Re: 17% GREEN in Japan

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2006 13:58:35 +0000

On Sat, 11 Mar 2006, Katja Mruck wrote:

> As the golden way [Open Access journal publishing] eats all my time
> currently, only a short note...
> In we talk about
> the need for self-archiving of "95% -- the articles published yearly in
> the 22,500 toll-access journals," compared to 1,500 (5%) open-access
> journals ((we should revise this ;-)).

Liebe Katja: Done. Gold figures now updated to 92%, 22,000, 2,000 and 8%,

> These numbers -- like for example the Berlin Declaration -- include
> sciences AND humanities, and with the humanities the question of
> national publishing cultures is evident and should be more closely
> discussed and acknowledged in the international open access movement.

But Katja, discussion is completely open! What themes do you have in

    (1) That (some) humanities disciplines are behind science and
    social-science disciplines in both OA journal publishing (gold)
    and OA self-archiving (green)?

That may well be, and if so, we should discuss ways to remedy this.

    (2) That humanities research is published more in monographs than
    journal articles?

The special case of OA to monographs is of course welcome and important,
but as it is very different from articles (book authors sometimes hope
for royalty revenues), books are not in the exceptionless category of
"author give-aways written solely for usage and impact, not income"
as all journal articles are.

    (3) That humanities disciplines need/want Open Access less than
    other disciplines? E.g., usage/citation impact matters less to
    to humanities research and researchers?

I rather doubt that, but that too is open for discussion, if anyone has
any evidence to bear on it. (But please note that the fact that some of
those disciplines publish more in monographs than in journal articles is
irrelevant, since the primary content target for OA is journal articles;
so the question reduces to whether being more monograph-intensive than
article-intensive really means that the humanities care any less about
the usage/impact of their *journal articles*.)

    (4) That cost-recovery from subscription revenue for national,
    home-language humanities journals is more at risk for national
    humanities journals (and that is why fewer of them are green)?

If national, home-language humanities journals do indeed differ from
international science and social science journals in having subscription
revenues more at risk from author self-archiving (although there is as
yet absolutely no evidence of this), and if this risk indeed outweighs
the accessibility/impact advantages that OA self-archiving confers on
humanities articles, their authors and their institutions, then of course
the only way for OA in the humanities to go would be the "golden way"
(OA journals) that you are pursuing, Katja. (But of course it is unclear
whether -- at this time -- the risks of the OA journal cost-recovery
model itself are less than the risks of OA self-archiving! So one is at
risk, if one puts too much pre-emptive emphasis on risk -- in the absence
of empirical evidence -- of pre-emptively denying the humanities of OA
altogether, whether green OA or gold OA!)

> In a way it seems as if the request for self-archiving, addressed to the
> international science AND humanities communities and visible for example
> in the Registry of Open Access Repository on the one hand, and
> SHERPA/ROMEO ( on the other do not
> know about each other.

This certainly is not unique to the humanities! Most researchers, in all
disciplines, all over the world, either do not yet know about the benefits
of OA (green or gold) or do not yet bother to do anything about it. Hence
they also either do not know about gold and green journals, or they do
not yet care enough to do publish their articles in the one (8%) or
self-archive the articles they publish in the other (93%). That is why
some of us are working so hard to get universities and research funders
to extend their existing publish-or-perish mandates to mandating the
self-archiving of those publications, to maximise their usage and impact,
to the benefit of their authors, their institutions, their funders
(tax-payers) and research progress itself.

Sometimes, as with seat-belts and smoking, people need help in getting
them to do what is in their own best interests...

> why should social
> sciences & humanities self-archive if SHERPA/ROMEO (and other parts of
> the OA comm..) are not interested in their (often national) highest
> quality research.

Who on earth said Romeo is not interested? Romeo would love to have the
self-archiving policy for every journal on the planet registered, for
all to see! But it is the journals/publishers who must do the
registering! All Romeo can do is ask! (And most publishers have not even
formulated their own author self-archiving policies explicitly or in
coherent form yet, so it is not a simple matter of harvesting their
documentation either!)

> (Btw: with the Internet, in German toll-access
> humanities and social sciences journals a growing number of English
> articles seems to be published, as a growing number of non-German
> authors is visible and addressable via the Web ^)

It's not really about language, as I said, it's about usage and impact,
and whether any article or author or field does *not* benefit from
maximising it, by maximising access.

Beste Wuenschen,

Stevan Harnad
Received on Sat Mar 11 2006 - 14:00:55 GMT

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