Re: The Special Case of Law Reviews

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 19:44:54 +0000

I have to agree 100% with Dan Hunter here, rather than with my
institutional colleague and friend, Steve Hitchcock: Open access
is *not* about individual authors somehow having to "fix" their
copyright agreements with their publishers. If that were the only
road, or the main road to open access, I think open access would be

Many well-wishers have been voicing this thoroughly incorrect and
unrealistic sentiment for years now: "The key to open access is copyright
retention or renegotiation by authors."

Easier said than done. And it's the individual authors at risk who would
have to do it, not the well-wishers!

The key to open access is not waiting for open-access journals, either.
The key to open access is self-archiving. And the key to self-archiving
is institutional and funding-agency publish-or-perish policy: They
must mandate open-access-provision (via either open-access publishing or
toll-access publishing plus self-archiving). That's all that's needed.
Nature (and human nature, and resourcefulness) will take care of the

Dan Hunter wrote:

> The (untenured) law professor just doesn't have the bargaining position
> to negotiate a change in the contract when the elite journals (that I
> rely on to get tenure) have explicitly said that they won't negotiate
> contract terms and that if I don't like it I can piss elsewhere.
> And, seriously, if you think that the solution to this problem is
> individual contractual responsibility then I would, with the greatest
> of respect to you, suggest that you're part of the problem.

Stevan Harnad

NOTE: A 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):
    Post 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 Fri Nov 21 2003 - 19:44:54 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:47:10 GMT