Re: The Green Road to Open Access: A Leveraged Transition

From: Electronic Publishing Trust for Development <>
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2004 12:41:55 +0100

   [Cross Posted from Health Information Forum discussion list]

In response to messages to the Health Information Forum discussion list
on Open Access benefits, we would like to add the following comments:

The two parallel Budapest Open Access Initiatives paths (Open Access
Journals/Publishing and Open Access Archiving) both aim to achieve the
same objective - the freeing of the research literature from access
tolls - but use very different mechanisms to achieve it. Perhaps the two
routes should be dissociated in our discussions [on the HIF list], since
discussing both routes under the common term 'open access' can create
confusion. The messages from Ayo Onatola and others are focussing on
Open Access journals, but we would like to draw attention again to the
benefits of Open Access Archiving for developing countries.

Open Access Archiving is the archiving of already published and refereed
research papers in interoperable, minimal-cost institutional archives.
The advantages of this are:

[1] Nothing need change regarding the future of the publishers (because
they will continue to publish as before and in parallel with the OA
Archives - as already proven to be successful in physics through the
13-year old archive <> and the major physics journals.
Over 60% of publishers have agreed to the institutional archiving of
already published papers in OA Archives, including Elsevier and Nature

[2] Nothing need change for the authors (because they can continue to
publish papers in their favourite journals). However, the impact of
their work will be hugely increased if they also archive their full text
publications in institutional archives using the free software that
allows interoperable searching across all archives. Authors would be
wise to publish in one of the majority of journals that agree to OA
Archiving in order to benefit from this much increased international
impact. OA-compliant archives are now also searchable through the Yahoo
search engine.

[3] The research output of the authors' institutes will be greatly
enhanced through the establishment of institutional OA Archives,
show-casing their academic publications. OA Archives are set up using
free software and there are many support organisations offering help if
needed. Note: there are three major workshops on setting up Open Access
Archives being held this summer in Brazil, China and India.

[4] If institutes are unable to set up their own institutional archives,
authors may archive their *already published* research in any of the
established archives (eg Cogprints, Bioline International etc). It does
not matter at all where papers are archived, since the archives are all
interoperable. However, establishing institutional archives has the
advantage of additionally promoting the research output of the institutes.

[5] As more and more archives are established, more and more of the
world's research becomes internationally accessible for free. Harnad of
Cogprints says 'Archive unto others as you would have them archive unto
For the developing country institutes, sharing their research with
countries facing similar research priorities has clear benefits, and
making their research 'visible' internationally will lead to many other

In summary, archiving already published research in interoperable
institutional archives greatly benefits global science at almost no
cost. This could be done now, without changing established publishing
practices. For developing country science and medical research this
offers enormous opportunities. Maybe WHO should consider supporting the
setting up of an OA Archive for medical research publications so that
all developing countries can benefit from free access?

Useful OA institutional archives links:

Registry of institutional eprints:
Developing country bioscience archive:
BOAI self(institutional)-archiving FAQ:
Eprints software:
Eprints Handbook for setting up institutional archives:
Budapest Open Access Iniative

Subbiah Arunachalam, MS Research Foundation, India
Leslie Chan, University of Toronto, Canada
Barbara Kirsop, Electronic Publishing Trust for Development
Received on Mon Mar 29 2004 - 12:41:55 BST

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