American Chemical Society's Back Access Policy

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2005 12:21:26 +0000

The American Chemical Society -- one of the declining number of"gray"
publishers of the 8% of journals that still have not given their green
light to author self-archiving --
has announced that it has officially cloned and adopted the worst-case
scenario of the NIH Public Access Policy:

>American Chemical Society broadens author-directed article access
> >
>Policy on Enhancing Public Access to Archived Publications Resulting from
>NIH-Funded Research (Notice Number NOT-OD-05-022/
> )

Back Access 12 months late is too little, too late to benefit research
access, usage or progress. The ACS 12-month access-delay would lock in
a pure, needless and counterproductive loss to research access, usage
and progress. This is just another untoward (and unintended) side-effect
of the flawed NIH Public Access Policy. NIH has unwittingly given ACS a
pretext for feeling and portraying itself as if it were civic-minded in
not giving its green light to immediate author self-archiving, whereas
in fact this is merely an attempt to lock in Back Access for many years
to come, by locking out Open Access -- under the guise of assisting it!

The definitive cure for all this dithering will be the adoption of
institutional self-archiving policies. Providing OA does not depend on
publishers; it never did. It depends entirely upon researchers, their
institutions and their research funders.

Bref: Publishers need not provide OA themselves, but they should give
their own authors the green light to do so if they wish. (Not that the
green light is necessary either, legally or practically: it is merely
helpful *psychologically,* to disinhibit sluggish and timid authors!)

    "Putting the Berlin Principle into Practice:
     The Southampton Keystroke Policy"

Pertinent Prior AmSci Topic Threads:

    "Shulenburger on open access: so NEAR and yet so far"

    "Please Don't Copy-Cat Clone NIH-12 Non-OA Policy!"

    "Open Access vs. NIH Back Access and Nature's Back-Sliding"

    "Evolving APS Copyright Policy (American Physical Society)" (1999)

    ACS meeting comments on e-prints (2000)

    ACS Chemical & Engineering News Editorial: "The Open-Access Myth" (2004)

    "Royal Society of Chemistry is Now Green (Green reaches 92%)"

    "Are Chemical Journals Too Expensive and Inaccessible?"

    "Google's Scholarly Search Service and Institutional OA Self-Archiving"

    "American Psychological Association (APA) and Open Access"

Stevan Harnad
Received on Tue Mar 08 2005 - 12:21:26 GMT

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