Re: Proposed update of BOAI definition of OA: Immediate and Permanent

From: David Goodman <David.Goodman_at_LIU.EDU>
Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2005 18:09:15 -0500

Regardless of any comments on larger issues,
I certainly do agree with Stevan's proposed changes.

As for the wording..
PERMANENTLY is clear enough
IMMEDIATELY -- immediately after what? Surely not immediately after writing, and we do not all seem to mean the same thing by publication.
I think we need to accommodate those who do not want to release until a fixed date of formal publication for whatever reason, but we also want to provide for preprints.
Perhaps "immediately upon formal publication, at the latest."
I suggest this is what we might all agree is the meaning, though I do not think it an elegant or definitive wording.

I suggest we do not condemn delayed access in its various forms, but rather regard them as training wheels for building confidence. They are now in place for some timid societies; perhaps they could be agreed to be unnecessary after
December 05. -- I remind everyone we have come a very long way in the last 6 months.

(And where I think Stevan and I disagree is that I would say
"Immediately, permanently, and in their definitive form;" he regards the third clause to be unnecessary. I can understand and accept his definition as a more advanced setting of the training wheels, but not as the ultimate goal. Maybe for 2007.)

I suggest that those who think of it as moving the goalpost start thinking of it as progress. We are not playing a game against each other--we are making joint advances in the state of the art.

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

-----Original Message-----
From: American Scientist Open Access Forum [] On Behalf Of guedon
Sent: Sunday, March 13, 2005 12:56 PM
Subject: Re: [Manifesto] Proposed update of BOAI definition of OA: Immediate and Permanent

I would agree with Stevan, and would propose to begin by looking over and updating Peter's overview with the goal of building a reference glossary.

Just to give an example relating to a recent exchange between Stevan and myself, the word publication was at stake. It turns out that for Stevan a publication is a published article; this is indeed a common and legitimate use of the term. However, from a librarian or publisher perspective, a publication is a journal with the result that a librarian/publisher publication is made up of researchers' publications... quite confusing indeed.

Let us push the question just a little further: what is a researcher's publication? is it a peer-reviewed article? Does the peer-review have to be done by a journal? Does it have to be published in a journal? And, by the way, what does "publishing" really mean? Placing in the public eye for example through some web site, or depending on an established institution that claims the mediating role of "publisher"? In short, vocabulary cleaning would be useful here, and it would be useful in two
ways: for the vocabulary structure itself, of course, but also as a way to provide an interesting terrain to negotiate the exact terms of open access.


