Re: Evolving Publisher Copyright Policies On Self-Archiving

From: Pauline Simpson <ps_at_SOC.SOTON.AC.UK>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 14:39:31 +0000

To help with this encouragement it would be most helpful if the SHERPA
Romeo database and the romeo.eprints database had a facility to set up a
dynamic search for all postprint green publishers. Forgive me if this
functionality is there and I just have not found it yet. The dynamic
search could then be placed on so many advocacy interfaces and would be a
very quick way for researchers to see the range. The list at present is
not too unwieldy - we hope eventually it will get too long, but at present
this would be a very useful advocacy tool.


At 13:03 19/01/2005, you wrote:
>On Tue, 18 Jan 2005, David Goodman wrote:
> > I suggest it is time that OA [self-archiving] advocates upgrade
> > our standards.
>It seems to me that with OA self-archiving not yet being done
>for more than about 15% of the 2.5 million articles published annually,
>OA's problem is not low-grade standards but low-volume content.
>And that the way to encourage the remaining 85% of non-self-archiving
>authors to go ahead and do it is not by raising the bar and increasing
>the barriers.
>And that the way to encourage more publishers to give their green light
>to OA self-archiving is likewise not to raise the bar or fault the 92% of
>journals that are already green (79% postprint green and 13% preprint
>green) but to encourage the remaining 85% of authors to act on the
>green light they already have.
> > The self-archiving of posprints whose reliability and correctness is
> unknown
> > is a very poor excuse for the real version.
>A very poor excuse for whom? For all those would-be users of those
>articles who would otherwise have had no access to them all, because their
>institutions could not afford the non-OA version? Isn't the purpose of OA to
>provide access for them?
>A poor excuse for the authors of the 85% of articles that are not yet being
>self-archived at all? A poor excuse for what? For not doing even more than
>they are already not doing now?
>Or a poor excuse for the 15% of authors who have self-archived their articles?
>Are they to be faulted, and the bar raised higher for them too?
>Or a poor excuse for the publishers of the 92% of journals that have given
>green light to self-archiving, and not taken up on it by their authors?
>Uncertain reliability and correctness? On whose behalf is this call for
>the (mostly non-existent) self-archived OA content being made?
> > It adds complexity for students,
>Complexity for students? Are the 85% of researchers who do not yet
>their articles, and the 15% who already do self-archive their articles,
>now being
>asked to do *more* than self-archive the refereed, accepted final drafts
>of the
>2.5 million peer-reviewed journal articles, most of them used only by other
>researchers? More than what 92% of journals have given them the green
>light to do?
>And more than what 15% of them already do (and 85% still don't) now?
>And do it in order to make things simpler for students?
> > and in fact makes it necessary for a research to... either
> > use published articles only, or verify for each article used that the
> > 2 versions do in fact match.
>I have great difficulty following this: Use published articles only? Aren't
>published articles what we are talking about providing Open Access to?
>Or is this referring to the author's final, refereed accepted draft versus
>the publisher's PDF? Well the *premise* of OA is that not every would-be
>user happens to have access to the publisher's PDF. That's the problem
>OA self-archiving is intended to solve.
>Is David Goodman proposing that we should keep users deprived of
>access until "standards are upgraded" by publishers agreeing to the
>self-archiving of their proprietary PDFs?
>And does David think "upgrading standards" is what will provide
>OA to the currently missing 85% of the annual 2.5 million articles?
>Of course scholarship dictates that in order to be absolutely sure
>one is using or citing the verbatim published text, one needs to check
>the published text. But how often -- in the daily desktop use of the
>annual 2.5 million articles by researchers -- does David Goodman think
>that verbatim checking is either necessary or done (where the PDF is
>David's paradigm seems to be the hapless scholar, in possession of the
>author's refereed final draft, but obliged to make the extra effort of
>seeking the publisher's PDF to check whether a passage is precisely as the
>author's postprint has it. (Please try to put a percentage on that case.)
>My paradigm is the hapless researcher, who has *no access at all*
>-- to either the author's self-archived postprint nor the publisher's
>PDF. (Please put a percentage on that: It will be all would-be users
>worldwide whose institutions cannot afford the toll-access version of
>85% of the 2.5 million annual articles in the 24,000 journals.)
>Then re-think the recommendation that what we need to do now is to
>"upgrade standards" -- rather than to self-archive that remaining 85%!
> > (preprints are another matter: they serve the same function electronically
> > that they did in Xerox: to make the author's draft available before
> > formal publication.or even before refereeing if so desired)
>For all those would-be users whose institutions cannot afford access to
>the published PDF, the "formal publication" time is immaterial, for they
