Wall Street Journal Article on UK Open Access Proposal

From: Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 05:14:26 +0000

On 11/8/04 Ben Winkley, in "UK Govt "Unconvinced" On Open Access To
Science Research" http://online.wsj.com/search#BT_CO_20041108_002913

> "The U.K. government said Monday it isn't convinced by a proposal
> to allow open access to scientific research on the Internet...
> Under the system, authors pay for their articles to be published,
> but their research is then made available free of charge over
> the Internet."

This was not the major plank of the UK proposal. The major plank was
to mandate that all UK researchers must make their published research
journal articles openly accessible to all users by self-archiving them
on their university's website.

The minor plank was to "encourage experimenting" with "author pays"
publication models by making some funds available to authors wishing
to publish in author-pays journals. Publisher objections to government
encouragement of author-pays models were then cited as the grounds for
rejecting the entire proposal, even though the objections had no bearing
on the author self-archiving mandate. (Ninety-two percent of journals
have already given their green light to author self-archiving.)

> "Currently, publishers pay authors for rights to their research,
> then charge subscriptions for journals."

This is incorrect. Unlike journalists, researchers are *not* paid
by their publishers for rights to their research. They give away their
research, to publishers and researchers alike, their only objective
being to maximize its usage and impact.

Stevan Harnad
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Received on Fri Nov 12 2004 - 05:14:26 GMT

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