Re: Free Access vs. Open Access

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 10:40:48 +0100

    Topic Thread Re-directed from "Jan Velterop and Springer" to:
    "Free Access vs. Open Access" (began August 2003)

Georg Botz wrote:

> May I add a little correction to Stevan's comment:
> Articles for which authors pay 3000 USD via "Open Choice" are *not* OA, but
> can only be accessed without charge from the SpringerLink website.

This is merely re-invoking the non-distinction between "free" and "open" access.
What the research world wants and needs is:


That is what it's all about. Once we have that, the rest comes with the territory.

> Or, in Springer's own words:
> "Copying, reproducing, distributing, or posting of the publisher's version
> of the article on a third party server is not permitted."
> (Quoted from "Open Choice Details" cf.

Why does anyone need to copy, reproduce, (re-)distribute or (re-)post the
the article on a third part server when the full text is freely, immediately and
permanently accessible on SpringerLink? All one need copy, reproduce, distribute
or post is the *URL*! The rest comes with the territory.

> But nevertheless, Springer is a "green" publisher.

It is indeed: as verdant as one could possibly wish. But that has nothing to do
with Springer's Open Choice option, which is not about author self-archiving at
all, and actually makes Springer semi-gold (gold being an OA publisher).

Springer's squeeky-clean green status comes from its author self-archiving
policy, which concerns authors self-posting their refereed final drafts
on their own (second party) institutional servers. This too does not entail
third-party re-publishing rights, and why should it? The full text already comes
with the territory (the web), free for all.

OA is still only at about 15% today. Please, let us not fuss about things
we don't need when we still don't have what we want, and is 100% within our

Stevan Harnad
> ----
> > > If I understand correctly, authors will still need to self-archive
> > > their own final copy with Open Choice. This being the case - and there
> > > being no difference in access - why would authors not save some money,
> > > and simply self-archive?...
> >
> > No, this is incorrect. For authors who elect to pay for Open Choice, Springer
> > archives the official published version of their article for them, in
> > the Open Access sector of its own Archive, making the article OA webwide via
> > SpringerLink, the publisher's online service.
> >
> > > ...a policy that asks authors to pay to give the entire world free access,
> > > yet denies authors the right to deposit a copy in the repository of
> > > their choice, is a tad absurd, isn't it?
> >
> > Springer does not deny authors the right to self-archive their own final
> > drafts, whether or not they opt for Open Choice. Springer journals are
> > among the over 90% of journals that have a "green" self-archiving policy.
> >
> >
> >
> > Open Choice is exactly what it says it is: a choice, i.e., an
> > extra option.
> > All Springer authors can choose to self-archive their final drafts without
> > choosing to pay for Open Choice.
> >
> > 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 Aug 17 2005 - 11:01:25 BST

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