Jean-Claude Guédon

Le dimanche 13 mars 2005 à 15:27 +0000, Stevan Harnad a écrit :
> Note to Peter Suber and the original formulators of the Budapest Open
> Access Initiative:
> Peter,
> I would like to suggest that this is the right time, in light of
> recent developments, to update the BOAI definition of OA
> to make explicit what was already implicit in it: That OA must be
> *now* and must be *permanent* (not, for example, a feature that is
> provided for an instant, a century from now).
> I think this was always perfectly obvious to anyone who read the BOAI
> definition of OA, but, as people will do, those with a vested interest
> in doing so found a loophole in the wording as it now stands. This is
> easily remediable by adding and announcing the obvious "immediate"
> (upon acceptance for publication) and "permanent" that should have
> been stated explicitly in the first place.
> I think we overlooked this partly because we could not second-guess
> all conceivable self-serving construals by opponents of OA, but partly
> because we were trying to be as encouraging as possible about partial
> measures. Yet we were very careful, and should now be even moreso, not
> to allow the notion of "partial-OA" -- which is on a direct
> slippery-slope in which TA (toll-access) too would become construable
> as just another form of partial-OA!
> Delayed free-access and temporary free-access are forms of access, to
> be sure -- and some is generally better than none, more is generally
> better than less -- but OA itself is only complete free access,
> immediate and permanent, for everyone and anyone, anytime, anywhere
> webwide. Otherwise
> *all* access would be OA, and the rest would just be a matter of degree
> (or, in the words of the wag, we would have agreed on our profession
> and we would now be merely haggling about the price!)
> The BOAI definition was not etched in stone. 3+ years of experience
> have now suggested ways in which it can be clarified and optimized.
> This is a good time to make explicit what was already implicit in it,
> which is: OA is a *trait* of an article, not an evanescent *state*.
> Just as an article *is* OA if it is freely accessible online, an
> article is *not* OA if it is *not* freely accessible online, and hence
> an article that is not immediately accessible freely online is not OA
> and an article that is no longer freely accessible online is not OA
> (and never was
> -- within the limits of inductive uncertainty and the impossibility
> of clairvoyance, i.e., if the oboslescence was planned).
> Being accessible might be a transitory state, but being OA has to be
> an all-or-none trait. Researchers don't need access to research
> *eventually*, or *temporarily* or *sometimes* or *somewhere*: *All*
> researchers need OA to *all* research, immediately, permanently, at
> all times, and everywhere (webwide).
> I suggest that we announce the following update to the passage that
> starts:
> "By "open access" to this literature, we mean its free availability
> on the public internet, permitting..."
> to:
> "By "open access" to this literature, we mean its free availability
> on the public internet, immediately and permanantly,
> permitting..."
> Those with an interest in blocking or minimzing non-toll-based access
> will of course scream that BOAI is "moving the goalposts!" but I think
> anyone who thinks clearly and honestly about the interests of the
> research community and of research itself, and what was the
> fundamental rationale and motivation for OA in the first place, will
> see that this is merely highlighting what the goal has been all along,
> not moving it.
> Stevan Harnad
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2005 03:30:27 +0000 (GMT)
> From: Stevan Harnad <>
> To: Richard Poynder <>
> Subject: Poynder's Blog-Point
> Hi Richard,
> Re:
> One thing you missed: The "immediate" and "permanent" are and always
> were implicit in the BOAI definition of OA: An article is OA *if and
> when it is freely accessible online*. Obviously when it is *not*, it
> is not OA, so that excludes any embargo period, or any temporary
> "hook" period, withdrawn afterward!
> The goal of OA is to make *all* articles OA: Not all articles OA after
> a while, or for a while. The answer to the question "Is this article
> OA?" has to be "yes", not "no". If an article can be OA some of the
> time, and not OA other times, then you may as well say an article can
> be OA to some people and not to other people (which is exactly what
> toll-access is: OA to those who can pay, non-OA to those who cannot).
> Immediacy and permanence is as intrinsic to the fundamental rationale
> for OA as the full-text's being on-line and toll-free is. Researchers
> don't want to keep losing 6-12 months of research impact and progress,
> and call that Open Access.
> Back Access is a cynical sop, any way you look at it, and a deplorable
> attempt to misuse both the principle of OA and the rationale
> underlying it.
> I hope the Immediate Institutional Keystroke Policy as a default
> bottom line will put an end to any further inclination to try to use
> the Back-Access Ploy, for it immunizes institutions completely from
> any pressure for an embargo (the N-1 metadata and text entry
> keystrokes are required, for internal purposes; the Nth OA keystroke
> is strongly encouraged but up to the author), leaving the dominoes to
> fall naturally (and anarchically) of their own accord. Sensible
> institutions won't even bother formalizing the Nth keystroke as
> optional, but will deal with it, if need be, on a case by case basis.
> About arxiv, sure, I'll comment if you find something interesting and
> relevant, but I'm already well talked-out on the old saws about (1)
> "overlay journals," (2) "we function at the level of preprints, we
> just submit to journals for the sake of our tenure committees," (3)
> "download data are noisy, dangerous, and violate privacy," and (4)
> "Harnad doesn't know what he's talking about."...
> Chrs, Stevan
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Received on Mon Mar 14 2005 - 23:09:15 GMT

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