Re: Open Choice is a Trojan Horse for Open Access Mandates???

From: Jan Velterop <openaccess_at_BTINTERNET.COM>
Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2006 20:42:44 +0100

I don't recognise your reconstruction of my argument, Stevan. It's
really very simple. I don't believe in putting a lot of effort
(including mandates) in a second-best, eventually unsustainable, band-
aid solution, where a solid, sustainable and radical (at the roots)
solution is clearly possible.

That's all.


On 5 Sep 2006, at 19:43, Stevan Harnad wrote:

> On Tue, 5 Sep 2006, L-Soft list server at SIGMA XI (1.8d) wrote:
>>> SH:
>>> Why should funders pay a penny more now, when all
>>> publication costs are still being paid out of
>>> institutional subscriptions?
>> JV:
>> And who funds the institutions to pay for subscriptions? The very
>> same
>> funders! They are paying right now. All I'm suggesting is that
>> they use
>> their money to support open access publishing directly. More
>> money? The
>> same money. No new or extra money.
> Let me try to reconstruct Jan's argument:
> (1) He is concerned that self-archiving might cause subscription
> cancellations
> (2) So he suggests that funders should stop funding subscriptions
> (thereby causing cancellations) -- and use the money to pay OA
> publishing
> costs instead.
> This makes Jan's into a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy!
> But the reality is that:
> (i) Subscriptions are not being cancelled (even in the few fields with
> high spontaneous self-archiving rates)
> (ii) But spontaneous self-archiving is still mostly far too low: hence
> the need for self-archiving mandates.
> We still have very few self-archiving mandates. It sounds to me --
> correct me if I am wrong, Jan -- as if Jan would like to add to the
> (so
> far still non-existent) self-archiving mandates the further condition
> that funders should redirect funds from subscriptions to OA publishing
> costs.
> I think that is asking the mandaters to mandate a lot more, not less,
> when we still don't yet even have enough of the less (i.e., self-
> archiving
> mandates!). Meanwhile, research impact -- the rationale for OA (which
> is not journal economics!) continues to be lost, daily.
> Jan worries about hypothetical future loss of publisher subscription
> revenue; I worry about actual present loss of research impact. The
> direct
> and certain remedy for the latter -- actual, present -- problem is
> self-archiving mandates.
> I do not see why these self-archiving mandates -- hard enough (and
> taking
> long enough) to get already -- should be further burdened by economic
> demands that not only complicate them and create further resistance,
> but for which there is not even any evidence that they are necessary.
> Here is my counterproposal:
> (1) Mandate OA self-archiving now.
> (2) IF/WHEN OA self-archiving start shows signs of significantly
> reducing
> subscriptions,
> (3) THEN redirect the subscription funds to pay OA publishing
> costs: "The
> same money. No new or extra money."
> In other words, do it empirically, as needed:
> mandate self-archiving --> OA ?-->? cancellations --> redirection
> of funds
> Not a-priori:
> mandate redirection of funds --> OA
> The goal of OA, after all, is OA, not redirection of funds!
>>> SH:
>>> (Jan, your arguments are awfully familiar, and they sound
>>> very much like those of the non-OA publisher lobby that has
>>> been opposing the OA self-archiving mandates...)
>> Maybe it's time you read my comments more carefully.
> I have, and have, and alas they still sound exactly like the
> publisher lobby:
> "Don't mandate self-archiving: It will cause catastrophic
> cancellations and will
> destroy publishing." (The only difference is that you add: "Mandate
> paying us for
> OA instead -- and provide the funds for it too.")
> Cf. "Open Letter to Research Councils UK: Rebuttal of ALPSP Critique"
> Stevan Harnad
Received on Tue Sep 05 2006 - 21:47:47 BST

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