Re: UK select committee response to government on OA

From: Sally Morris <>
Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2005 16:28:02 -0000

Apologies for cross-posting, but the misunderstandings should be corrected

Peter Suber has misread the report. It is the Government's response to the
Committee (plus the OFT's response), not the other way round. The comments
in bold (which are all that Peter quotes) are the substantive points in the
Committee's previous response, and are included in order that the Government
can give its response point by point. The Government has not changed its
position, but has simply reiterated it.

Stevan Harnad also misreads it. There is no Government 'polemic' whatever
in the report; the Government focuses on issues such as the treatment of
the JISC response, and the author-pays model of OA, because those are the
points in the Committee's response which they are addressing.

The Guardian columnist Richard Wray misinterpreted even more egregiously, in
seeing a shift in Government policy towards OA publishing! As I mentioned
above, the Government view is simply reiterated.

Moral - read carefully for yourself!


Sally Morris, Chief Executive
Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers
South House, The Street, Clapham, Worthing, West Sussex BN13 3UU, UK

Phone: +44 (0)1903 871686 Fax: +44 (0)1903 871457
ALPSP Website

ALPSP Learned Journals Collection (in partnership with Swets)
awarded Best STM Information Product for 2004
----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Suber" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2005 8:40 PM
Subject: Re: UK select committee response to government on OA

> >Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2005 09:20:48 -0800
>>To: E-Journals in Libraries Discussion <>
>>Resent-Subject: UK select committee response to government on OA
>>Forwarding from Open Access News. -- George
>>The UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has
>>issued its formal response (dated January 26, released February 1)
>>to the government's response [...]
> I thank George Porter for forwarding my blog posting to the list.
> However, by unlucky chance, I never botched a blog posting as badly as I
> botched that one. The new document is not the committee response to the
> government, but another government response to the committee. I caught my
> mistake soon after posting it and rewrote the note. Here's the rewrite:
> The UK government released a new response (dated January 26, released
> February 1) to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee's
> response (November 8, 2004) to the government's rejection of the
> committee's report (July 20, 2004) on open access and STM publishing.
> Excerpt: 'The Government should be supporting the best and most cost
> effective way possible to channel scientific outputs and at the moment it
> is not demonstrable that the 'author pays' model is the better
> system....DTI has not sought to neutralise the views of JISC....The
> Government has not decided against the author-pays model, but does not
> want to force a premature transition to a different system. To strongly
> endorse or reject the author-pays approach would not be in the interests
> of allowing the market itself to evolve to meet the needs of authors and
> the wider academic community....The Government recognises the potential
> benefits of Institutional Repositories and sees them as a significant
> development worthy of encouragement. But it believes that each Institution
> has to make its own decision about Institutional Repositories depending on
> individual circumstances.'
> (PS: This response suffers from the same problems as the government's
> November response. First, it focuses more on OA journals than OA
> repositories, when the committee report did the reverse. Second, it
> dismisses the primary recommendation --for mandated OA for taxpayer-funded
> research through OA repositories-- without addressing the committee's
> evidence and arguments. In November the committee criticized the
> government for precisely these two failings, and in this response the
> government is repeating them.)
> Peter Suber
> Open Access Project Director, Public Knowledge
> Research Professor of Philosophy, Earlham College
> Author, SPARC Open Access Newsletter
> Editor, Open Access News blog
> ______________________________________________________________________
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Received on Sat Feb 05 2005 - 16:28:02 GMT

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