Thursday, April 18. 2013
1. The Green/Gold Open Access (OA) distinction concerns whether it is the author or the publisher that provides the OA.
2. This distinction was important to mark with clear terms because the conflation of the two roads to OA has practical implications and has been holding up OA progress for a decade and a half.
3. The distinction between paid Gold and free Gold is very far from being a straightforward one.
4. Free Gold can be free (to the author) because the expenses of the Gold journal are covered by subscriptions, subsidies or volunteerism.
5. The funds for Paid Gold can come from the author's pocket, the author's research grant, the author's institution or the author's funder.
6. It would be both absurd and gratuitously confusing to mark each of these economic-model differences with a color-code.
7. Superfluous extra colors would also obscure the role that the colour-code was invented to perform: distinguishing author-side OA provision from publisher-side OA provision.
8. So, please, let's not have "diamond," "platinum" and "titanium" OA, despite the metallurgical temptations.
9. They amplify noise instead of pinpointing the signal, just as SHERPA/Romeo's parti-colored Blue/Yellow/Green spectrum (mercifully ignored by almost everyone) does.
10. OA is about providing Open Access to peer-reviewed journal articles, not about cost-recovery models for OA publishing (Gold OA).
11. The Gold that publishers are fighting for and that researcher funders are subsidizing (whether "pure" or "hybrid") is paid Gold, not free Gold.
12. No one knows whether or how free Gold will be sustainable, any more than they know whether or how long subscription publishing can co-exist viably with mandatory Green OA.
13. So please leave the economic ideology and speculation out of the pragmatics of OA policy making by the research community (institutions and funders).
14. Cost-recovery models are the province of publishers (Gold OA).
15. What the research community needs to do is mandate OA provision.
16. The only OA provision that is entirely in the research community's hands is Green OA.
And, before you ask, please let's not play into the publishers' hands by colour-coding OA also in terms of the length of the publisher embargo: 3-month OA, 6-month OA, 12-month-OA, 24-month-OA, millennial OA: OA means immediate online access. Anything else is delayed access. (The only quasi-exception is the "Almost-OA" provided by the author via the institutional repository's email-eprint-request Button when complying with publisher embargoes -- but that too is clearly not OA, which is immediate, free online access.)
And on no account should the genuine, substantive distinction between Gratis OA (free online access) and Libre OA (free online access plus various re-use rights) be color-coded (with a different shade for every variety of CC license)!
Harnad, S., Brody, T., Vallieres, F., Carr, L., Hitchcock, S., Gingras, Y, Oppenheim, C., Stamerjohanns, H., & Hilf, E. (2004) The Access/Impact Problem and the Green and Gold Roads to Open Access. Serials Review 30. Shorter version: The green and the gold roads to Open Access. Nature Web Focus.
Tuesday, February 26. 2013
Maybe there will be an eventual realization that the failure of the new BIS/Finch/RCUK OA policy was not just due to publisher counter-lobbying but also to premature and disastrously counterproductive insistence on Gold and CC-BY by certain overzealous OA advocates.
Notice that the new US Presidential OA Directive we all now applaud makes no mention of Gold OA or CC-BY, just free online access (and of course the way it will be implemented will be largely via Green OA self-archiving). That's exactly what the UK Select Committee proposed in 2004.
Gold OA -- and as much CC-BY as users need and authors wish to provide -- will come, inexorably. But its coming is only slowed by grit-toothed insistence on having it first, at the expense of the free online access that all (not just some) research needs far, far more urgently than it needs Gold or CC-BY -- and that will pave the way for Gold and CC-BY.
First things first: Don't let the "best" become the enemy of the better.
Wednesday, February 13. 2013
What is a peer-reviewed journal?
1. A journal is a peer-review manager and copy-editor (the peers -- qualified, answerable specialists -- chosen by the editor, review for free; the editor adjudicates the reviews and the author revisions).A journal that does not generate a print edition (3a) is still a journal.
A journal that does not generate an online edition (3b) is still a journal.
The journal certifies (and answers for) its content and quality standards with its name and track-record.
If the journal's costs are paid by subscriptions, it's a subscription journal.
If costs are paid by subsidies, it's a subsidized journal.
