Re: Open Choice is a Trojan Horse for Open Access Mandate

From: David Goodman <dgoodman_at_Princeton.EDU>
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2006 17:24:38 -0400

Agreeing with Stevan,

I do not think that anyone, including the publishers,
 intend Open Choice to be an substitute for Green OA, or
to delay Green OA. Like OA Journals in general, it is one of
the desirable projects that can not possibly provide significant
immediate help for the immediate problem.

But even for those primarily interested only in the plans for immediate results,
the discussion about OA Choice still has the
positive feature of increasing awareness about OA, and about the need for OA.
The advertising is general, directed primarily to the authors, who are the group
that many think will benefit the most, but who clearly still need awareness,
and action

If they decide to pay the
 money, an OA repository or index will still include the metadata and a link to the
publisher, where the article will be available to everyone. As they
come to know the advantages of OA, they will also come to know that they
cannot spend so much money for every article, and will see the
advantages of deposit in a repository.

For those interested in OA Journals, the unsettled question is whether
Open Choice would

a./ accelerate the transtion to OA journals by letting the
publishers experiment

b/ retard the transition to OA Journals by giving publishers a
exceedingly long period to experiment before actually converting a journal

c/ fail altogether,, because not enough authors would be willing to pay
the money--and thus be the Trojan Horse for killing Gold OA.
It has in the past not been prudent to automatically accept everyone's public

The much publicised intentions to reduce prices because of the savings from
the OA Choice is also not a short term help. As Sally recently reminded us,
it doesn't happen immediately: as i see it, it takes at least 3 years--the
experience from 2006 will affect prices set in 2007 for the 2008
subscription year. And it will be many years before prices reduce enpigh to
to help anyone. (And we will still have only partical OA for yet more years to
come. Perhaps the NAS is more realistic when it says it will
be using the revenues to slow the increases in prices and publication fees.
In any case, we need OA for now, 2006 and 2007, not 20??.
And this is not the place to discuss these question in detail.

Any supporter of OA who relies upon OAChoice may eventually see a
world of 100% OA journals -- or perhaps his children will.
But if they rely ONLY on OAChoice, there will be thousands of
authors who will be deprived on their benefit.

OA does not mean OA only for the rich.

Dr. David Goodman
Associate Professor
Palmer School of Library and Information Science
Long Island University
and formerly
Princeton University Library

----- Original Message -----
From: Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_ECS.SOTON.AC.UK>
Date: Wednesday, June 28, 2006 4:20 pm
Subject: Re: [AMERICAN-SCIENTIST-OPEN-ACCESS-FORUM] Open Choice is a Trojan Horse for Open Access Mandate

