) and the US (which has a Bill in Congress to do the same -- the same Bill that the recently withdrawn RWA Bill tried to counter).
5. The UK already has 40% Green OA (twice as much as the rest of the world) compared to 4% Gold OA (less than the rest of the world, because it costs extra money and Green OA provides OA at no extra cost). Rather than heeding the Finch Report, which has so obviously fallen victim to the publishing lobby, the UK should shore up and extend its cost-free Green OA funder and institutional mandates to make them more effective and mutually reinforcing, so that UK Green OA can grow quickly to 100%.
6. Publishers will adapt. In the internet era, the research publishing tail should not be permitted to wag the research dog, at the expense of the access, usage, applications, impact and progress of the research in which the UK tax-payer has invested so heavily, in increasingly hard economic times. The benefits -- to research, researchers, their institutions, the vast R&D industry, and the tax-paying public -- of cost-free Green Open Access to publicly funded research vastly outweigh the evolutionary pressure -- natural, desirable and healthy -- to adapt to the internet era that mandated Green OA will exert on the publishing industry.
If the UK %Gold is currently lower than the current %Gold globally [as measured by Laasko/Bjork's latest estimates -- we have not yet checked that directly] then the likely explanation is that where cost-free Green is mandated, there is less demand for costly Gold.
That makes sense: it shows why paying for Gold, pre-emptively, now, at today's asking prices, while still locked into subscriptions, instead of just providing cost-free Green is a foolish strategy --and it makes the recent recommendations of the Finch report even more counter-productive. The time to pay for Gold is when global Green has made subscriptions unsustainable, forced publishing to downsize to peer review alone, and released the subscription cancelation funds to pay for it on the Gold OA model. Then, and only then, will Gold OA's time have come.
Gargouri, Y., Hajjem, C., Lariviere, V., Gingras, Y., Brody, T., Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2010) Self-Selected or Mandated, Open Access Increases Citation Impact for Higher Quality Research. PLOS ONE 5 (10) e13636
Harnad, S. (2007) The Green Road to Open Access: A Leveraged Transition. In: Anna Gacs. The Culture of Periodicals from the Perspective of the Electronic Age L'Harmattan. 99-106.
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. (2010) The Immediate Practical Implication of the Houghton Report: Provide Green Open Access Now. Prometheus 28 (1): 55-59.
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