Re: Self-Archiving vs. Self-Publishing FAQ

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2004 22:18:31 +0100

Prior Amsci Topic Threads:

    "Self-Archiving vs. Self-Publishing FAQ" (Jan 2000)

    "Self-Archiving Refereed Research
     vs. Self-Publishing Unrefereed Research" (Aug 2001)

    'Chronicle of Higher Education
    Article on "Self-Publication"' (Nov 2002)

    "Don't Conflate Self-Archiving with Self-Publishing,
    or Buy-In with Buy-Back" (Apr 2003)

    "Self-Archiving vs. Self-Publishing" (Dec 2003)

On Thu, 7 Oct 2004, Brian Simboli wrote:

>Subject: The dangers of double-publishing
> Responses to Stevan Harnad:
> 1. I've so far taken no positions on the merits of central as opposed
> to institutional solutions. Why do you attribute, once again, a view to
> me that I don't hold? Perhaps that explains the need of various people
> to reiterate points.

My inference was based on your own words:

(1) Against (green) self-archiving:

    "Why is there this unspoken assumption that green is
    any more practicable than, say, the overlay concept?"

(2) For (green) self-archiving:

    "Also, I am told that has been willing to expand its
    subject coverage. Why not use that as a repository for final,
    refereed versions articles?"

Difference between (1) and (2)? (2) is central self-archiving.

What to conclude (if this is not to be a flat contradiction:
for-green, against-green)? That Brian is for central self-archiving
and against institutional self-archiving.

Why? Because institutional self-archiving looks as if it might cost
some time and resources for institutional libraries/librarians, whereas
central would offload the cost and time somewhere else. (Just a guess...)

> 2. I think we're hitting definitional problems here. It depends on how
> you define "green". Stevan takes it to be tied crucially to author's
> depositing their output somewhere, ***including (or especially?) cases
> where that output has already been published by toll access
> publishers***.

Not wanting to make any quixotic custodial claims on the English tongue,
I would nevertheless suggest that as I coined the color-terms, I might
have some clue as to what they refer to! There are two ways to provide
Open Access (OA) to peer-reviewed journal articles (which is the target
literature for the Budapest Open Access Initiative [BOAI], which
coined the basic term "Open Access" itself):

BOAI-1 is defined by BOAI as providing open online access to an article
by publishing it in a peer-reviewed journal and also self-archiving it so
as to make it accessible to all would-be users webwide toll-free. (The
self-archiving is preferably in an OAI-compliant OA archive, whether an
institutional/departmental/personal OAI archive or a central/disciplinary
OAI archive)

BOAI-2 is defined by BOAI as providing open online access to an article
by publishing it in an Open Access (OA) journal that makes it accessible
to all would-be users webwide toll-free. (The access is preferably in
an OAI-compliant OA Archive.)

I simply coined the terms "green" and "golden" roads to OA for BOAI-1
and BOAI-2 respectively, with the "gold" journals being the OA journals
that provide OA directly, and the "green" journals being the journals
that give their authors the "green light" to go ahead and self-archive.

According to the sample to date, about 5% of the world's 24,000
peer-reviewed journals are gold:

According to the sample to date, about 92% of the world's 24,000
peer-reviewed journals are green:

> My point is that this practice of double-publishing
> promotes a system beholden to the commercials for their largesse,
> something that in the recent discussions he has not really addressed.

This is not a practice of "double-publishing":

   'Garfield: "Acknowledged Self-Archiving is Not Prior Publication"'

The articles are published in a journal. The self-archived version is
provided so that those would-be users who cannot afford the toll-access
version can still access and use the article.

On the subject of "largesse" I invite Brian, for the 3rd time, to have a look

> What of the "pull the plug" argument? (i.e.., the commercials can at any
> point overturn their extension of green self-archiving "rights").

I invite Brian, for the 4th time, to look at:

(I only refrain from reproducing the text in full here because others have
already seen it reproduced in full.)

> I'm all for OA preprint archiving, for those disciplines that rely upon
> them.

But the BOAI, and OA, are primarily about providing OA to the
peer-reviewed article, not the unrefereed preprint. And I challenge Brian
to name any discipline that will *not* be better off if no would-be user
is denied access to any article because his institution cannot afford
the access tolls. (Please don't reply about ILL [interlibrary loan],
because that's just another form of toll-access, not to mention that it
is not available for full-text online browsing and searching in advance.)

