Re: The Geeks and the Irrational

From: FrederickFriend <>
Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2006 12:58:16 +0100

I agree with all of David's comments. We are working in a complex
environment. We were right to identify and support both green and gold
routes to open access and we could not predict how fast the various
stakeholders would move or not move along either route. The encouraging
signs are that many authors are now thinking about open access options and
that the number of open access dissemination outlets - both repositories and
journals - is increasing rapidly, so that when authors do take open access
options seriously there is a place with which they are comfortable for their
research to go. However, much more work is needed on the benefits of OA to
convince authors of the value of OA to their research, to enable OA to be an
opportunity and not a threat to publishers, and to persuade university
administrations to make OA dissemination as easy as subscription
dissemination. We have come a long way in the 4 years since BOAI but we
still do not have a "level playing-field".

Fred Friend
JISC Scholarly Communication Consultant
Honorary Director Scholarly Communication UCL

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Goodman" <dgoodman_at_PRINCETON.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, September 05, 2006 12:36 AM
Subject: Re: The Geeks and the Irrational

>I encourage Stevan to take a more optimistic view of his
> inimitable efforts.
> None of us can now know whether
> "the spontaneous author uptake
> rate for the "hybrid gold open access" option -- i.e., journals that
> give authors a choice between either conventional subscription-based
> publication or paying to make their own article open access --
> significantly exceeds the spontaneous author uptake rate for "green
> open access"
> (I think it will depend on the continuing willingness
> of funders to support it)
> This, however, should not cause any of us to feel
> "defeat and dismay, at having wasted a
> decade and a half on trying to maximize the impact of human
> rationality..."
> Just the opposite. It from the beginning was recognized there were
> many possible roads; it could not be predicted in advance which would
> prove successful,
> or how and when the change would occur.
> It certainly could not be predicted what arguments would appeal to
> scientists or
> administrators, or legislatures.
> Nor could it be predicted what would not work. We all certainly knew the
> general indifference of authors about everything that happened to their
> article
> after it was accepted and published. None of us would have thought
> it would be so profund, that it would be impossible to convince our own
> university colleagues of the improvement.
> Perhaps it was observer bias: we understood, and found it incredulous that
> others did
> not see it the same way, once it was made known to them.
> But the success of OA will be the effect of the cumulative arguments, the
> action of
> all the interest groups, the repeated efforts, and particularly the
> diversity of plans proposed.
> It may even be the case that a combination system may work: the different
> scientific
> fields may best arrange in differently. It is already clear that the
> optimum solution for
> physics will be very different from biomedicine, and psychology may be
> different from both.
> I reword Stevan's conclusion slightly:
> If Green OA makes for instabiliy, then Gold OA will be available. Those
> interested
> primarily in Green should be glad of the provision. A few months ago we
> might reasonably
> have doubted that the OA Journals would develop quickly enough, that the
> conventional journals
> might cease before the new ones were matured. We may now have less doubt.
> That the
> practical application of this should have come from the publishers is a
> reminder that
> everyone benefits from OA: authors and readers, the scholars and the
> public, the
> universities and the funers, the libraries and the publishers.
> In the meanwhile, those who can not afford the publishers' OA continue to
> have the
> responsibility to publish OA, preferably via an adequate repository.
> David Goodman, Ph.D.
> Bibliographer and Research Librarian
> Princeton University Library
> (Retired)
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_ECS.SOTON.AC.UK>
> Date: Monday, September 4, 2006 4:34 pm
> Irrational
>> The Geeks and the Irrational
>> (For the fully hyperlinked version of this posting, with figures see:
>> )
> ...
Received on Tue Sep 05 2006 - 13:37:06 BST

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