Please let's keep the original GOLD/GREEN/GRAY code

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2006 13:16:45 -0500

The gold/green/gray (or "grey") trichotomy was formulated as classifying
*publishers* with respect to the two (sic) ways to provide OA:

A gold publisher provides OA to the articles it publishes.

A green publisher gives its authors the green light to provide OA to
the articles it publishes, by self-archiving them in their own OA IRs,
or in a central repository like PMC, arxiv, or CogPrints.

A gray publisher is one that is neither a gold nor a green publisher
(i.e., it neither provides OA nor gives its authors the green light to
provide OA by self-archiving).

Gold and Green are hence also the two roads to OA. (No one has proposed
a third road to date.)

What GreyNet is here calling the "grey" road is in fact just one variant
of either the "green" road (OA self-archiving of articles published in
non-OA journals, if GreyNet is merely providing a repository) or the
"gold" road (OA journal publishing, if GreyNet is aspiring to be a
vanity publisher).

I suggest we continue to reserve "grey" -- or "gray" -- for the
name-and-shame use for which it was intended : gray *publishers* are those
who are neither gold nor green.

It is unfortunate that "gray/grey" is also used to refer to the
unpublished literature ("gray literature), but since OA's specific
target literature is the peer-reviewed research journal literature,
this should not cause any problem. We certainly should not conflate
published and unpublished work. The "gray literature" is and always was
freely accessible (since no one was charging for access), so putting it
in a repository is merely a way of getting it online, which is a good
thing, but has nothing to do with OA, which, to repeat, is not about
the unpublished literature.

In sum:

     (1) There is no 3rd "gray" road to OA, because OA is about providing
     free access to the published literature; hence providing free access
     to the *unpublished* (gray) literature is not providing OA.

     (2) A gray publisher is a non-gold (non-OA), non-green publisher.

     (3) There is no gray *OA* publisher, because to publish unpublished
     work is self-contradictory.

Stevan Harnad
American Scientist Open Access Forum

On Sat, 25 Mar 2006, GreyNet wrote:

> (1) The "golden road" of OA journal-publishing , where journals provide OA
> to their articles (either by charging the author-institution for
> refereeing/publishing outgoing articles instead of charging the
> user-institution for accessing incoming articles, or by simply making
> their online edition free for all);
> (2) The "green road" of OA self-archiving, where authors provide OA to their
> own published articles, by making their own eprints free for all.
> (3) The "grey road"
> GreyNet
> Grey Literature Network Service
> Beysterveld 251
> 1083 KE Amsterdam
> The Netherlands
> Tel/Fax +31(0)20-672.1217
Received on Sun Mar 26 2006 - 20:24:21 BST

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