5th Frankfurt Scientific Symposium

From: Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2005 17:27:16 +0100

Here are a few corrections on the following abstract for a paper to
be presented at the 5th Frankfurt Scientific Symposium in October
22.10.2005 - 23.10.2005

> Open Access - neither green road nor golden road. Is this the road to hell?
> Dr. Rafael Ball, Leiter der Zentralbibliothek Forschungszentrum Jülich
> GmbH, Jülich, Germany
> http://www.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/messe/symposium2005/abstracts.html#ball
> Abstract:
> In keeping with the views of its guru, Ste[va]n Harn[ad], the open access
> movement is only prepared to discuss the two models of the "green road" and
> the "golden road" as sole alternatives for the future of scientific
> publishing.

[Movements don't discuss; individuals (whether gurus or ordinary
GIs) discuss. Movements, one hopes (if they are worthwhile), move.]

The two roads are not alternatives for the future of scientific publishing.
They are the two ways that scientists can provide open access to their
own published articles.

    Harnad, S., Brody, T., Vallieres, F., Carr, L.,
    Hitchcock, S., Gingras, Y, Oppenheim, C., Stamerjohanns,
    H., & Hilf, E. (2004) The Access/Impact Problem and the
    Green and Gold Roads to Open Access. Serials Review 30.

> The "golden road" is put forward as the royal road for solving
> the journals crisis.

(1) Open access is not intended as a solution for the journals crisis but as a
solution for the research access/impact problem.

(2) The golden road (of open access journal publishing) is not put forward
as the "royal road" to solving the research access/impact problem. It
is merely *one* of the two roads, the green road of author/institution
self-archiving being the other road, the far faster and surer road, and
the one that 92% of journals already endorse: http://romeo.eprints.org/

(3) It is not the slower and more uncertain golden road to Open
Access that this particular guru advocates at this time (though I
certainly am not opposed to it!) but the faster and surer green road
of author/institution
self-archiving: http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue42/harnad/

> However, no one has drawn attention to the fact that
> the golden road represents a purely socialist solution to a free-market
> problem and thus continues the "samizdat" tradition of underground
> literature in the former Eastern bloc.

As I said, although I was one of the several who first proposed the (rather
obvious) author/institution-end cost-recovery model as an alternative to the
user/institution-end cost-recovery model

    Harnad, Stevan (1995) Electronic Scholarly Publication: Quo
    Vadis? Serials Review 21(1):pp. 70-72.

that model is neither a "socialist" model (in any sense whatsoever)
nor am I particularly advocating it at this time. What I am advocating
is author/institution self-archiving:


> The present paper reveals the alarmingly low level at which the open access
> movement intends to publish top-class results from science and research,
> and the low degree of professionalism with which they are satisfied.

It is hard to imagine how this revelation can apply to the green road of
open-access self-archiving, since what are being self-archived are exactly
the very same published articles, at exactly the same class, level,
and prefossionalism as before.

This author may perhaps have in mind some of the lower quality gold
journals? There are about 1500 gold journals and 23,500 non-gold
journals. May I suggest that before drawing too sweeping conclusions on
relative quality from having picked out some lower quality gold ones that
aus thor should make some effort to do a controlled comparison with
comparable non-gold ones? He will find that when one compares like with
like, the quality (e.g., as measured by citation impact) turns out to
be comparable too. http://www.isinet.com/oaj

I regret I will not be atending the Frankfurt conference, but I know
that there will be some well-informed colleagues there who will be able
to correct any further misunderstandings.

Stevan Harnad

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UNIVERSITIES: If you have adopted or plan to adopt an institutional
policy of providing Open Access to your own research article output,
please describe your policy at:

    BOAI-1 ("green"): Publish your article in a suitable toll-access journal
    BOAI-2 ("gold"): Publish your article in a open-access journal if/when
            a suitable one exists.
    in BOTH cases self-archive a supplementary version of your article
            in your institutional repository.
Received on Wed Jun 08 2005 - 17:27:16 BST

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