Re: The EC Petition and the EC Poll

From: Velterop, Jan, Springer UK <Jan.Velterop_at_SPRINGER.COM>
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2007 10:28:29 +0100


Is this really what was asked: "Are you FOR or AGAINST open access to
research results?" If that is so, the result is dismal. It means that
14% of the self-archiving mandate's specific target constituency is
*against* open access!

Asking if people are FOR or AGAINST open access is like asking if they
are FOR or AGAINST good health. It would be, rightly, seen as
astonishing if 14% were against.

I guess that the question FOR or AGAINST the principle of open access,
if asked of publishers, would get you a similar outcome and quite
probably a better one (fewer than 14% against). Most publishers are not
against open access per se, but they feel that their wish to be paid for
their services is a reasonable and fully justified desire. Authors who
don't wish to use publishers' services can just put their stuff on the
web, and they don't need to bother a publisher. There's no publisher who
forces them to publish in their journals. But if they do come to a
publisher, and request the publisher's services, it's reasonable to
expect them to support some form of payment for the service of arranging
and facilitating peer review and all else that goes with formal
publication of their articles, which is what they -- and the science
community -- not only want, but need for their careers and future
funding prospects. That's why a mandate for open access per se is fine,
but a mandate for subversive self-archiving is not if it comes instead
of a constructive dialogue approach to some form of economically
sustainable open access publishing.

The question is not open access yea or nea. The question is -- if
formally publishing in peer reviewed journals is indeed valuable to the
scientific community -- how it can best be sustained in an economically
viable way.


Jan Velterop

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Scientist Open Access Forum
I.ORG] On Behalf Of Leslie Carr
> Sent: 14 February 2007 00:42
> Subject: The EC Petition and the EC Poll
> The European research and academic community has demonstrated
> overwhelming support for the European Commission's proposed
> Open Access Self-Archiving Mandate (A1). A petition, launched
> jointly on January 14th 2007 by research organisations in a
> number of European countries, has drawn over 20,000
> signatures from Europe and worldwide in support of the EC's
> proposal. The response includes almost 1,000 institutional
> signatories from National Academies of Sciences,
> Universities, Rectors' conferences, Learned Societies,
> national and private research funding councils, and
> industries that apply research.)
> In conjunction with the petition, a separate poll has been
> conducted of the EC Open Access Mandate's specific target
> constituency. The administrators of currently active EU FP6
> projects were asked to register a vote FOR or AGAINST open
> access to research results. The result was overwhelming:
> 85.8% in favour of open access, 14.2% against (based on a
> healthy 8.22% response rate from 2652 email invitations to vote).
> Previous research has demonstrated the increased impact that
> Open Access to Research Results offers the research industry.
> The petition and the poll demonstrate that Open Access now
> receives broad-based and popular support as a mainstream
> requirement of the European research industry.
> ---
> Les Carr
> University of Southampton
Received on Wed Feb 14 2007 - 15:55:49 GMT

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