Re: Just who is on the defensive?

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2007 16:31:07 +0000

On Fri, 26 Jan 2007, JOHANNES VELTEROP wrote:

> The issue shouldn't be -- and for most clear-thinking publishers
> isn't -- about OA yea or nay. It is about the fundamentally
> problematic idea of mandating access to the formally published
> literature without willing to provide in any way for payment...

But, dear Jan, need I remind you that Payment *in full* is being made --
via subscriptions and licenses -- for that vast majority of journals
that are not OA journals!

The rest is just pre-emptive speculation: If those subscriptions are
ever cancelled, the resultant savings can then be used to pay for Gold
OA publication charges But until and unless they are cancelled, why do
we -- the research community, I mean, because, frankly, the publishing
community has not much say in this, one way or the other -- keep wasting
time on this pre-emptive bargaining, instead of doing the keystrokes to
provide the OA, now? (*That's* what the self-archiving mandates are for,
at long last.)

> Given the benefits of open access, an argument might even be made
> that its increased utility would justify a higher price. The
> mandates that are being considered, however, aim to remove
> (perhaps not by intention, but as an unintended consequence) any
> economic basis. That's the issue. Not OA or NOA.

Jan, as a publisher, ou are to be excused for being so preoccupied with
prices and your bottom line. But I hope you will in turn excuse the
research community for being more concerned with *access* -- for which
there is no need to pay a penny more or less at the moment! All that's
needed is keystrokes. And that is what OA, today, is about.

Stevan Harnad
Received on Sun Jan 28 2007 - 04:30:25 GMT

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