Is Embarged Access Open Access?

From: George S. Porter <>
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 2004 00:54:06 +0100

Stevan Harnad wrote, with respect to the Chemical & Engineering News

> This conflation of journal pricing and policy with access provision is
> also one of the reasons we are still so one-sidedly fixated now on OA
> *publishing* (gold) instead of on OA *provision* (both gold and green).

Further supported by links to the green and gold definitions:

> 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.

I, for one, am a mite frustrated by the strait jacketed insistence
that there are only two approaches to opening access to the research
literature. The DC Principles <> are
very closely aligned with the original petition of the Public Library
of Science. The BOAI-limited discussion of Open Access therefore seems
to ignore, if not deny, the significant progress being made on almost a
daily basis in the biomedical literature through the retrodigitization
program of PubMed Central <>
and the Free Online Full-text Articles program of HighWire Press

I haven't done a detailed analysis of the DC Principles signatories
<>, but have come to understand
that much of the access granted back to the commons is being done through
HighWire Press and the mechanisms which they have developed to make
(somewhat) delayed access to the scholarly record available through
toll/subscription-based journals.

Another approach to opening up access, although still not within
the BOAI definitions, is the retrodigitization work of the
Center for Retrospective Digitization in G=F6ttingen (G=F6ttinger
DigitalisierungsZentrum GDZ) <>.
(A brief note on GDZ can be found in the PAMnet archives

NUMDAM, NUM=E9risation de Documents Anciens Mathematiques
<>, is another major mathematics retrodigitization
project which fails to fall within narrowly construed Open Access,
but which is highly relevant in the development of collections of Open
Access mathematics materials.

My question, then, is does there already exist an adequate descriptor
for these other varieties of Open Access materials? If so, why is
the focus of debate so narrowly constrained? Or, does the Open Access
movement need to development new terminology/coloration to acknowledge
and embrace this concept and the hundreds of journals, hundreds of books,
and thousands (perhaps millions) of articles and chapters which are
already openly available?

George S. Porter
Sherman Fairchild Library of Engineering & Applied Science
California Institute of Technology
Mail Code 1-43, Pasadena, CA 91125
Telephone (626) 395-3409 Fax (626) 431-2681
Received on Fri Apr 02 2004 - 00:54:06 BST

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