> On Wed, 28 Jun 2006, Rick Anderson wrote (on serialst):
> > > SH:
> > > I think Open Choice is a Trojan Horse, and that we should be
> > > very careful about our reaction to it, as it risks eliciting
> > > years more of delay for OA (under the guise of "preparing the
> way").>
> > RA:
> > Is it my imagination, or has Stevan fundamentally misunderstood the
> > concept of a Trojan horse? (According to his argument, Open Choice
> > isn't a Trojan horse for OA mandates, but rather a Trojan horse
> for the
> > delay of/diversion from OA mandates.)
> It's a Trojan Horse for those who desire immediate OA (researchers and
> the public that funds them) and have been trying to get the various
> self-archiving mandate proposals adopted. Some of those who opposed
> theself-archiving mandates are now instead proposing Open Choice:
> If those
> who desire OA are taken in by this, if they say "Ok, let's instead try
> to wait for Open Choice to take effect" or "Ok, let's instead try to
> mandate OA publishing with Open Choice, and get research funders to
> payit" then they are in for many more years of waiting and next to
> no OA.
> For Open Choice alone will never scale up to 100% OA, from where we
> arenow. Free self-archiving was already not being done above the
> spontaneousself-archiving level of 15%, and that was the precise
> reason we needed a
> self-archiving mandate. The spontaneous baseline for paid Open Choice
> would be even lower!
> And mandated "Open Choice" will not get adopted by most institutions
> and funders, because all the potential funds to pay for it are
> currentlytied up in subscriptions.
> What is needed now is immediate 100% OA, and self-archiving mandates
> will generate that. To instead go for Open Choice now is to be
> taken in
> by a Trojan Horse.
> > RA:
> > But that's not the important point. Here's the real question: if
> Open> Choice is a bad idea because it threatens to "delay or divert
> the> adoption of the OA self-archiving mandates," then really, is
> there any
> > valid option other than self-archiving mandates?
> No, for immediate (and overdue) OA, there is no other valid option.
> > RA:
> > A couple of years ago, Stevan's line of argument seemed to be "OA
> doesn't> have to mean formal publication in an OA forum, so please
> stop bothering
> > me with your economic objections." Now it seems to have become
> "OA must
> > not mean formal publication in an OA forum, so please stop proposing
> > economically sustainable publication solutions."
> I don't understand what Rick is saying here, and I suspect it may be
> because he does not now, and did not then, understand or even come
> closeto understanding what I was proposing (despite both its
> simplicity and
> the belief-beggaring volume of almost-rote repetition I have been
> generating for years now):
> OA means free online access to published, peer-reviewed journal
> articles. The journals do not have to be OA journals; they just
> have to
> be peer-reviewed journals, which they are.
> All that authors have to do is to self-archive those published,
> peer-reviewed journals in their institutional repositories. Fifteen
> percent of authors do that spontaneously, but 95% say they would do it
> if it was mandated. Hence the worldwide movement for mandating it.
> Now what on earth does does Rick mean by "formal publication in an OA
> forum"? Publication in an OA journal? That's fine, if you have the
> extracash, but only 9% of journals are OA today. Hybrid Open Choice
> journalsare now increasing the potential percentage substantially,
> but that does
> not change the fact that the planet's publication funds are at the
> momentall tied up in journal subscriptions. So few have the money
> to choose
> the Open Choice spontaneously (and only 15% self-archive
> spontaneously,so it is unlikely that a larger number will want to
> pay for it!). And
> mandating the taking of the Open Choice (besides being self-
> contradictory)is likewise up against the fact that all the
> pertinent cash is currently
> tied up in subscriptions.
> Meanwhile, what research needs is Open Access, right now. Yes,
> researchersdon't self-archive spontaneously above 15%, but probably
> they wouldn't
> publish much either, if it were not mandated ("publish or perish"). So
> the OA self-archiving of one's published research, like the publishing
> of it, needs to be mandated, for the benefit of researchers
> themselves,their institutions, and the public that funds the
> research so it can
> be accessed, used, applied and built upon (i.e., in order to produce
> "CURES," for want of a better cliche).
> > RA:
> > In other words, has Stevan now decided that self-archiving is the
> One> True Way to OA, and all other possible approaches are dangerous
> > diversions from it? (And if not, can he describe another legitimate
> > approach?)
> Yes, self-archiving is -- and has been since the advent of the online
> medium -- the most direct, easiest, cheapest, fastest, and surest way
> to reach 100% OA virtually overnight. It is clear now that it needs to
> be mandated. And has been, and works.
> OA publishing provides OA too, and it is welcome, but it most
> definitelyis *not* the most direct, easiest, cheapest, fastest, and
> surest way to
> reach 100% OA: In fact, it is very slow and very unsure. On the
> other hand,
> OA self-archiving might possibly accelerate it -- by first generating
> 100% OA and then perhaps freeing the cash that is tied up today in
> subscriptions, making it available to pay for OA publishing.
> That will be the era of Open Choice and the transition to OA
> publishing. Not now. Right now, it's a Trojan Horse.
> Stevan Harnad
> A complete Hypermail archive of the ongoing discussion of providing
> open access to the peer-reviewed research literature online (1998-
> 2005)is available at:
> To join or leave the Forum or change your subscription
> address:
> Open-Access-Forum.html
> Post discussion to:
> UNIVERSITIES: If you have adopted or plan to adopt an institutional
> policy of providing Open Access to your own research article output,
> please describe your policy at:
> BOAI-1 ("green"): Publish your article in a suitable toll-
> access journal
> OR
> BOAI-2 ("gold"): Publish your article in a open-access journal
> if/when a suitable one exists.
> in BOTH cases self-archive a supplementary version of your article
> in your institutional repository.
Received on Wed Jun 28 2006 - 23:18:32 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:48:23 GMT