Re: Drubbing Peter to Pay Paul

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 18:48:17 +0000

    See also:,11056,1364556,00.html

On Fri, 12 Nov 2004, David Goodman wrote:

> Charles Oppenheim wrote:
> > [W]hat annoys me is that the Government conflates OA journals with OA
> > repositories and I do think it needs educating on that matter. It would
> > have been so much better if the Gov't had encouraged Universities and
> > the like to set repositories up and encouraged funding agencies to
> > make OA agencies to make OA *provision* (by either (1) publishing the
> > article in an OA journal OR by (2) publishing it in a non-OA journal
> > and self-archiving it in an OA repository) a condition of grant.
> >
> Charles raises the implied question of whether it is more advantageous
> to have a governmental mandate specify the form of open access, or give
> a variety of choices.

Charles Oppenheim's point was not about giving a "variety of choices":
It was about not conflating Peter (green, OA self-archiving) and Paul
(gold, OA publishing) and then rejecting Peter because of objections
to Paul, as the UK government did.

The purpose of spelling it out explicitly as the either/or that it really
is, is to prevent Peter and Paul from being conflated as one and the same
(and then drubbing Peter to pox Paul!).

The written evidence to the Select Committee that Charles cites above
was in fact also co-submitted with him and maps out the two distinct
the gold-or-green (Peter-or-Paul) routes to OA provision from the very

The idea is that if people see "A *OR* B", explicitly, they will be less
inclined to to treat it as if "A = B."

Having said that: notice that mandating self-archiving alone already
covers both options, because one can in fact self-archive not only
the 95% of articles that are published in non-OA journals, but the
5% that are published in OA journals too. Of course the OA journal
articles are already OA, but no harm done by self-archiving them too --
and it keeps the algorithm simpler: Just mandate self-archiving all
articles. Making the OA journal option explicit is just so that it is
transparent that that OA option is *not* identical with the self-archiving
of non-OA journals articles.

Stevan Harnad
Received on Fri Nov 12 2004 - 18:48:17 GMT

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