Re: The Green and Gold Roads to Open Access

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 15:31:28 +0000

On Wed, 12 Nov 2003, Alastair Dryburgh wrote:

> Thanks.
> If I understand correctly, the difference between the potential 55-95% of
> articles which could be available via self-archiving per the slide
> and the 7.5% you give below must be due to authors not self-archiving when
> they could ?

That's right. The difference between the actual 7.5% and the bottom-line
55% (i.e., those who could self-archive today already with their
journal's official blessing!) is the minimum. In reality, though, much
closer to 100% could be self-archiving, leaving the gap between what is
immediately possible and what is actual even larger. (And even for those
publishers who officially state that if their author self-archives,
they refuse to publish the paper, there is still a legal way for the
author to self-archive: ).

It is for this reason that I have become convinced that the only thing
that will ensure that the research community takes advantage of the open
access that is within its reach is via a natural extension of the very
same policy that ensures that research is published at all, rather than
simply put in a desk-drawer after completion by the researcher:

Both research institutions and research funders need to extend their
existing "publish or perish" policies to "publish with maximized impact"
-- by requiring that all research publications be made openly accessible,
via either the golden or green road, i.e., by publishing them in a
suitable open-access journal, if one exists (gold, 5%), or otherwise by
publishing it in a suitable toll-access journal AND self-archiving it in
the author's own institutional open-access eprint archives (green, 95%).

In other words, by implementing the Berlin Declaration:

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 ("gold"): Publish your article in a suitable open-access
            journal whenever one exists.
    BOAI-1 ("green"): Otherwise, publish your article in a suitable
            toll-access journal and also self-archive it.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stevan Harnad
> Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2003 06:29
> To:
> Subject: Re: The Green and Gold Roads to Open Access
> > From: Alastair Dryburgh
> > Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2003 04:00
> > To: Sally Morris
> > Subject: Protocols for Metadata Harvesting
> >
> > I continue to think about things like ParaCite being a catalyst in the
> move
> > towards open access. Are you aware of any estimates of how much of the
> > recent literature is available in published or almost-as-published form
> > outside the subscription wall ?
> Dear Alastair,
> The percentage of the annual literatire that is openly accessible varies
> from field to field. In High Energy Physics it is 100% and in chemistry
> it is near 0%. There are about 2,500,000 articles published in 24,000
> refereed journals acrosss all fields and languages each year.
> Of this total, about 10% is available as full-text for free online.
> Of that 10% about 2.5% gets there via open-access journals and the
> remaining 7.5% via author open-access self-archiving.
> Cheers, Stevan
> On Wed, 12 Nov 2003, Alastair Dryburgh wrote:
> > Stevan
> >
> > Sally Morris suggested you would be the best person to answer the question I
> > had below.
> >
> > Your best estimate ?
> >
> > Best wishes
> >
> > Alastair Dryburgh
> >
Received on Fri Nov 14 2003 - 15:31:28 GMT

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