Re: The Green and Gold Roads to Open Access

From: Heather Morrison <>
Date: Fri, 7 May 2004 22:58:13 +0100

Stevan Harnad wrote:

> The rate of new OA journal start-ups is not likely to increase
> substantially, because the literature is already journal-saturated,
> and there are few new journal niches. Most OA journal growth is hence
> likely to come from the conversion of existing TA (toll-access)
> journals to OA, in one of three ways: (1) The journal remains TA,
> but makes its online version OA. (2) The journal abandons the TA
> cost-recovery model and adopts the OA (author-end) cost-recovery
> model. (3) The journal's editorial board and authorship -- hence,
> effectively, its title -- defect to an OA publisher.

There is [yet] another reason why self-archiving is not only highly
desirable, but necessary as one of the means to achieve open access:

[It] is because some of the open access journal publishing models - new
journals, defections - would only cover present and future publications,
and never make accessible past publications. In order to ensure maximum
access to the previously published literature, self-archiving is not
only the best option, but for a great deal of the literature, may be
the only option.

Would self-archiving increase impact even for articles that have passed
their normal citation peak, as they find a new audience? This might
vary with discipline. In every discipline, there are classic articles
and less-researched areas where even older articles still have current
validity. Plus, of course, access to the full range of literature is
needed for historical studies, studies of the scientific process per
se, etc.

Self-archiving has other advantages besides open access per se. For
example, institutional repositories can potentially form a cohesive
picture of the institution's research output as a whole; and I
predict that a well-developed institutional repository filled with
high-quality research output, will further add to the prestige of
researching organizations in the future, in the eyes of everyone from
key stakeholders to the best potential grad students and future faculty
to the public at large. Authors who also self-archive on their own web
sites will have a form of collected works, which for active researchers
will enhance their reputations and enrich their CVs.

This is not meant to discourage open access journal publishing. There is
more than one road to open access, and the two are not mutually exclusive
at all. The ideal just might be to publish in an open access journal,
and self-archive too.

a personal opinion by,

Heather G. Morrison
Project Coordinator
BC Electronic Library Network
Phone: 604-268-7001
Fax: 604-291-3023
Received on Fri May 07 2004 - 22:58:13 BST

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