Delayed/Embargoed Access Versus Open Access

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 22:10:17 +0000

    Prior AmSci Topic Thread:
    Proposed update of BOAI definition of OA: Immediate and Permanent

On Thu, 15 Dec 2005, Sally Morris (ALPSP) wrote:

> Stevan says that 'there's no such thing as Delayed Open Access'....
> ...for most people I talk to, Open Access simply means free
> access - immediacy, like the various copyright/reuse conditions sometimes
> applied, is an optional extra.

Try telling a researcher who needs access *now* to a piece of research
that is embargoed for a year that embargoed access is "open access"
and that immediate access is an "optional extra."

Sally alas does not even seem to have a clue yet about what OA is, and
why it is needed. There may be a simple answer why: She is not a researcher
but a publisher.

OA is a powerful new potential opened up by the on-line era. Researchers are
beginning to see the benefits of using this potential, but (some) publishers
can still only think of ways to try to delay, embargo or block it.

The outcome is inevitable. It will be to use the full power of OA, to the
benefit of research. And publishers can and will adapt.

Stevan Harnad

P.S. Using Sally's reasoning, one could argue that toll-access too is
"open access" -- for those users whose institutions have paid the tolls.
But that is all just special pleading in an attempt to fend off the optimal
and inevitable.

P.P.S. I do agree with Sally, though (and always have), that the various
copyright/reuse conditions sometimes evoked are either optional extras
or, more often, already come necessarily and automatically with the OA
on-line territory.
Received on Thu Dec 15 2005 - 23:21:15 GMT

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