>have access neither before nor after, unless the author self-archives
>the postprint! And that (not journal prices!) is what OA is about.
> > It was right to use this admittedly less than perfect method as a first
> > step towards publisher acceptance. I think we can now ask for better,
> > and find our request matched by the more forward-thinking of publishers.
>Ninety-two percent of journals agree to author self-archiving because of
>the alleged desire of the research community for OA, 85% of researchers
>don't yet bother to do go ahead and do it, and our "next step" is to be
>to ask publishers -- rather than the researchers -- to do more?
>If I were a publisher who had been responsive and responsible enough
>to the research community's expressed desire for OA to give authors the
>green light to self-archive -- only to see that 85% don't bother to do
>it, and only come back asking for still more -- I doubt that I would be
>quite so credulous about the research community's alleged need for OA
>the second time!
>The second step, after receiving the green light, is to self-archive. When
>OA reaches 100%, and *if* that is still found wanting, we can talk about
>"upgrading standards" then. But certainly not now.
> > Poliically, it seems that it seems to be of little value to ask for
> > just a compromise, as we watch the NIH proposal become weaker and weaker.
>This is mixing apples and oranges. Publishers voluntarily went
>green in response to researchers' expressed desire for the benefits
>of OA. (Publishers going green wasn't necessary: 100% self-archiving
>could have been reached without publishers giving it the green light,
>and in some sub-areas 100% self-archiving was already reached years
>ago. But publishers going green helped; it served as encouragement for
>some sluggish self-archivers, and it confirmed the publishers' commitment
>not to stand in the way of OA, if their authors want it so much.)
>The NIH mandate is something else. I agree that it is a great pity
>that it is being made weaker and weaker. But that regrettable (and
>counterproductive) compromise on the part of NIH has nothing to do with
>what green publishers have already agreed to -- and authors have not
>yet done. Indeed, the NIH mandate is intended so as to get more authors
>to do it. But in biomedical research 12 months after publication is not
>Open Access any more, it's Ancient History!
>So the fact that the NIH compromise is bad does not mean that it would
>be a "compromise" to accept and act upon the publishers' green light such as
>it is. What is David proposing? That authors refuse to self-archive
>until/unless publishers tell them they can self-archive the PDF? But
>they're already not self-archiving! Should the authors who threatened to
>boycott publishers unless they became gold (OA) publishers now threaten to
>boycott self-archiving unless publishers allow PDF self-archiving? Empty
>threat, since they're hardly self-archiving anyway, and that's hardly skin
>off the publisher's nose, who can point to it as evidence that researchers
>don't really mean what they say about needing and wanting OA so much!
> > I note that (even) the American Physiological Society now says it makes
> > more sense to deposit the actual article. To insert from liblicense:
> > "We already make content available on the Web at 12 months through
> > links at Medline," said Alice Ra'anan, American Physiological Society
> > spokesperson. "They'd be better off using the definitive article rather
> > than the manuscript. "
>And now David Goodman adds his own advice: "They'd be better of holding out
>for the green light to self-archive the definitive article, rather than
>self-archiving the refereed, accepted final draft now."
>There is parity here: The APS (worthy of Marie Antoinette) says "let them
>eat Ancient History" (instead of OA now); David recommends "let them
>upgrade standards" (instead of OA now). And I say: OA now. It is within
>reach. We need only grasp it. Fussing instead about "upgrading standards"
>is merely distracting us from what really needs to be done, now.
>Stevan Harnad
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: American Scientist Open Access Forum on behalf of Stevan Harnad
> > Sent: Mon 1/17/2005 2:25 PM
> > Subject: Re: Evolving Publisher Copyright Policies On
> > Self-Archiving
> >
> > On the list of publishers at:
> >
> > is it the case that any publisher that is green is also pale-green?
> >
> > [Reply: Not necessarily, but it does not matter much. Open Access
> > is about postprints, so if a journal is postprint green, it's
> > as green as it needs to be, and as green as 100% OA needs it to
> > be. The unrefereed preprint is an added bonus to OA. All authors
> > may self-archived their pre-refereeing preprints without needing
> > the green light from anyone. But it is always more encouraging to
> > an author if the publisher endorses preprint self-archiving too.
> > -- S.H.]
> >

Pauline Simpson,
Head of Information Services, Southampton Oceanography Centre
Head of Libraries, NERC
Head of Engineering, Science and Math Faculty Services
TARDis (Univ Southampton Institutional e-Prints Repository) Project Manager

University of Southampton Waterfront Campus, European Way,
Southampton, SO14 3ZH, England

  Tel: +44-(0)23 8059 6111: Fax +44-(0)23 8059 6115
  email: ;
  Web :
Received on Wed Jan 19 2005 - 14:39:31 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:47:45 GMT