Re: "Open Access and Retrieval: Liberating the Scholarly Literature"

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2003 15:16:01 +0000

On Wed, 17 Dec 2003, Gerry Mckiernan wrote:

In "Open Access and Retrieval: Liberating the Scholarly Literature"
Gerry Mckiernan wrote:

> "Whether the self-archiving model becomes the new paradigm for
> scholarly publishing as envisioned by its proponents will depend not
> only on improved archiving and retrieval software and systems but
> also, and more importantly, on the degree to which all stakeholders
> endorse and embrace its potential as a viable and sustainable
> publishing alternative."

Gerry's article is a very helpful contribution to hastening the
open-access era, but "the self-archiving model" is not a "new paradigm
for scholarly publishing," nor is it a "publishing alternative."

Open-access self-archiving (OAA) is merely one of the two components of
the Unified Open-Access Provision Strategy (though it is the larger,
faster and surer component):

            (OAJ) Researchers publish their research in an
    open-access journal if a suitable one exists, otherwise
            (OAA) they publish it in a suitable toll-access
    journal and also self-archive it in their own research
    institution's open-access research archive.

Nor is open access about "scholarly publishing" as a whole:
just about the 2,500,000 annual articles in the world's
24,000 peer-reviewed journals.

(Sorry to have to be such a grouch, always carping about these details!
But open-access is within reach and long-overdue, and it is mainly such
persistent systematic misunderstandings that keep holding us back
from the optimal and inevitable outcome!)

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 Open Access Forum (98 & 99 & 00 & 01 & 02 & 03):
    Post discussion to:

Unified Dual Open-Access-Provision Policy:
    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 Thu Dec 18 2003 - 15:16:01 GMT

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