Re: The UK report, press coverage, and the Green and Gold Roads to Open Access

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2004 23:00:11 +0100

The press just keeps on missing the mark!

"American and British Lawmakers Endorse Open-Access Publishing"
Andrea Foster and Lila Guterman
Chronicle of Higher Education, July 30, 2004

> "In a double coup for the open-access movement this month,
> committees of the U.S. Congress and British Parliament recommended
> that papers resulting from government-financed research be made
> available free. The committees recommended that the U.S. and British
> governments require researchers to deposit in free, online archives
> any articles that arise from research sponsored, respectively,
> by the National Institutes of Health and any British agency.

So far, so good. That part was correct. But then:

> The British committee further recommended that journal publishers
> adopt an open-access model in which authors would pay to publish
> and subscription fees would be eliminated. Both governments are
> expected to act on the committees' recommendations this year."

No, the British committee did not recommend that; on the contrary,
they explicitly refrained from recommending it and recommended only
further experimentation with it, along with funding to help pay
author-institutions costs for OA Publishing.

Nor is the title of the story correct:

    "American and British Lawmakers Endorse Open-Access Publishing"

"Endorsement" is ambiguous. What, if anything, both the Americans and
the British endorsed was Open Access (OA), not OA Publishing. They
recommended mandating OA *Provision* through author/institution
self-archiving of published articles (the "green" road to OA), not OA
Publishing (the golden road to OA).

Stevan Harnad

UNIVERSITIES: If you have adopted or plan to adopt an institutional
policy of providing Open Access to your own research article output,
please describe your policy at:

    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.

A complete Hypermail archive of the ongoing discussion of providing
open access to the peer-reviewed research literature online (1998-2004)
is available at:
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Received on Mon Jul 26 2004 - 23:00:11 BST

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