If costs are paid by the author, it's an author-pays journal.
OA is free online access to journal articles, immediately upon publication.
If OA is provided by the journal, it's Gold OA publishing.
If OA is provided by the author, it's Green OA self-archiving.
If the journal is OA, it's a Gold OA journal. If not, not.
There is hence no need for (nor any new information provided by) new terms like "diamond," "overlay" or "epi" journal.
An OA journal that charges neither subscriptions nor author-fees is a subsidized journal ("diamond" adds no further information or properties).
An OA journal that generates neither a print nor an online version is an OA journal that generates neither a print nor an online version: the self-archived version is the only version.
The vast majority of free online journals (Gold OA) do not charge APCs.
It is arbitrary and unilluminating to invent a spectrum of colours or precious metals to classify their various possible cost-recovery models as if they were forms of OA.
OA is not about cost-recovery models (nor about peer-review models); it is about research access. (Don't conflate OA with publication cost-recovery models.)
The reason (some) physicists and mathematicians speak of "overlay" journals is that many physicists and mathematicians, before submitting their papers to a journal for peer review, self-archive their unrefereed "preprints" in Arxiv. Most then also go on to self-archive their final, peer-reviewed "postprints" in Arxiv. They think of the peer-review, copy-editing, and certification as an "overlay" on their unrefereed preprint.
But, by the same token, the peer-review, copy-editing and certification is an "overlay" on every author's unrefereed preprint, whether the journal is print, online, both, or neither.
And most authors don't self-archive their unrefereed drafts at all.
Some fields of mathematics and physics already have close to 100% (Green) OA, by self-archiving in Arxiv.
So it looks as if Episciences.org is just a new online journal platform -- there are others) -- one that has neither a print edition nor an online edition. That means the self-archived version will be the version of record. (Green will become Gold.)
Submission is done by depositing the unrefereed draft in Arxiv (instead of just emailing it to the journal, or sending a URL from the author's website or institutional repository, as with most other journals, OA and non-OA, subscription-based, subsidy-based, and/or author-fee-based).
In addition, it looks as if Episciences.org is hoping to cover the costs of 1 and 2 above (peer review and certification) for its start-up mathematics journal(s) out of subsidies (from CCSD and Institut Fournier/Grenoble) rather than subscriptions or author fees. 3a and 3b (print and online edition) and their costs are being dropped and access-provision and archiving are to be offloaded onto Arxiv.
This is a very sensible idea, but it may be premature for sustainability: All other disciplines may first have to (be mandated to) provide 100% Green OA, as some subfields of maths and physics have long been doing, unmandated, and then all institutional subscription journal subscription funds will be freed to pay the remaining costs of 1 and 2 (whether via Gold OA fees or subsidies). Nor will Arxiv be the main locus of self-archiving in most other disciplines: Authors' own institutional repositories will be.
In principle it does not matter in the least whether the self-archiving is in a central repository like Arxiv or in each author's own institutional repository, from which one or many subject repositories (and search engines) harvest, just as long as the preprints and postprints are reliably deposited and archived online. But in practice, there are many reasons why institutional and funder mandates should stipulate institutional deposit rather than institution-external deposit.
There are no new entities needing the name "epijournals" -- just journals. What is being proposed is by Episciences.org is journals with no print or online edition, in a subdomain (of mathematics and physics) where all authors already self-archive (100% Green). (Postpublication commentary on peer-reviewed journal articles is postpublication commentary -- not peer review.)
Let's see if subsidies work to keep episciences.org journals sustainably afloat. If not, they will of course have to convert to author fees. Either way, it's just another (proposed) new Gold OA journal.
My own view is that it is too early to bury either the print or the online edition of subscription journals: Not while they still publish most of the top journals, and hence institutions cannot cancel them, nor can authors stop publishing in them.
The time for institutions to cancel, and for journals to downsize to just peer review alone and to convert to Gold, with institutions paying the (much lower) author fees out of their cancelation savings, is after Green OA is at or near 100% (as it already is in some areas of physics and mathematics).
