OA publishing

From: (wrong string) édon <jean.claude.guedon_at_umontreal.ca>
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2006 08:49:48 -0500

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Stevan Harnad writes:

OA publishing is indeed a substitute for non-OA publishing, but not
enough publishers are doing it, and there's no way to mandate their to do
And it would be absurd for the research community to wait until they do,
since they can mandate *themselves* to provide OA by supplementing non-OA
access with self-archived OA access, immediately.

In response, let me refer back to an old discussion between him, Arthur
Sale and myself (around
http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Hypermail/Amsci/4811.html), the
outcome of which was, despite Arthur Sale's gallant attempt to deny
reality, that a significant proportion of scientific and scholarly
journals are subsidized by public money in a variety of ways. Huge
amounts of money are spent in various countries to do so. For example, in
Canada, SSHRC spends 2 million dollars to support 161 journals. NRC
subsidizes a further 14. All these journals are amenable to institutional
pressure, just as researchers can be pressured to self-archive by a
granting agency, through mandating. In each case, a battle is needed to
implement these policies.

The only groups that cannot be pressured are the large commercial
publishers which presumably are not receiving direct subsidies from
public sources (although a recent study some of us did recently and which
will shortly be published on the web site of the Social Science and
Humanities Research Council of Canada) showed that at least one journal
was being subsidized *and* published by Blackwell... Needless to say, we
did point this out very clearly to the granting agency.

Journal subsidies are significant in most places except the US, the UK
and Australia. Even a good commonwealth country like Canada does not fit
the commercial model followed by these three countries. Countries like
India, China, Brazil,  Spain, Italy, etc. have large public funds
allocated to supporting scholarly journals. France may be the worst case:
huge subsidies to support commercial publishers... No further comment
needed for this last case.


Jean-Claude Guédon

Dr. Jean-Claude Guédon
Dept. of Comparative Literature
University of montreal
PO Box 6128, Downtown Branch
Montreal, QC H3C 3J7
Received on Fri Nov 03 2006 - 11:48:48 GMT

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