Re: Distinguishing the Essentials from the Optional Add-Ons

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2003 12:26:39 +0000

On Wed, 29 Oct 2003, Chris Korycinski wrote:


> the next faq from Nature says that 'you may not distribute the
> PDF... on open archives'. So presumably you can still keep _your_
> version of the article on an open archive, but not the one which was
> published in Nature.

That does not matter *in the least*! The publisher's proprietary PDF
contains added-values to be sure, but I am betting (and please stay
tuned!), that the the only thing researchers really want and need is the
peer-reviewed final draft.

    "Distinguishing the Essentials from the Optional Add-Ons"

The other added-values are there, to be sure, to be purchased as long as
there is a demand for them (and there might continue to be a demand for
a long time to come). But the *essentials* consist of the peer-reviewed,
accepted final draft. The self-archived open-access version of that is
the "postprint".

The publisher's PDF is just an enhanced version of the postprint.
Publishers certainly have the right (and are certainly welcome) to
continue selling their value-added toll-access version for as long as
there is a market for it. But what researchers and research need, *now*
is open access to their vanilla postprint.

A journal is (Romeo) "white" if it tries to block that access by
opposing self-archiving. It is "green" if it supports author/institution
self-archiving. (It is "gold" if it is an open-access journal!)

Gold is welcome (but unlikely for some time to come). Green, however,
is 100% sufficient to generate universal open-access, right now. All
that publishers need do if they do not want to take the unstable and
untenable position of *opposing* researchers' use of the online medium's
newfound potential to maximize the impact of their research is to
go green. That is all that would be required for compliance with the
Berlin Declaration.

(The Wellcome Trust statement looks to be in the right direction too
-- whereas the Sabo Bill ["Public Access to Science"] over-reaches,
needlessly and unrealistically, on public-domain, and the Bethesda
Statement is needlessly and counterproductively one-sided, focussing on
Gold only).

    "Wellcome Trust statement on open access"

    "Public Access to Science Act (Sabo Bill, H.R. 2613)"

    "Bethesda statement on open access publishing"

    "The True Cost of the Essentials (Implementing Peer Review)"

Stevan Harnad

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 Wed Oct 29 2003 - 12:26:39 GMT

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