What I think Tim Gowers and Jean-Pierre Demailly (and CERN) should hence be preaching to the world is not "epijournals" but Green OA self-archiving: Mathematicians and physicists (and, before them, computer scientists) did it without mandates, but after 20 years we see that the other disciplines won't do it until their institutions and funders mandate it.
No-print, no-online, no-subscription, no-author-fee Gold OA journals are not "complements" to subscription journals: they are simply another competing journal.
There does exist a complement to subscription journals today: It is not Arxiv, but Green OA self-archiving by authors, in all disciplines, now at last growing because of OA mandates from their institutions and funders.
When Green OA self-archiving approaches 100% across all disciplines, however, it will indeed become a "competitor," forcing journals to jettison their print and online editions and convert to Gold OA fees to cover their much lower remaining costs" peer review.
Friday, July 20. 2012
1. "Open Access" does not mean "Open Access Publishing."
2. "Open Access" (OA) means free online access to peer-reviewed, published journal articles.
3. OA comes in two "degrees": "Gratis" OA is free online access and "Libre" OA is free online access plus various re-use rights. (Most of the discussion right now is about Gratis OA, which is the most important, urgent and reachable degree of OA.)
4. Authors can provide OA in two ways: (4a) by publishing in a subscription journal and making their final, peer-reviewed drafts free for all online by self-archiving them in their OA institutional repositories immediately upon acceptance for publication ("Green OA") or (4b) by paying to publish them in an OA journal that makes them free for all online ("Gold OA").
5. Both Green OA and Gold OA is peer-reviewed: no difference there.
6. But Gold OA costs extra money (which the Finch Report proposes to take out of already-scarce research funds).
7. Green OA is free of extra cost (because subscriptions are still paying in full -- and handsomely -- for publication).
8. About 60% of journals officially recognize their authors' right to provide immediate Green OA, but about 40% impose an embargo of 6-12 months or longer before their authors may provide Green OA.
9. All the UK Research Councils (RCUK) mandate that their authors provide Green OA with a maximum allowable embargo of 6 months (12 for AHRC and ESRC). They also make some funds available to pay Gold OA fees.
10. The Finch report, under very strong lobbying pressure from publishers, recommended that cost-free Green OA be phased out and that only funded Gold OA should be provided.
12. The tumult from researchers and OA advocates is about the diversion of scarce research funds to pricey Gold OA what Green OA can be provided cost-free.
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. (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
Sale, A., Couture, M., Rodrigues, E., Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2012) Open Access Mandates and the "Fair Dealing" Button. In: Dynamic Fair Dealing: Creating Canadian Culture Online (Rosemary J. Coombe & Darren Wershler, Eds.)
Thursday, May 31. 2012
Thursday, May 3. 2012
Mike Taylor writes (on Nature Blog):
"BOAI intended OA to mean much more than just the freedom to read an article online, and the term is used in this stronger sense by most of the people writing about open access today.... That’s not to say that “gratis OA” is not a good thing. Of course, it is. But..."
The original BOAI statement -- drafted online collectively by the original BOAI 2001 attendees, but authored mostly by Peter Suber -- was something new that we were improvising as we went along. It became clear, as subsequent years went by, that practical developments since 2001 necessitated some rethinking, revising and updating.
The revised, refined definition was formulated in 2008.
I might add that I have been working toward (what we eventually dubbed) "OA" since the early 1990's, and for me the first and foremost goal had always been (and still is) immediate, permanent, toll-free online access to 100% of peer-reviewed journal articles, i.e., "Gratis OA". I also have to note that we did not have 100% Gratis OA in 1994, when I made my "Subversive Proposal" for providing it, and we still do not have 100% Gratis OA today, almost two decades later, even though it is fully within reach. We are only at about 20%, except where it is mandated, in which case it jumps to 60% and then climbs steadily toward 100% (if the mandate is effectively formulated and implemented!).
Now, to ask for Libre OA (Gratis OA plus some re-use rights, not yet fully agreed upon) today is to ask for more than Gratis OA at a time when authors are not even providing Gratis OA (except if mandated). Libre OA also brings with it numerous unresolved complications, among them the fact that although all authors want users to have free access to their papers (even though they don't bother -- or dare -- to provide it unless mandated), not all authors want to grant users further re-use rights,; nor is it agreed yet what those further re-use rights should be. In addition, publishers, the majority of whom have given their green light to Gratis OA, are far from agreeing to Libre OA.
