(1) Stevan trades off expected speed of achieving OA against quality of the
resulting OA. It's his right to do that. I just point out that that's what it
is. That's my right. He calls it 'deprecating green OA'; I prefer to call it
(2) My 'jumping with a closed parachute' is not in any way a criticism of green
OA or advocating green OA. It *is* a criticism of presenting green OA (in which
the publication of articles being paid for by subscriptions) as the *only* way
until all scholarly literature is available as green OA, and only then consider
alternatives to the subscription system. I consider that deeply unrealistic,
utterly unfeasible and not viable, and I favour developing gold OA as a
replacement of the subscription system *alongside* green OA, gradually
replacing the subscription system.
(3) The agreement reached at the BOAI to pursue both strategies (later called
green and gold) proved short-lived. This has been most unfortunate, in my view.
Stevan has introduced the idea that gold and green are rivalrous. They aren't.
They both contribute to growing OA. They both come with a transition price. In
one case the price is lower quality of the resulting OA; in the other it is
On 29 Oct 2012, at 13:18, Stevan Harnad wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 5:34 AM, Richard Poynder <ri...@richardpoynder.co.uk>
> On 28 Oct 2012, at 23:07, Stevan Harnad wrote:
> SH: Giving up authors' preferred journals in favour of pure Gold OA journals
> was what (I think) BMC's Vitek Tracz and Jan Velterop had been lobbying for
> at the time
> JV: Stevan may think so, but that doesn't make it correct or accurate. What
> we advocated (lobbied for in Stevan's words) at the time, and what I still
> advocate now, is open access. Period. We argued that a system of open access
> publishing at source is better than a subscription system, and we realised
> that repositories would likely play an important role in achieving open
> access. That's why BMC offered assistance with establishing repositories, and
> the company still does: http://www.openrepository.com
> RP: I think it would be true to say that BioMed Central launched its
> repository service in response to the Select Committee Inquiry?
> VT & JV certainly were not lobbying for Green OA self-archiving before or at
> the Gibson Committee Inquiry.
> After the Committee's Report, BMC did in fact offer a (paid) repository
> service (presumably to help fulfill the demand for Green OA in response to
> the Committee's recommendations and the ensuing RCUK mandate).
> JV, however, was (and is) continuing to deprecate Green OA as not "true" or
> "full" OA (and as "jumping with a closed parachute").
> These are not just differences in whims but profound strategic differences
> that have had profound effects on the subsequent course of events in the
> evolution of OA. The strategic difference is very simple to describe:
> JV has been consistently advocating a direct transition from subscription
> publishing to (Libre) Gold OA publishing, with Green OA self-archiving
> serving only as a temporary and inadequate supplement. JV has not, however,
> proposed a viable means of making this direct transition happen -- and the
> direct transition is certainly not happening of its own accord (or at least
> not at a pace that in which anyone can take comfort!).
> In contrast, I have been consistently advocating the adoption of Green OA
> self-archiving mandates by institutions and funders as a viable, immediate
> means of making a direct transition to 100% OA (Gratis, Green) happen -- not
> just as a means of eventually inducing a transition to 100% Gold OA.
> [I do believe, however -- and have given reasons to believe -- that globally
> mandated Green Gratis OA will indeed also prove to be the surest and fastest
> means of inducing a subsequent transition to 100% Libre Gold OA as well, and
> at a fair, affordable, sustainable price.]
> JV criticizes Green Gratis OA as inadequate and as jumping with a closed
> parachute, but he does not provide a realistic transition mechanism.
> I support the Green OA mandates recommended by the 2004 Gibson Report (but
> with a much stronger compliance verification mechanism) as a realistic
> transition mechanism (for achieving Green Gratis OA) and criticize
> pre-emptive payment for Gold/Libre OA as overpriced, unscalable,
> unsustainable, unnecessary -- and a distraction from and retardant to
> achieving an immediate transition to 100% OA (Green, Gratis).
> The issue now, for those who have not discerned it among all these arcane
> strategic nuances, is the 2012 Finch Committee's decision to reverse the 2004
> Gibson Committee's recommendation to (G) mandate Green and merely experiment
> with funding Gold and instead now (F) mandate and fund Gold and relegate
> Green to the supplementary role of data-archiving, grey literature and
> digital preservation.
> In 2004 the UK government rejected the Green OA recommendation of the Gibson
> Committee, but the RCUK decided to follow it anyway.
> In 2012 the UK government has accepted the Gold OA recommendation of the
> Finch Committee (which it commissioned) and the RCUK has taken an
> intermediate course -- allowing Green but favouring Gold.
> The criticism of the RCUK policy is over (1) how clear it will make it that
> authors can still choose Green, (2) constraints on journal choice, (3)
> double-paying publishers for hybrid Gold out of scarce research funds, and
> (4) the strong incentive the new RCUK policy gives to publishers to offer
> hybrid Gold and lengthen Green embargoes to force authors to pick Gold over
> Stevan Harnad
> PS The failed link in my comment on Richard's Interview was meant to be this:
> revolutionary core recommendation -- and here it is:
> Select Committee on Science and Technology
> Tenth Report
> [boldface added]
> Academic libraries are struggling to purchase subscriptions to all the
> journal titles needed by their users. This is due both to the high and
> increasing journal prices imposed by commercial publishers and the inadequacy
> of library budgets to meet the demands placed upon them by a system
> supporting an ever increasing volume of research. Whilst there are a number
> of measures that can be taken by publishers, libraries and academics to
> improve the provision of scientific publications, a Government strategy is
> urgently needed.
> 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. The
> Government will need to appoint a central body to oversee the implementation
> of the repositories; to help with networking; and to ensure compliance with
> the technical standards needed to provide maximum functionality. Set-up and
> running costs are relatively low, making institutional repositories a
> cost-effective way of improving access to scientific publications.
> Institutional repositories will help to improve access to journals but a more
> radical solution may be required in the long term. Early indications suggest
> that the author-pays publishing model could be viable. We remain unconvinced
> by many of the arguments mounted against it. Nonetheless, this Report
> concludes that further experimentation is necessary, particularly to
> establish the impact that a change of publishing models would have on learned
> societies and in respect of the "free rider" problem. In order to encourage
> such experimentation the Report recommends that the Research Councils each
> establish a fund to which their funded researchers can apply should they wish
> to pay to publish. The UK Government has failed to respond to issues
> surrounding scientific publications in a coherent manner and we are not
> convinced that it would be ready to deal with any changes to the publishing
> process. The Report recommends that Government formulate a strategy for
> future action as a matter of urgency.
> The preservation of digital material is an expensive process that poses a
> significant technical challenge. This Report recommends that the British
> Library receives sufficient funding to enable it to carry out this work. It
> also recommends that work on new regulations for the legal deposit of
> non-print publications begins immediately. Failure to take these steps would
> result in a substantial breach in the intellectual record of the UK.
> The market for scientific publications is international. The UK cannot act
> alone. For this reason we recommended that the UK Government act as a
> proponent for change on the international stage and lead by example. This
> will ultimately benefit researchers across the globe.
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