Re: CERN successful green policy and ongoing efforts to promote gold

From: guedon <>
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 2005 17:24:43 -0500

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Stevan Harnad's recent comment (below) about CERN is quite interesting
in that it reveals in what little esteem Harnad really holds the Gold
road to OA. It is now no more than a publishing reform effort...

I suspect he still does not see that self-archiving is only a partial
solution as CERN correctly underscores in its statement. Too many
obstacles remain for the complete reusability of "green" documents to
make it a totally satisfactory solution. I have pointed out in the past
that citability issues remained, for example if the archived version is
formatted differently from that provided by the publishers (the case for
all Elsevier journals, incidentally). Of course, there are ways around
those obstacles, like contacting the author at the time of securing the
correct footnotes. However, they introduce ever more friction in the
self-archiving mechanismss to the point that they reveal their

Self archiving is to be promoted, commended, mandated, etc. but full OA
will require more than that. Now, one could say that self-archiving in
Harnad's sense is a positive first step in the right direction and I
would fully subscribe to this notion. But this is exactly the nature of
incompleteness: it is only a first step!

More steps will be needed and other actions in parallel, including
action on access to OA documents through gold publishing will also be
needed. In any case, the Green road is not the sole and only approach to
OA; it is an important facet of OA and that is already pretty good, it
seems to me.

Meanwhile, like Harnad, I strongly congratulate CERN for their mandating

Jean-Claude Guédon

Le jeudi 15 décembre 2005 à 21:10 +0000, Stevan Harnad a écrit :
> 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
> society.
> 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
> status.
> [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.
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Received on Sun Dec 18 2005 - 00:55:33 GMT

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