Yes, further re-use rights are important, and desirable, in many (not all) cases. But they are even harder to agree on and provide than Gratis OA, and we have not yet even managed to mandate that in anywhere sufficient numbers. And access itself -- "mere" access -- is not just important, but essential, and urgent, for all peer-reviewed research.
Yet 100% Gratis OA is fully within reach (and has been for years): All institutions and funders need do is grasp it, by mandating it.
Instead, we have been over-reaching for years now -- for Libre OA, for Gold OA, for copyright reform, for publishing reform, for peer review reform -- and not even getting what is already fully within reach.
So I appreciate your point, Mike, that getting much more than Gratis Green OA would be better than getting just Gratis Green OA.
But I also think that it's time to stop letting the best get in the way of the better: Let's forget about Libre and Gold OA until we have managed to mandate Green Gratis OA universally.
After that, all the other good things we seek will come into reach, and will come to pass.
But not if we keep trying, like Stephen Leacock's horseman, to ride off in all directions, while we just keep getting next to nowhere…
Wednesday, March 28. 2012
Practically speaking, public access (i.e., free online access to research, for everyone) includes researcher access (free online access to research for researchers).
Moreover, free online access to research, for everyone, includes both public access and researcher access.
So what difference does it make what you call it?
The answer is subtle, but important:
The goal of providing "public access to publicly funded research" has a great deal of appeal (rightly) to both tax-paying voters and to politicians.
So promoting open access as "public access" is a very powerful and effective way to motivate and promote the adoption of open access self-archiving mandates by public research funders such as NIH and the many other federal funders in the US that would be covered by the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA).
That's fine for publicly funded research.
But not all research -- nor even most research -- is publicly funded.
All research worldwide, however, whether funded or unfunded, originates from institutions: The universal providers of research are the world's universities and research institutes.
To motivate institutions to adopt open access self-archiving mandates for all of their research output requires giving them and their researchers a credible, valid reason for doing so.
And for institutions and their researchers, "public access to publicly funded research" is not a credible, valid reason for providing open access to their research output:
Institutions and their researchers know full well that apart from a few scientific and scholarly research areas (notably, health-related research), most of their research output is of no interest to the public (and often inaccessible technically, even if accessible electronically).
Institutions and their researchers need a credible and valid reason for providing open access to their research output.
And that credible and valid reason is so as to provided access for all of the intended users of their research -- researchers themselves -- rather than just those who are at an institution that can afford to subscribe to the journal in which it was published.
Subtle, but important.
It has become obvious that the >75% of researchers who have not been providing open access to their research for over two decades now -- despite the fact that the Web has made it both possible and easy for them to do so -- will not do so until and unless it is mandated. That's why mandates matter.
The rationale for the mandate, however, has to be credible and valid for all research and all researchers. "Public access to publicly funded research" is not.
But "maximize researcher access to maximize research uptake and impact" is.
And it has the added virtue of not only maximizing research usage, applications and progress -- to the benefit of the public -- but public access to publicly funded research also comes with the territory, as an added benefit.
So Mike Rossner (interviewed by Richard Poynder) is quite right that the two are functionally equivalent.
It is just that they are not strategically equivalent -- if the objective is to convince institutions and their researchers that it is in their interest to mandate and provide open access.
Tuesday, February 28. 2012
A "Compromise" Worthy of Solomon:
Between the (Publicly-Funded Research) Dog
and the (Publishing) Flea on its Tail...'
New York Times, February 27, 2012: "Gulf on Open Access to Federally Financed Research" by Guy Gugliotta
"The debate between these two extremes has been remarkably vitriolic, in part, perhaps, because neither side has been completely honest. Mr. Adler would not discuss publishers’ profit margins, and open-access advocates frequently say that the journals are low-overhead cash cows that are gouging the public. Open-access scientists, on the other hand, are less than candid about how important it is to their careers to be published in prominent traditional journals. If scientists truly wished to kill the system, all they would have to do is withhold submissions."This balanced midpoint between "extremes" is utter nonsense, of course.
