Re: Bethesda statement on open access publishing

From: David Goodman <David.Goodman_at_LIU.EDU>
Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2005 23:16:24 -0500


I never thought that I would be suggesting that you are becoming
out of date. I think it due to your reliance on defintions and nomenclature.

The different types of dissemination you distinguish are the traditional types,
but they no longer match reality. Calling a not yet submitted article "unpublished"
made sense if you were referring to a half-dozen carbon copies sent to close associates.
It does not make sense when it refers to material posted in a repository. Such material
is published in reality no matter what the author chooses to call it:
It can be found by the public, it can can be read by the public, and
the author has no actual control over its further dissemination or use (though there may be
legal sanctions--since even the copyright law treats it as published. )

What remains is the literally academic distinction you mention:
it cannot be listed on one's academic CV as "published."
This is now as archaic as the structure of the academic world itself. The acceptance
by any peer-reviewed journal no matter how low the quality, and then the release under such imprint,
does ransform it for the sake of the CV, but in no other sense.
It does not make bad work better; it does not certify quality.

The author and the work itself define the quality: people will read (or not read) what you write,
"published" or "unpublished," as its quality and nature can be predicted. They will cite it
(or not cite it) as they find it valuable, or not. The certificate of a good
 journal is a guide to the beginner, and perhaps a help to the beginning author. An absolute beginner
will confuse the certificate of a good journal with the certificate of any journal that pretends to be
peer reviewed, as one sees among first year students-- and under-qualified academic administrators.

The danger of depending upon nomenclature is that one can easily think that
it defines the limits of possibility. The traditional sciences recognize both the addition of new
species, and the reclassification of the old.

I urge you to remain a professional scientist, not a professional academic.
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: Sat 3/12/2005 9:12 PM
Subject: Re: Bethesda statement on open access publishing
    (1) For OA purposes, a *publication* is a peer-reviewed journal
    article that one has published (we ignore here other publications such
    as books, textbooks, magazine/newspaper articles, poems, plays, etc.)

    (2) For academic CV purposes, I list my published journal articles
    under "Publications."

    (3) I list my unpublished papers as "Unpublished." (Those that
    are planned for submission or submitted, I may list as "Submitted
    for Publication".)

    (4) Those that are accepted for publication are listed as "Accepted
    for Publication."

    (5) Any of the above might be self-archived: That does not
    make them "Published" or "Publications." (Nor does it make them
    "Re-Published.) It just makes them OA.

It therefore follows that there is a *major* piece of equivocation in
calling the Bethesda definition of an OA Publication a definition of

An article that is published in an OA journal is most certainly an
OA publication. But what is an article that is published in a non-OA
journal, to which Open Access has been *provided* by the author, by
self-archiving it in his institutional archive? It is certainly a
*publication*, and it is certainly *OA*, but it does not meet the Bethesda
definition of an "OA publication"! -- And that's the point.

    Garfield: "Acknowledged Self-Archiving is Not Prior Publication"

I have already answered all of J-C Guedon's points below, and many more,
in great and painstaking detail, in a line-by-line critique in Ariadne
of his own recent Serials Review article "Mixing and Matching Green and

    Harnad, S. (2005) Fast-Forward on the Green Road to Open
    Access: The Case Against Mixing Up Green and Gold. Ariadne 43

I regret I haven't the time to repeat the exercise here. Perhaps
Jean-Claude will find the time to give equally painstaking attention to
my published critique; then we will see whether there is anything more to
be said. Failing that, I shall have to leave it to other members of the Forum
to take up Jean-Claude's challenge about publications, publishing, OA
publications, OA publishing, access-provision, "branding," and OA itself.

I do remind AmSci Forum members, however, that there are now at least
three Open Access Forums. This one is the oldest and has since 1998
been treating all aspects of what has since come to be called "OA," but
now it has been re-dedicated specifically to institutional OA Policy
discussion. The AmSci Forum now includes the provosts of the major US
universities; US, Canadian and British funding agency officers; and
representatives of many European and Asian universities and research
institutions. The explicit focus of the Forum is matters pertaining to
designing and implementing concrete, practical institutional Open Access
Provision Policy. Matters without concrete, practical institutional OA
Policy implications should preferably be redirected to either the BOAI
OA Forum or the Sparc OA Forum (so as not to drive the policy-makers
out of this Forum!):

I have branched this message, containing Jean-Claude's full posting,
unanswered, to those two other Fora, in case anyone there wishes to
take up the discussion.

Stevan Harnad

On Sat, 12 Mar 2005, guedon wrote:

> It would be really useful to try distinguishing between open access,
> open access publishing and open access publication.
> In my book, open access, by definition, is open to the public and,
> therefore, is a form of publishing. As a result, all open access belongs
> to the set of open access publishing. Starting from the other end, all
> open access publishing is necessarily in open access and therefore is
> open access. Conclusion, open access and open access publishing are
> synonyms.
> "Open access publication" refers to a publishing structure that is at
> least inspired by the model of a traditional journal. Peer-reviewed
> articles are placed in open access under a single title such as PLoS
> Medicine. "Open access publication" is a particular strategy within open
> access publishing and it aims at taking full advantage of the branding
> capacity of journals.
> Open access publishing can exist without any form of branding; open
> access publications cannot.
> One of the theses I presented in a recent paper
> ( is that one
> reason why pure OA publishing (i.e. using open access repositories
> without any further requirements or qualifications) is not terribly
> attractive to a great many authors (at least in the rich countries) is
> that they cannot clearly see the advantages in doing so. Preliminary
> research tends to demonstrate that there are advantages, but
> confirmations are greatly needed and better publicity of the fact is
> required. Meanwhile, most scientists remain indifferent to the
> repositories. Even with huge advocacy efforts, as is the case at the
> University of Glasgow, only about 20% of the papers get deposited.
> Clearly, there is a problem.
> In response to this problem, all Stevan Harnad has found is to push for
> some form of mandating. While this is realistic enough, it also
> demonstrates the limits of pure OA à la Harnad. Arguing in favour of
> mandating is also an admission of these limits.
> In the paper mentioned above, I argued that, in parallel with mandating
> (not against it, mind you), finding ways to make the repositories
> profitable from an author's viewpoint was important. I suggested that
> what made publications (as distinguished from publishing) attractive to
> authors is their branding ability and I therefore suggested a way to
> build similar capacity with institutional repositories.
> Note that in all of this, I have not said a negative word against the
> repositories, archiving, open access, etc. Quite the contrary! All I
> have said is that the green road left to its pure devices does not seem
> to possess what is needed to bring about full open access publishing (=
> open access as per above). I support the green roads, but simply ask we
> go a step further. And I do not believe advocating this blurs the
> vision, deters efforts or slows down the movement toward OA, quite the
> contrary. Unlike Stevan harnad, I do not see these two approaches as
> competing with each other; neither do I see them as part of some kind of
> zero-sum game where doing work in one way can only deter, weaken or
> defer progress toward OA.
> Jean-Claude Guédon
Received on Mon Mar 14 2005 - 04:16:24 GMT

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