Re: The Green and Gold Roads to Open Access

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 2003 20:53:18 +0000

On Sat, 15 Nov 2003, Troy McClure wrote:

> "What the Berlin Declaration says, in essence, is that (1) open online
> access should be provided to all research output and that (2) all
> research output should be deposited in an open-access archive."
> especially with respect to point two, is there an european initative to set
> up and fund a single open access archive? could publishers not receive some
> remuneration for contributing to this archive (e.g. based on the number of
> citations of their articles), thus making their business models more viable
> through an additional stream of revenues?

The 23,400 toll-access journals' publishers receive remuneration
from the access-tolls, so there is no need for them to receive extra
remuneration -- although there is a proposal by Thomas Walker [1998],
which has since been implemented by several journals, to allow authors
to pay their toll-access journals to self-archive their articles
for them, if they don't wish to self-archive their articles for

The 600 open-access journals cover their costs from
author publication fees.

Author self-archiving is done by the authors themselves, and no one needs to pay
or be paid for anything.

There are both central and institutional open-access eprint archives
for author self-archiving, and now that they are OAI-compliant and
hence interoperable, it does not matter which OAI archive authors
self-archive in, but the authors' institutions are the natural partners
for self-archiving, because authors and their institutions (not their
disciplines or some other central entity) share the benefits of the
maximized research visibility and research impact that open access brings.
Instutions are also in the best place to implement and monitor self-archiving
policies for their own research output.

So institutional open-access archives are probably the most natural and stable

As to remuneration based on the number of citations to their articles:
Researchers already receive this (via the publish-or-perish system, weighted by
research impact), and so do journals (as toll-access selections are made by
libraries partly on the basis of the journal's citation impact).

If and when author-provided open-access through self-archiving ever begins to
reduce toll-access journals' toll-revenues, there is a quite natural transition
scenario from toll-access publishing to open-access publishing.

This is hypothetical, however, and irrelevant to the much more pressing
immediate need to put an end to researchers', researcher institutions',
research-funders' and and research's needless daily, weekly, monthly
and yearly impact-loss because of access-denial to would-be users whose
institutions cannot afford the access-tolls.
That needless loss will be terminated immediately as soon as the Berlin
Declaration is implemented and all research output is becomes openly

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.
Received on Sat Nov 15 2003 - 20:53:18 GMT

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