Re: The Green and Gold Roads to Open Access

From: Matthew Cockerill <>
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2004 19:10:06 +0000

On 12 Dec 2004, at 14:43, Stevan Harnad wrote:

>> You need to stop and reconsider the mathematical logic of that
>> statement, Stevan. (In fact, every author has the option of
>> contributing to an OA journal, even if OA journals are a small
>> minority in the journal marketplace.)
> I am always chuffed to have my logic challenged, as it gives some
> relief from the unjust stereotype that it is always I who am,
> curmudgeonly, chipping away at others' logic!

Invitation accepted!

> Just to see where your mathematical logic leads, Rick, and then work
> backwards:
> are you suggesting that all 2.5 million articles currently published
> in the planet's 24,000 peer-reviewed journals could be rechanneled to
> just 1 of those 24,000 journals? No? Then let's do some mathematical
> induction: 2? 2%? 5%?
> No, 95% of the annual peer-reviewed literature cannot be squeezed
> through the keyhole of the 1383 OA journals known to exist today:
> Moreover, there is a *function* being performed
> by that large and diverse array of existing journals, not only in
> covering all fields, but in covering, hierarchically, each level of
> each field. That's what "choosing a suitable journal" means (above):
> choosing the journal that covers the subject matter, and at the highest
> quality level (peer-review standard) that the paper can manage to
> successfully meet. This means (among other things) that journals must
> be selective -- in some cases (the top) *very* selective. It is not
> just a matter of squeezing all candidates into the tiny arbitrary subset
> of them that happen to share a certain cost-recovery model today!

Imagine that back in 1983, I tried to persuade you that mobile phone
cellular networks were going to transform how people communicate.

"Ah no", you would have counter-argued, "mobile phone networks
only have the capacity to handle 5% of the calls that are being made, so
clearly that can't be the way forwards. But meanwhile, everyone has a
fixed line phone. And you know what? If you carry around a really long
extension cord with you whenever you leave the house, that gives
you pretty much the same benefits. So instead of grappling with these
new-fangled, unfamiliar mobile phone thingies (which can only handle 5%
of calls), we could *all* have mobile communication now, if only everyone
would plug in a really long extension cable and carry it with them at
all times. Frankly I am utterly baffled by people's inability to
recognize that mobile communication is in their grasp. And why do people
keep conflating mobile communication with mobile phones?!"

Matt Cockerill, Ph.D.
Technical Director, BioMed Central
Received on Sun Dec 12 2004 - 19:10:06 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:47:43 GMT