(1) The need (and reasons) of researchers for publishing in journals with high peer review standards are no secret (and nothing to hide or apologize for!)
(2) The objective of OA is not to "kill the system" but to provide OA.
(3) As usual, the false assumption is that OA = Gold OA publishing.
(4) OA has nothing to do with "withholding submissions" or boycotting.
(5) Both bills (FRPAA and RWA) are about mandating Green OA self-archiving of published journal articles.
What's worth writing an article (or book) about is how this relentless misunderstanding of something so stunningly simple just keeps propagating itself, year after year after year.
And it looks like Congress will yet again wimp out this year on FRPAA, splitting the difference with RWA in much the same clueless spirit as the above sterling example of "balanced" journalism...
So it's back to yet another year of trying to talk sense into universities about mandating Green OA...
One thing the journalist got right: There is indeed something that researchers are less than candid about: not withholding submissions but withholding keystrokes...
Harnad, S. (2006) Opening Access by Overcoming Zeno's Paralysis, in Jacobs, N., Eds. Open Access: Key Strategic, Technical and Economic Aspects. Chandos.
Thursday, December 22. 2011
In "The Open Access Movement is disorganized; this must not continue," Peter Murray-Rust [PM-R:] wrote:
PM-R: “Stevan Harnad… argues inter alia that gratisOA (e.g. through Green, CC-restricted) rather than libreOA (e.g. through Gold, or CC-BY) should be adopted...”Actually, I argue that Gratis Green OA rather than Libre OA should be mandated (by researchers’ institutions and funders), because:
(1) 100% OA is reachable only if we mandate it;
(2) only Green OA self-archiving (not Gold OA publishing) can be mandated;
(3) all researchers want to provide Gratis OA (free online access);
(4) not all researchers want to provide Libre OA (free online access plus remix and republication rights);
(5) all disciplines need Gratis OA;
(6) not all disciplines need Libre OA;
(7) Gratis OA is much more urgent than Libre OA;
(8) 100% Gratis OA is already reachable, 100% Libre OA is not;
(9) publisher restrictions are less of an obstacle for Gratis OA;
(10) mandating Green Gratis OA is not only the fastest, surest and cheapest way to reach 100% Gratis OA but it is also the fastest, surest and cheapest way to reach Gold OA and Libre OA thereafter.
PM-R: “If we restrict ourselves to STM publishing (where almost all of the funders’ efforts are concentrated) there is not a shred of evidence that any author wishes to restrict the re-use of their publications through licenses.”(a) OA is not just for STM articles: it’s for peer-reviewed research in all disciplines
(b) It is not just funders who are mandating OA but also institutions, for all research, funded and funded, in all disciplines
(c) Ask, and you will find more than a shred of evidence that not all authors (not even all STM authors) want to allow their verbatim texts to be re-mixed and re-published by anyone, without restriction.
(d) What all authors want re-used and re-mixed are their ideas and findings, not their verbatim texts.
(e) STM authors do want their figures and tables to be re-used and re-published, but with Green Gratis OA, that can be done; it is only their verbatim texts that they don’t want tampered with.
PM-R: “Most scientists don’t care about Open Access. (Unfortunate, but we have to change that)”Most still don’t know about it, and those who do are afraid to provide it, even though it has been demonstrated to be beneficial for them and their research (in terms of uptake, usage, applications, citations, impact, progress).
And that’s just why OA mandates are needed.
PM-R: “Of the ones that care, almost none care aboutdetails. If they are told it is “open Access” and fulfils the funders’ requirements then they will agree to anything. If the publisher has a page labeled “full Open Access – CC-NC – consistent with NIH funding” then they won’t think twice about what the license is.”What they care about in such cases is not OA, but fulfilling their funders’ (and institution’s) requirements.
That’s why OA needs to be mandated.
Most funders mandate only Gratis Green OA because it has fewer publisher constraints and fewer and shorter embargoes. But the advantage of mandating that the author’s version be made OA is that it makes it easier to give permission to re-use (the author’s version of) the figures and tables.
