RE: Your ABC comment on the Royal Society Statement

From: Arthur Sale <>
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2005 15:50:54 +1100


Is there room for consultation with me on the initiatives in your last
paragraph? I've already done a lot on statistics, and if you want I can
point you to some of my papers (most recent accepted this week).

We really need ARC and DEST to make good decisions, not muddle-headed ones.

Arthur Sale

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Colin Steele []
> Sent: Saturday, 26 November 2005 15:34
> To: Stevan Harnad
> Cc: Arthur Sale; Tom Cochrane; Paula Callan
> Subject: RE: Your ABC comment on the Royal Society Statement
> Stevan
> Life does become decidedly evangelical, ie one is of the faith or not! I
am of the faith,
> but as you know with journalists you don't always see in print what you
say or intend.
> I didn't see what she was writing before she put it up on the web.
> I must say I was surprised firstly at the shortness of the text - we spoke
for at least
> two hours off and on and we ranged over the whole gamut of Open Access
(which I do
> think is more than simply STM articles) and secondly, over a vast number
of issues
> including my detailed criticism of the very muddled Royal Society
document. I was
> therefore somewhat taken aback at the brusque web points that she ended up
> but she did say when I rang her afterwards that this was her first
exposure to the
> topic.
> I've just been to the Charleston conference which had a huge publisher
> in the attendance of nearly 1,000. Certainly in discussions there a number
> publishers, notably the smaller ones, expressed to me in discussion a fear
of a loss of
> revenue from self-archiving and other OA initiatives. Whether this becomes
reality or
> not, perceptions are very relevant.
> Anna picked up my comment that learned societies were often being squeezed
out of
> library budgets by the 'Big Deal' with multinational publishers, etc etc
and in that
> context, they had my sympathy. She did not pick up my comments, for
example, that
> in fact it is libraries who are subsidizing non publishing activities by
learned societies,
> eg conferences, bursaries, etc. She did pick up however the point on
greater citations
> for OA material.
> The Royal Society, like Sally Morris, is reflecting the concerns of
Learned Societies -
> these may be wrong headed but they are real. I quoted and gave to the
reporter the
> British Computer Society piece on Learned Societies, which states inter
alia that no
> groups are sacrosanct and that Learned Societies need to adopt new
business models.
> 83803025366D/0/openaccess.pdf
> The discussions we had about self archiving were cut to one sentence and
the piece
> after the quotes was part of a much wider discussion and taken out of
context. But as
> you know, that's what happens when you talk to the press! You can't be
> as an Harnadian virtual figure?
> The item is now the fourth on the ABC website. I intend to get on with the
main action
> here rather than continue a dialogue as to who said what to whom and what
> and whether it is right or not. I don't think that a short piece on the
ABC weblog is
> going to change the fundamental thinking of the key players in Australia
in my
> experience. I think we are better off spending precious time, despite
> misunderstandings, on practical steps, such as digging out real statistics
here in
> Australia via the new DEST study that John Houghton and I have just been
funded to
> undertake and working constructively with the ARC and DEST here on
> Open Access initiatives.
> Regards
> Colin
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stevan Harnad []
> Sent: Friday, 25 November 2005 8:59 PM
> To: Colin Steele
> Cc: Arthur Sale; Tom Cochrane; Paula Callan
> Subject: Your ABC comment on the Royal Society Statement
> Dear Colin,
> I'm afraid I have to say that I found your ABC comments on the RS
> statement surpisingly unhelpful. You essentially said that you felt
> publishers have grounds for objecting to the policy because of potential
> risk to their revenues and that if self-archiving is mandated and
> prevails, publishers are likely withdraw their permission to self-archive.
> "[CS] says he appreciates [the RS's] concern with a loss of
> revenue..."
> "If they all [self-archived], the publishers would probably then
> restrict it."
> Not only are both of these points based on speculation rather than on
> actual evidence that self-archiving reduces revenue or that publishers
> withdraw their permission to self-archive if researchers act upon it,
> but they are speculations that are gratuitous and against the interests
> of OA.
> Given that no one is under any compulsion to speculate when one can
> instead simply confine oneself to what is objectively known, I wonder why
> you would want to speculate, needlessly, *against* the interests of OA?
> (You also dwell on OA publishing, when the problem with the RS statement
> is precisely that it conflates OA publishing with OA self-archiving
> in order to oppose OA self-archiving, which is the only thing the RCUK
> proposed mandating.)
> I can understand when publishers do it, because they do it in their own
> interests, which are indeed in conflict with OA publishing (and they also
> believe them to be in conflict with OA self-archiving). But I cannot at
> all understand what prompts you to do it.
> So as not to create divisiveness publicly, I am not posting this to
> the AmSci Forum, but I do remain
> Puzzled,
> Stevan
Received on Sat Nov 26 2005 - 05:19:45 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:48:07 GMT