Re: Open Access Speeds Use by Others

From: Gunther Eysenbach <geysenba_at_UHNRES.UTORONTO.CA>
Date: Thu, 25 May 2006 19:29:20 -0400

A detailed response to Harnad's polemic and unscientific postings appears on

I have divided my response into three sections, addressing what I think are
the main discussion points here

1) Solid versus non-solid evidence: Were the PLoS editors and PLoS reviewers
right in calling this paper more "solid" than previous papers? Harnad
disputes this. As not everybody can be expected to completely appreciate the
study methodology and the statistical methods used, here is a detailed and
easy to understand explanation of the methodology, highlighting some of its
advantage over previous approaches, and a introduction for beginners on
concepts like self-selection, confounding, and multivariate analysis

2) What is Open Access? A Continuum! In response to my remark that open
access publishing is, like publishing itself, a continuum, Harnad reacted
confused and disagrees - according to him, OA is like pregnancy. Here are
some explanations for why I refer to OA publishing as a continuum, with the
current definitions on OA being quite arbitrary, and different
implementation modes having different impact on metrics like citations

3) The gold-versus-green conspiracy theory: Was the PLoS paper and the way
it was framed in the editorial "hyped", according to Harnad, and an attempt
of gold-OA editors in their eternal struggle not to loose authors to
self-archiving to devalue "green-OA", as Harnad implies? Of course not -
this is what editors do, promoting their journal and the work that is
published in their journal - and this is exactly the reason for why gold
will always have an advantage over green
Received on Fri May 26 2006 - 03:11:24 BST

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