If consensus can be successfully reached on mandating Libre OA rather than just Gratis OA, all the better. But on no account should there be a delay in adopting a Gratis OA mandate in order to hold out for Libre OA.
Gold OA (whether Gratis or Libre) cannot be mandated, either by funders or institutions, and is hence not an issue. Funders and institutions cannot dictate researchers’ choice of journal; nor can they dictate publishers’ choice of cost-recovery model.
PM-R: “Of the ones who care I have never met a case of a scientist – and I want to restrict the discussion to STM – who wishes to restrict the use of their material through licenses. No author says “You can look at my graph, but I am going to sue you if you reproduce it” (although some publishers, such as Wiley did in the Shelley Batts affair, and presumably still do).”The discussion of OA cannot be restricted to just STM, any more than it can be restricted to just Chemistry.
Authors, mostly ignorant of OA as well as of rights and licenses, mostly haven’t given any of them much thought.
But I can only repeat, even if they have not yet thought about it, many authors, including STP authors, would not relish giving everyone the right to publish mash-ups of their texts.
Graphs and figures are a different story; authors are happy to have those re-used and re-published in re-mixes by others (with attribution), and, as noted, the fact that the Green Gratis OA version is the author’s final draft rather than the publisher’s proprietary version of record makes this much simpler. (For the graphs in their version-of-record, some publishers might conceivably think of suing for this; but authors certainly would never do it, for their Green Gratis OA versions. So that’s another point in favor of Green Gratis OA.)
PM-R: “the OA movement … Cannot agree on what “open access” means in practice”They can agree, and they have agreed: http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/newsletter/08-02-08.htm#gratis-libre
PM-R: “the OA movement… Spends (directly or indirectly) large amounts of public money (certainly hundreds of millions of dollars in author-side fees) without changing the balance of the marketThe OA movement spends no public money. Perhaps you mean Gold OA journal authors?
And the objective of the OA movement is not “changing the balance of the market.” Its objective is OA – Gratis, and, where needed, Libre.
PM-R: “the OA movement… Has no clear intermediate or end-goals”The OA movement’s end-goal is Gratis OA (free online access) and, where needed, Libre OA (free online access plus re-use, re-mix re-publish rights).
Where Libre OA is needed, Gratis OA is an intermediate goal.
PM-R: “When I find an Open Source program, I know what I am getting. When I find an Open Access paper I haven’t a clue what I am getting”.You can be almost 100% sure that what you are getting is the peer-reviewed, final, accepted draft.
And with that, researchers whose institution cannot afford access to the publisher’s version of record would be almost 100% better off than they are now.
And that’s why the first priority is mandating Green Gratis OA self-archiving.
(The disanalogies between Open Access and Open Source are too numerous to itemize.)
PM-R: “When I publish my code as Open Source I can’t make up the rules. I must have a license and it must be approved by OSI”But OA is about peer-reviewed research, and there it is the refereed and editor that must approve the article.
PM-R: “the OS community cares about what Open Source is, how it is defined, how it is labelled and whether the practice conforms to the requirements…. By contrast the OA community does not care about these things”.As stated earlier, the OA (advocacy) community knows what OA (Gratis and Libre, Green and Gold) and what their respective “requirements” are.
It is not the OA advocates who don’t care enough about such things; it is, unfortunately, the researcher community: the ones who need to provide the OA content.
And what’s missing isn’t a definition of OA, but OA.
PM-R: ““Open Access” was defined in the Budapest and other declarations”.And the definition – not etched in stone but evolving – has been revised and updated: http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/newsletter/08-02-08.htm#gratis-libre
PM-R: “Everyone (including Stevan) would agree that this is now consistent with what is (belatedly) being labelled as OA-libre. Note that Stevan was a signatory to this definition of Open Access”.I signed and helped draft the first OA definition, but at that time I was not yet aware of nuances whose importance has since become apparent, requiring a revision of the definition.
PM-R: “My immediate concern is that unless we organize the definition, labelling and practice of Open Access we are simply giving OA-opponents or OA-doubters carte blanche to do whatever they like without being brought to account. We are throwing away hundreds of millions of dollars in a wasteful fashion. We are exposing people to legal action because the terms are undefined”.I’m afraid I’m lost here: Who are “we”? OA advocates? What money are we throwing away? Perhaps you means authors and their funders, spending money on Gold OA that is Gratis rather than Libre? Well, I agree that’s a waste of money, but not because the OA’s Gratis but because Green OA needs to mandated before it makes sense to pay for Gold OA.
