Re: American Chemical Society's Back Access Policy

From: David Goodman <David.Goodman_at_LIU.EDU>
Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2005 22:38:03 -0500

Dear Stevan,

I completely agree, of course, that delayed access does not
 well serve the readers or the authors, and is
merely a timid half-step towards OA.
However, the ACS policy is not quite the worst it might have been:
if I correctly understand it, it provides the facility for this
access to all its authors, not just those required to make
the work available by the NIH.

There are scientific societies that have announced policies for doing exactly that--
permitting even delayed access only to the authors covered by the NIH policy.
I expected the ACS to do just the same, and am relieved to see that they are
not adopting such an absurd policy.

As they are no longer at the very rear, and are finally moving a little,
 let us expect that the undoubtedly continued success of
their journals will give them greater self-confidence in future years,
and encourage them to do things right.

Dr. David Goodman
Associate Professor
Palmer School of Library and Information Science
Long Island University

-----Original Message-----
From: American Scientist Open Access Forum on behalf of Stevan Harnad
Sent: Tue 3/8/2005 7:21 AM
Subject: American Chemical Society's Back Access Policy
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!)

Received on Wed Mar 09 2005 - 03:38:03 GMT

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