Re: Free Access vs. Open Access

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2003 01:23:53 +0000

Perhaps all Sally means here is that she thinks it would be more useful
if open-access ("gold") journals did not use the creative-commons
license, and instead, apart from providing immediate, permanent,
toll-free, non-gerrymandered, online access to the full-text, the journal
required *exclusive* copyright transfer for its sale in derivative works.

I'd say: No harm in that; go ahead! There was never any need for the
creative-commons license here anyway! Open-access provision was all that was
needed -- whether via the golden road or the green one.

(But again, what market is there likely to be for derivative works when the
full-text is forever freely available online?)

Stevan Harnad

> On Mon, 29 Dec 2003, Sally Morris wrote:
>sm> I think it is perfectly reasonable (and in no way a denial of Open Access)
>sm> for a publisher to wish to retain the right to sell derivative copies of a
>sm> work, even if in its original form it is made freely available.
> This is indeed perfectly reasonable and correct, and in no way a denial
> of Open Access.
> (But if the original form of a work is freely available online, it is
> not clear what market there would be for derivative copies...)
>sm> After all, they've got to recover their costs somehow - and if they
>sm> recover more from other sources, they will not need to ask authors to
>sm> pay so much.
> This sentence is far less clear than the prior one, and appears to be conflating
> the case where open-access to the work is being provided by self-archiving
> an article that has been published in a toll-access ("green") journal with
> the case where open-access to the woork is being provided by publishing
> it in an open-access ("gold") journal.
> If the sentence referred to self-archiving green journal articles,
> then the authors are not paying anything (the green journals are still
> charging access tolls).
> If the sentence was referring to publishing articles in gold (open-access)
> journals, then author/institution publication fees are paying the costs.
> There might conceivably be additional revenue to be made from
> selling derivative works, which could then lower the gold journal's
> author/institution fees, but (as noted) who would want to pay for
> derivative works if the full-text was already available free for all
> online?
> Many gold journals are using or planning to use the "creative commons"
> license, which (as I understand it) allows anyone to publish derivative
> works from the open-access work. That would of course include its gold publisher
> too. So no further right needs to be retained by the gold publisher in that
> case.
> 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 Tue Dec 30 2003 - 01:23:53 GMT

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