PM-R: “If you try to re-use non-libre material because it was labelled “Open Access” you could still end up in court”.Highly unlikely (especially if you’re re-using graphics from the author’s draft rather than the publisher’s version-of-record).
But if you have access to it at all, you’re already better off than those researchers who do not: And that’s the primary problem OA was defined and designed to fix.
PM-R: “As a UK taxpayer I fund scientists to do medical research (through the MRC). The MRC has decided (rightly) that the results of scientific research should be made Open. But they are not Open according to the BOAI declaration”.They are Gratis OA (after an embargo period). Once all research is Gratis OA (and immediately upon acceptance for publication), Libre OA’s day will come.
PM-R: “Individuals such as Stevan, Peter Suber, Alma Swan, [have] relatively little coordination and no bargaining power”True. But we did coordinate on the updating of the definition of OA. And EnablingOpenScholarship (EOS) will attempt to guide and coordinate the OA policy-making of universities and research instititions, worldwide.
But OA advocates, individually and collectively, are not the ones with the power to provide OA: the ones with the power to provide it are researchers themselves. And the ones with the power to mandate that they provide it are their institutions and funders.
PM-R: “So my simple proposal is that we need an Open Access InstituteLet’s publish our papers in whatever is the best journal for them, but let’s concentrate on persuading institutions and funders to mandate that we make them Green OA.
I look forward to PM-R’s explanation of why he does not agree.
Monday, December 19. 2011
The following commentary on Mike Carroll's GOAL posting on Taylor & Francis's press release is intended neither as an endorsement nor as a critique of T&F's (or any publisher's) gold OA offerings. It is just an attempt to clarify an important point about OA needs from the standpoint of researchers, who are both the providers and the primary intended users of peer-reviewed research articles:
MC: "[The T&F] press release is misleading and should be corrected. You say that T&F is now publishing " fully Open Access journals", but unless I've misread the licensing arrangements this simply is not the case."As far as I know, there is no such thing as "fully OA."
There is Gratis OA and there is Libre OA:
T&F are selling Gratis OA. That means (1) immediate, permanent online access, free for all on the Web -- to peer reviewed research journal articles.
(Note that along with free online access, the following also automatically comes with the territory:
(2) clicking,as well as global harvesting and search by engines like google.)
Mike Carroll is speaking about Libre OA, which means immediate, permanent online access, free for all on the Web (i.e., Gratis OA) plus certain further re-use, re-publication and re-mix rights.
(Note that many peer-reviewed journal article authors may not want to allow others to make and publish re-mixes of their verbatim texts. Journal article texts are not like music, videos, software or even research data, out of which creative modifications and remixes can be valuable. All scholars and scientists desire that their findings and ideas should be accessed, re-used, applied and built-upon, but not necessarily that their words should be re-mixed or even re-published -- just accessible free for all online, immediately and permanently.)
Today, the only peer-reviewed research journal articles to which researchers have access are those to which their institutions can afford subscription/licensed access. That means research is losing the uptake and impact of all those potential users who are denied access to it.
All researchers want free online access to all research they may need to consult or use, not just the research to which their institutions can afford subscription access.
All researchers want their research to be accessible to all researchers who may need to consult or use it, not just to those whose institutions can afford subscription access.
It is not at all it clear, however, that researchers want and need the right to make and publish re-mixes of other researchers' verbatim texts.
Nor is it clear that all or most researchers want to allow others to make and publish re-mixes of their verbatim texts.
Hence Gratis OA clearly fulfills an important, universal and longstanding universal need of research and researchers.
But it is not at all clear that this is true of Libre OA -- at least not for the very special case of the peer-reviewed research journal article texts that are the primary, specific target content of the OA movement.
Hence it is not at all clear that there is anything T&F need to correct.
MC: "A fully open access journal is one that publishes on the web without delay and which gives readers the full set of reuse rights conditioned only on the requirement that users provide proper attribution."I believe that is not the definition of a fully OA journal but of a Libre OA journal.
