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

From: David Goodman <dgoodman_at_Princeton.EDU>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2006 01:01:34 -0400

In discussing Open Choice we would be prudent not to make assumptions
about what its effect will be. OA Choice could work any of a number of ways,
and anyone predicting is not likely to do better than chance.
 We could probably be more useful, if, instead of trying to out-guess each other,
we worked to direct OA Choice into a desirable direction, as a bridge into OA journals.

I do not know what the intentions of the different publishers may be.
Some may have been motivated just as they said,
by the desire to experiment. Some may have been infuenced by the desire
to call our bluff--to see if their authors actually would pay.
Some may even be motivated by a desire to put things off indefintely.
Their sequential adoption does not look at all like a cartel--it looks to me
like imitation, to avoid missing out on a possibly good thing.

We'd do well to urge its further adoption, in the hope that funding agencies will
become accustomed to it, and all make
provision for it in their grants--and that such funding be used, and
with preference for the publishers who do not charge more than the others.

Most authors do not yet have enough funding to publish everything in
OA Journals or OA Choice. What we certainly must do is encourage them
to use Green in the meanwhile. It will probably be necessary for a very long time--
perhaps more likely to be decades than years. I think that this
may actually be a matter on which all can agree--let the publishers do their best
to use OA to attract articles, readers, and money, and let us do our best to ensure that
everything is at least archived by GreenOA.

Dr. David Goodman
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: Thursday, June 29, 2006 6:21 pm
Subject: Re: [AMERICAN-SCIENTIST-OPEN-ACCESS-FORUM] Open Choice is a Trojan Horse for Open Access Mandate

> On 29 Jun 2006 Bill Cohen wrote on SERIALST:
> > Mr. Anderson has provided a referenced, cogent and logical
> > interpretation of open access that should be remembered and cited
> > in future discourse and research articles.
> >
> > Bill Cohen, Publisher
> > The Haworth Press, Inc.
> Dixit. Read on:
> On 29 Jun 2006 Rick Anderson wrote on SERIALST:
> > In case anyone cares, Stevan and I had a private exchange that
> clarified> this. In that communication, I asked Stevan whether it
> was fair to say
> > that he thinks "that when a publisher offers Open Choice, that's
> okay --
> > but when a group of publishers, acting as a lobby, promotes Open
> Choice> as a formal alternative to self-archiving mandates, then
> that's a
> > problem." He said yes. I maintain that that's different from
> what he's
> > been saying in the public forum, but whatever. (He did invite me to
> > share the clarification on-list.)
> And now I will share the actual exchange with Rick. But first, the
> pertinent passage from what I actually said in my SERIALST posting:
> "Open Choice is a Trojan Horse for Open Access Mandate":
> > "From publishers who do not oppose the self-archiving mandates,
> Open> Choice is fine: it is an indication of good faith, and
> willingness> to test the waters of Open Access Publishing. But
> from publishers
> > lobbying against the adoption of self-archiving mandates, and
> touting> Open Choice as an alternative -- or, worse, pressing for
> the mandating
> > of paid-OA rather than self-archiving -- it is a clever, but
> somewhat> cynical way of delaying still longer the immediate
> mandating of OA,
> > as now proposed all over the world."
> Now the exchange with Rick Anderson:
> On Thu, 29 Jun 2006, Rick Anderson wrote:
> RA:
> Help me understand. You seem to be taking simultaneously opposite
> positions on the Open Choice issue. The other day, on SERIALST, you
> called author-pay Open Choice a dangerous "Trojan horse":
> > SH:
> > "This is a note of caution about the spate of publishers currently
> > announcing that they are offering Open Choice -- i.e., the option
> > for authors to buy OA, at various asking prices, for their
> individual> article... [snip] 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:
> > But today, in your exchange with Bill, you say this:
> >
> > SH:
> > "Bill, please don't misunderstand me: All I said was that offering
> > paid OA as hybrid Open Choice option was a risk-free, positive and
> > welcome strategy."
> [Comment: That quote referred, not to my posting, but to the email
> exchange with Bill Cohen, of Haworth Press, who was asking me for
> adviceand information on providing Open Choice, which I was
> recommending --
> as I always do. Bill asked me to keep our exchange off-list, but if
> further misleading allusions to it are made like this, I shall post it
> in its entirety.]
> > RA:
> > So which of these statements represents your actual position?
> >
> > SH:
> > Open Choice is a risk-free, positive and welcome strategy from
> publishers> as a *supplement* to self-archiving mandates. But if it
> is proposed
> > instead by the publishing lobby that opposes self-archiving
> mandates,> as either a *substitute* for mandating self-archiving at
> all, or as an
> > alternative candidate to mandate instead of self-archiving, then
> Open> Choice is a Trojan Horse.
> >
> > RA:
> > So if I understand you correctly, you're saying that when a
> publisher> offers Open Choice, that's okay -- but when a group of
> publishers,> acting as a lobby, promotes Open Choice as a formal
> alternative to
> > self-archiving mandates, then that's a problem. Is that correct?
> >
> > SH:
> > Yes.
> >
> > RA:
> > If so, then this is quite different from what you actually said
> in your
> > SERIALST posting, which is what started this exchange. On
> > warned that we shouldn't be encouraged by the "the spate of
> publishers> currently announcing that they are offering Open Choice."
> >
> > I think this is the same as what I said on SERIALST (and it's
> certainly> what I meant). If you think it is unclear, why don't you
> post this
> > (and my prior off-list reply) to SERIALST, to clarify matters.
> At best, Rick and Bill have not been reading very carefully. At worst,
> they are making mischief. I suggest they both take a little time to
> readand reflect.
> My next posting will be a reply to the second part of Rick's posting,
> which is on the definition (misdefinition) of OA.
> Stevan Harnad
Received on Fri Jun 30 2006 - 12:53:24 BST

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