CERN successful green policy and ongoing efforts to promote gold

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 21:10:41 +0000

It is wonderful that CERN, having successfully implemented a
self-archiving mandate for its own research output
and being now firmly on the green road toward 100% OA for CERN
research output
is now proceeding to the gold road of promoting OA publishing.

    "CERN's articles are already freely available through its own web
    site but this is only a partial solution. We wish for the publishing
    and archiving systems to converge for a more efficient solution..."

It is fine for CERN, having done the immediate, essential job, to move
toward an efficient global solution, but I hope it will not be regarded
as churlish of me to suggest that while most of the rest of the world
is still so far behind CERN, with global OA self-archiving still only
at 15%, CERN's leadership might be used to better advantage in promoting
its self-archiving policy model across disciplines and around the world.
The urgent immediate problem is to reach 100% OA; that is not a *partial*
solution to the immediate access problem: It is a total solution.

Publishing reform is another problem, a different problem. The pressing
problem is not publishing reform but research access, and 100% OA
self-archiving solves it. CERN write:

    "since journal subscriptions are expensive, the model favours the
    richer universities and institutions"

True. But with 100% OA self-archiving this is no longer a problem in and
of itself, as those who cannot afford to access the expensive journal
access will have access to the free self-archived draft once 100% OA
has been reached globally.

So CERN's work toward converting the publishing model to gold OA is
certainly welcome too, but one hopes that, in parallel, CERN will also
work to spread its own exemplary self-archiving model to the rest
of the institutions and disciplines worldwide. They not only need
it urgently, but success along the green road is likely to be much
faster and more certain than success along the gold road; indeed,
the best thing one can do to prepare the way for gold is to first
usher in 100% green. -- S.H.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 22:39:32 -0500
From: Peter Suber <>
To: SPARC Open Access Forum <>
Subject: [SOAF] A step forward for open access publishing

[Forwarding from CERN. --Peter.]

Source: CERN
Content: Press Release
Date Issued: 14 December 2005

A step forward for open access publishing

Geneva, 14 December 2004. A landmark decision has been reached on the
future direction of scientific publishing. At a meeting hosted by the
CERN[1]on 7-8 December, representatives of several major physics
publishers, European particle physics laboratories, learned societies,
funding agencies and authors from Europe and the US, came together for
the first time to promote open access publishing. Among the results of
the meeting was the formation of a task force mandated to bring about
action by 2007.

Strongly linked with progress in digitised documentation and
electronic networking, open access is a hot topic for universities,
publishers, and even governments. There are two approaches to open
access. The particle physics community is already among the leaders
of one: the institutional repository approach through which libraries
such as CERN's make their own information freely available on the
Internet. The other approach is to work with scientific publishers to
develop open access to the journals themselves.

Open access aims to change the traditional publishing model whereby
publishers finance journals through reader subscriptions to a model
where electronic access to journals will be free and the publishers
will be financed by the authors. The current publishing model, which
has stood the test of time for at least two centuries, ensures quality
through the peer review process. However, since journal subscriptions
are expensive, the model favours the richer universities and
institutions. The challenge for open access is to preserve the quality
assurance role guaranteed by academic publishers, whilst broadening
access to the information, thereby bringing greater benefit to

Eighty participants attended the meeting, which follows CERN's
signature of the Berlin Declaration[2] in May 2004, and takes
advantage of the particle physics community's heightened awareness of
open access. The creation of the open access task force comes at a
crucial time for the particle physics community. In 2007, CERN will
launch the field's new flagship facility, the Large Hadron Collider,
and wishes to make the results as widely available as possible.

Commenting on the meeting, CERN's Director General Robert Aymar said:
"The next phase of LHC experiments at CERN can be a catalyst for a
rapid change in the particle physics communication system. CERN's
articles are already freely available through its own web site but
this is only a partial solution. We wish for the publishing and
archiving systems to converge for a more efficient solution which will
benefit the global particle physics community."

Full details of the meeting are available at:


[1] CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, has its
headquarters in Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria,
Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France,
Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland,
Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
India, Israel, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of
America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have Observer

[2] Berlin Declaration [extract]:

Supporting the Transition to the Electronic Open Access Paradigm

Our organizations are interested in the further promotion of the new
open access paradigm to gain the most benefit for science and society.
Therefore, we intend to make progress by

      * encouraging our researchers/grant recipients to publish their
work according to the principles of the open access paradigm.
      * encouraging the holders of cultural heritage to support open
access by providing their resources on the Internet.
      * developing means and ways to evaluate open access contributions
and online-journals in order to maintain the standards of quality
assurance and good scientific practice.
      * advocating that open access publication be recognized in
promotion and tenure evaluation.
      * advocating the intrinsic merit of contributions to an open
access infrastructure by software tool development, content provision,
metadata creation, or the publication of individual articles.

We realize that the process of moving to open access changes the
dissemination of knowledge with respect to legal and financial
aspects. Our organizations aim to find solutions that support further
development of the existing legal and financial frameworks in order to
facilitate optimal use and access.


This message is sent to you because you are subscribed to
  The SPARC Open Access Forum.
To post, send your message to <>.
To unsubscribe, email to <>.
To switch to digest mode, email to <>.
To switch to index mode, email to <>.
Send administrative queries to <>.
Received on Thu Dec 15 2005 - 21:48:00 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:48:09 GMT