Re: Author Publication Charge Debate

From: Jean-Claude Guédon <>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 02:28:35 +0000

In response to Albert Henderson, let me stress the following points:

1. The trend I was referring to was the growing support of a growing number of
various granting agencies for financial support for the OA business plan as
exemplified by BioMed Central and by PLos;

2. If we look at the growing number of open access journals and the growing
number of open access repositories, including OAI compliant personal pages,
and if we look at OA harvesters, I would say that movement is still a
minority movement but that it is growing well and even fast. I would add that
the growing frustration of a number of academics with the behaviour of
various publishing houses is leading to an interesting revolt. The latter
does not always coincide with open access, at least not yet, but it certainly
gets one step closer;

3. The OA movement may be commercial, but it does not have to be. Comparing it
to a is inaccurate at best;

4. If there is one way to increase scientific productivity, it is with open
access. Impact figures that begin to trickle in show much greater use of OA
literature and, of course, OA literature allows much greater numbers of
scientists to get involved in current debates, even in poor countries;

5. How one could ever conflate OA with "every researcher for himself" is
beyond my understanding. OA involves a great deal of distribution, but it
also rests on a great amount of coordination, standardization and

6. Claiming some (obscure) link between OA and isolation from institutions is
also very strange : universities themselves are setting up facilities to help
faculty set up individual web sites...

7. If toll provide tools, we should also ask: can tools be financed in ways
other than tolls and do we get the best tools with tolls. The answer is yes
on both counts;

8. As for Albert Henderson's mantra about raising library budgets, the answer
remains the same: of course, so long as it will not allow a number of
publishers simply to increase their profit margin beyond the already obscene
levels that have been repeatedly observed.


Jean-Claude Guédon

Jean-Claude Guédon
Littérature comparée, Université de Montréal
Tél. : 1-514-343-6208
Fax : 1-514-343-2211
Received on Tue Feb 10 2004 - 02:28:35 GMT

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