On Distinguishing Open Access Self-Archiving from Open Access Journal Publishing

From: Subbiah Arunachalam <arun_at_mssrf.res.in>
Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2004 14:17:26 +0100


Again the focus is on open access publishing! And the easier and far
superior path of open access self-archiving will get further relegated to the
background by such discussions. If Inge Kaul and Vikas Nath are really
interested in promoting public good and want to enhance access to scholarly
knowledge for scientists in the developing countries, they should STOP this
discussion on open access publishing and START disseminating the tremendous
value of open access institutional archiving!

Take one single fact. Over 90% of over 8,000 journals surveyed permit
some form of institutional archiving - either preprint or postprint or both
or even the PDF version of the paper as it appeared in the journal. These
journals include those published by leading commercial publishers. And yet
only a few authors are archiving their papers.

Kaul and Nath should join those who are trying to enlarge this constituency.
They should lobby for support to the UK House of Commons Committee's
recommendations for mandatory archiving of papers.


Subbiah Arunachalam
MS Swaminathan Institute, Chennai
Trustee, Electronic Publishing Trust for Development

-----Original Message-----
From: Vikas Nath [mailto:vikas.nath_at_undp.org]
Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2004 4:51 PM
To: Knowledge Management for International Development Organisations
Subject: Invitation- eForum on "OPEN ACCESS":
         Open Access to Scholarly Publications:
         A model for enhanced knowledge management?

Dear Colleagues at km4Dev,

This electronic event may be of interest to members of this list as it
pertains to managment of knowledge in scholarly journals.

We invite you to participate in the upcoming eForum on "OPEN ACCESS TO
the global public goods Network (gpgNet). http://www.gpgnet.net/topic08.php

The eForum will run from 20 September through 4 October 2004.

To subscribe to this forum, send a blank email to:
<mailto:subscribe-gpgnet-oa_at_groups.undp.org> or, go to:

There exists a rapidly expanding stock of scientific knowledge. Yet, access
to this pool of knowledge is often difficult. A primary reason for this is
the relatively high price of scholarly journals, their printed and their
web-based versions. This situation, it can be argued is both inequitable and

Initiatives have been undertaken to demonstrate that scientific knowledge
need not necessarily be published in forms that make access expensive - or
impossible. It could be provided free of charge - through open access to it
- without detrimental effect on scientific knowledge production and
preserving the peer-review process that is key to validate scientific

With open access, fees to meet the publishing costs - when required - are
paid up front when articles are accepted by a journal, rather than by the
readers. Access to the journal is then provided for free.

Today, about 5% of academic publishing follows the open-access model. But
the model is quickly gaining ground, including among both for-profit
(BioMedCentral -BMC) and not-for-profit (Public Library of Science PloS)

The key points suggested for the debate are:

1. What are the main pros and cons of open-access scholarly publishing?
2. Thinking in particular of scholars in developing countries (and the fact
that research grants may not be as easily available for them than for
industrial-country scholars), could they face a new disadvantage? What
sources will be available to pay these fees when authors cannot get their
funder or employer to pay them? Will all open-access journals be able to
waive processing fees in cases of economic hardship, as PLoS and BMC do?
Should the international aid community maintain a fund/facility to help meet
these costs?
3. Is the open-access model of publishing more likely to be successful in
some than in other fields? What would determine the likely success?
4. Could the open-access model of knowledge management be applied beyond
scholarly academic publishing?

To aid debate on the topic, read a detailed overview of how open access to
scholarly publications works by Peter Suber, Open Access Project Director at
Public Knowledge, Washington, D.C, available at

Also read how the Budapest Open Access Initiative defines "Open Access" at

Join us for this debate and share with us - and the global public - your
observations on this topic.

Inge Kaul
Office of Development Studies

Vikas Nath
global public goods Network (gpgNet) Forum

United Nations Development Programme
336 East 45 Street
New York NY 10017 USA
Email: info_at_gpgnet.net
URL: <http://www.gpgnet.net/> http://www.gpgNet.net
Received on Thu Sep 09 2004 - 14:17:26 BST

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