Re: Self-Archiving JSTOR OCR'd Retrospective Publications

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Fri, 2 Jan 2004 20:42:53 +0000

On Fri, 2 Jan 2004, Matthew Cockerill wrote:

> PubMed Central has received funding to work towards scanning/OCRing the
> back issues of all the journals that are archived in PubMed Central...
> [I]f they agree to archive their content with PubMed Central, in return
> NIH will bear the cost of digitizing the back content.

This a wonderful (and sensible!) solution for those toll-access biomedical
journals that are prepared to convert to becoming open-access journals
now. (I assume the agreement is that back contents are scanned and
archived gratis if both current and back contents are made open-access.)

Now what is to be done, now, about (1) the non-biomedical journals and (2)
the journals that are not prepared to convert to to becoming open-access
journals now?

Where the incentive of offering the journal free retrodigitization and
archiving in exchange for converting to open-access is not sufficient
(and I fear it will not be sufficient, for fewer than 100 biomedical
journals are archived in PubMed Central now, out of a total of a least
2000 biomedical journals, perhaps closer to 4000, i.e., <5%) there is
still something that NIH, NSF, and other research funding agencies can
do to generate far more open-access content -- both current
and retrospective -- now:

In order to encourage authors to provide open access for their current
journal articles by self-archiving them, funding agencies can offer in
return to bear the cost of digitizing their back content!

And providing open access to the findings can also be made a condition
for research funding itself.

Stevan Harnad

NOTE: A complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing open
access to the peer-reviewed research literature online (1998-2004)
is available at the American Scientist Open Access Forum:
        To join the Forum:
        Post discussion to:
        Hypermail Archive:

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 Fri Jan 02 2004 - 20:42:53 GMT

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