> The fact remains that most disciplines rely on publishing in
> toll-access, peer reviewed venues. To think that double-publishing that
> material is going to handle the infrastructural problems of
> affordability, preservation, etc is, I think, quixotic, at least for the
> foreseeable future.

It is not double-publishing, it is self-archiving the published article to
provide OA to it. And it is not provided for the sake of affordability,
preservation, etc., but for the sake of access and impact.

(Universities' and research funders' existing mandate to publish-or-perish
does not refer to vanity self-publishing, it refers to peer-reviewed
journal publication. The mandate may well be extended to self-archiving
the publication too, but not as a substitute for publication, but as
a supplement to it, for the sake of maximizing access and impact. For
academic research, CV and promotion purposes, "publish" means "publish
in a peer-reviewed journal" [at least for articles, if not books].)

>sh> 3. "overlay journals have nothing in principle to do with OA".
> I have in mind by overlay journals, a vague term I admit, the following.
> You may want to disagree with my definition, in which case we can find
> another term. Shall we call it the "x-journal"?
> a. institutionally funded editorial processes resulting in deposit of
> refereed materials in an established institutional or central archive or
> archives, where the traditional model of peer-review is full retained,
> and where the access is toll access. [Institutional is ambiguous--I can
> see a variety of institutions supporting one central archive].

I'm afraid I could not follow this: Who administers the refereeing
and certifies its outcome? Let us call that a "journal." There are already
24,000 of those , refereeing and publishing 2,5 million articles per year.

What does "institutionally funded editorial processes" mean? An
institution paying the peer-review costs for its author's articles? That's
called BOAI-2 (gold). An institution doing its own peer-review? That's
called vanity publishing.

And if all of this is toll-access, I'm not sure why are we discussing it here
at all, in a forum dedicated to open access!

> or
> b." ", where the access is open access.

You mean an OA (gold) journal, again?

> Option (b) holds a great deal of promise for facilitating OA of
> traditionally peer-reviewed materials, which is what researchers want in
> most disciplines. It is in this sense that overlay journals have a whole
> lot to do with OA. Option (a), if prices are kept low, also promotes
> access, though not open access. Why? More institutions can buy journals.

As already discussed at length in my prior reply, the online medium offers
many ways to make peer review faster, more efficient, and more economical.
But that has nothing to do with OA either.

> 4. What is option (b) any more hypothetical than the quixotic goal of
> 100 per cent green self-archiving of already published material?

Unfortunately I am now lost completely. Brian is speculating about
alternative systems that I have trouble even verbalizing in such a way
as to make them make sense -- except if all they mean is cheaper and
more efficient online peer-review and/or OA (gold) journal publication
-- in which case there is nothing new or relevant to discuss here.

> 5. Self-archiving involves "no dollars"? Perhaps for researchers. I
> speak from a librarian's perspective, however.

This may be a very important point, not considered before. If librarians
are reluctant (quite understandably and justifiably) to support
self-archiving with their time and resources it might be best to assign
the all-important institutional self-archiving function somewhere
else. Librarians, after all, are not traditionally interested in,
responsible for or beneficiaries of institutional research impact. (Their
only involvement with research impact is in connection with journal
impact factors, in making acquisition/cancellation decisions.)

So rather than having the self-archiving function automatically assigned
to the library by default, only to have it rejected or minimized in
an understandable desire to protect library budgets, it may be better
to assign it elsewhere -- perhaps to computer services, perhaps devolved
departmentally (something OAI-interoperability and modularity makes
easy to do), perhaps somewhere else; it's not a big expense in any
case. No need to saddle librarians with a nontraditional function
that they would rather not perform -- especially if it keeps getting
confused with other, traditional library functions (such as acquisition,
preservation, cataloguing, permissions) with which it does not fit,
and from which only the wrong conclusions can be drawn.

> But good luck in getting the majority, or even a small minority, of
> researchers on board with your strategy.

The biggest help will of course be the self-archiving mandate that some
institutions are already implementing, and that the UK and US and other
nations may soon be introducing at the national level.

> So too librarians, who find your condescension toward them demeaning.

I am sorry if it sounds like condescension; it is just an attempt to
put in words what increasingly looks like an attempt to put a round peg
in a square hole. Librarians were among the historic heroes of the OA
movement for having rallied us to the access problem as a spin-off of
the affordability problem. But having alerted us all to the problem,
it simply seems to be transpiring that the solution may lie elsewhere.

Stevan Harnad

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UNIVERSITIES: If you have adopted or plan to adopt an institutional
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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.
Received on Thu Oct 07 2004 - 22:18:31 BST

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