MC: "T&F's "Open" program and "Open Select" offer pseudo open access."Gratis OA is not pseudo open access. It is the difference between night and day for researchers who are denied access to the publisher's version of record because their institutions cannot afford access.
And night is the current state of affairs for 80% of research, and has been for the past 20 years, even though the means to provide Gratis OA (fully) have been available for at least that long.
Gratis OA can be provided in two different ways:
Gold OA journals like the T&F journals offer Gratis Gold OA, for which the author -- meaning the author's institution or funder -- must pay a publication fee. But most journals are not Gold OA journals, and hence the potential funds to pay for Gold OA are still locked up in institutional subscriptions to non-OA journals.
That means that not only can most research not be made OA by publishing it in Gold OA journals (since most journals are non-OA), but even for the Gold OA journals, the money to pay the publication fees (of those,like T&F, that charge a publication fee) is tied up in paying for non-OA subscription journals).
(This is equally true irrespective of whether the Gold OA journals offer Gratis OA or Libre OA.)
The second way to provide Gratis OA is through Green OA self-archiving (i.e., depositing the author's peer-reviewed final draft in the author's Institutional OA Repository immediately upon acceptance for publication).
Unlike Gold OA, Green OA does not require paying a publication fee. And Green OA can be provided for all articles, not just articles published in Gold OA journals.
And, most important, Green OA self-archiving can be mandated by researchers' institutions and funders, whereas publishing in Gold OA journals cannot be mandated. (Publishers cannot be compelled to convert to Gold OA; reserchers cannot be told which journal to publish in; and the money to pay for Gold OA is locked into journal subscriptions, which cannot be cancelled until and unless the contents of those subscription journals are otherwise accessible.)
Most Green OA (and Green OA mandates) are Gratis Green OA -- free online access.
But that is still the difference between night and day for researchers.
And Gratis Green OA self-archiving (but not Libre Green OA self-archiving) is already endorsed by over 60% of journals -- including the top journals in most fields.
So please let us not belittle Gratis OA as not "fully" OA (and certainly not before we have it!). Let us provide it, and mandate providing it.
And let us not keep focusing on Gold OA: The fastest, surest and cheapest way to full OA is for institutions and funders to mandate Gratis Green OA self-archiving.
(And, as a bonus, that's also the fastest, surest and cheapest way to Gold OA as well as Libre OA, thereafter.)
This question is valid -- but it is beside the point for the first and most important objective of the OA movement (still not reached in over a decade of trying), namely, immediate, permanent online access, free for all on the Web (i.e., Gratis OA).Harnad, S. (2007) The Green Road to Open Access: A Leveraged Transition. In: The Culture of Periodicals from the Perspective of the Electronic Age, pp. 99-105, L'Harmattan.MC: "Could you please explain why T&F needs to reserve substantial reuse rights after the author or her funder has paid for the costs of publication?"
T&F's Gratis Gold OA would provide that; but even if T&F provided Libre Gold OA, that would not be the fastest, surest or cheapest way to reach full OA -- by which I mean free online access to all 2.5 million articles published annually in the planet's 25,000 peer-reviewed journals. See the growth curves in Richard Poynder's "Open Access By Numbers."
Free online access is what research and researchers need most. Mandating Gratis Green OA self-archiving will provide just that -- and Gold OA, and as much Libre OA as researchers actually need and want -- will be not far behind.
But not if we keep over-reaching for Libre OA or Gold OA instead of providing and mandating Gratis Green OA.
MC: "If your response is that the article processing charge does not represent the full cost of publication, what charge would? Why aren't authors given the option to purchase full open access?"Even the money to pay for Gratis Gold OA is still tied up in subscriptions, while subscriptions are still being paid for (and thereby paying for publication costs in full).
And mandating Gratis Green OA can provide free access at no extra cost, while subscriptions are still being paid for (and thereby paying for publication costs in full).
So why think about paying even more for Libre Gold OA today, when it's not at all clear that researchers want or need it -- whereas it's certain that they want and need Gratis OA (and they don't yet have it, even though it's fully within reach)?
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