Re: Free Access vs. Open Access

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2003 18:03:28 +0000

On Mon, 27 Oct 2003, Jan Velterop wrote:

> Our advice to authors should be:
> 1. Publish in open access journals when possible;
> 2. If not possible, self-archive in OAI-compliant repositories in a
> machine-readable format (such as XML);
> 3. Should that not be possible either, self-archive in other formats (such
> as pdf).
> However, in *any* case, make sure your articles are freely and publicly
> available!

That's exactly the right advice, in exactly the right order. However:

(1) It is an undeniable fact that option 1 is open to very few of the
yearly 2,500,000 papers published today (because the open-access --
"golden" -- journals are far too few: >>5%).

(2) Option 2 will be open only
to the papers in some of the Romeo "green" journals (those that allow
the self-archiving of the publisher's XML) plus the still infinitesmal
(though growing) number of authors who write their papers in XML.

(3) So the overwhelming majority of papers today will only have option 1
(which includes PDF, HTML, TeX, etc.).

If they *do* all do that, however, my own work in this domain will be
done and I will return to the ranks of the creators and users of this
literature (and your message box will have fewer and shorter emails!).

But your 3-pronged advice is right, and I hope you will be giving it to all

Cheers, Stevan

NOTE: Complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing open
access to the peer-reviewed research literature online is available at
the American Scientist September Forum (98 & 99 & 00 & 01 & 02 & 03):
    Posted discussion to:

Dual Open-Access Strategy:
    BOAI-2: Publish your article in a suitable open-access journal
            whenever one exists.
    BOAI-1: Otherwise, publish your article in a suitable toll-access
            journal and also self-archive it.
Received on Mon Oct 27 2003 - 18:03:28 GMT

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