Re: Free Access vs. Open Access

From: Michael Eisen <mbeisen_at_LBL.GOV>
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 15:51:54 -0800

> On Thu, 8 Jan 2004, Stevan Harnad wrote:
> There is nothing in the BOAI definition to support the "free/open"
> distinction that some have since attempted to make. In particular, the
> BOAI definition states that author/institution self-archiving of the
> full-text of an article is one of the two ways to make that article open
> access (BOAI-1 ["green"] and BOAI-2 ["gold"]). Proponents of
> the free/open distinction have attempted to argue that BOAI-2 is
> "open access" while BOAI-1 is merely "free access" (unless the author
> negotiates something equivalent to the creative commons license, including
> republication rights, as in some BOAI-2 journals).
> I have argued that this is not only *not* part of the BOAI definition,
> but that it is unnecessary and would be a gratuitous deterrent if
> taken to be a necessary condition for open access.

I really don't want to beat this to death, and I think you and I are just
going to have to agree to disagree about the importance of redistribution
and reuse rights. However, I don't see how you can keep saying that the BOAI
doesn't support the distinction between free and open. The BOAI text can
speak for itself.

By 'open access' to this literature, we mean its free availability on the
public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute,
print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for
indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful
purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those
inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint
on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this
domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work
and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited."

I have been arguing that self-archiving where the original publisher
restricts uses of the self-archived version of the paper falls outside the
BOAI definition of open access. While I disagree strongly with you on this,
I accept that you think there are tactical reasons to promote such
restricted self-archiving. But I simply can not see how you can claim that
making papers freely available in a way that explicitly prevents copying,
distribution and many other uses is consistent with the BOAI definition of
open access.
Received on Mon Jan 12 2004 - 23:51:54 GMT

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