The Siren Call of Speculations About Publishing Reform

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2007 03:33:43 +0000

As it's unclear how to log on to post a comment to Jim Till's blog
I'll comment here:

(1) OA means Open Access, not Open Access Publishing (Gold OA).

(2) The "transition phase" we are in is between non-OA and OA, not
particularly between non-OA publishing and OA publishing (Gold)
(although possibly, after OA, an eventual transition to Gold OA might

(3) Hence the pertinent "transitional scenario" today is neither
"Scenario A" (research funders allow fundees to use research funds,
optionally, to pay Gold OA fees), nor "Scenario B" (research funders
allow fundees to use research funds, non-optionally, designated to pay
Gold OA fees only).

(4) The pertinent transitional scenario today -- the one adopted and
proposed by all funders to date except the Wellcome Trust -- is
"Scenario OA": research funders mandate that fundees make their
published articles OA by self-archiving them free for all on the web:
Green OA.

(5) Scenario OA (Green) is the one wisely proposed by CIHR: Not
scenarios A or B.

(6) I continue to be baffled, utterly baffled, by the preoccupation
with speculating about hypothetical transitions to Gold OA instead of
the practical, immediate provision of OA via Green OA mandates.

(7) Green OA is within immediate reach.

(8) Those who prefer instead to keep speculating about Gold OA should
at least declare that their interest is not really in OA itself, but
merely in reforming the business model of journal publishers.

(9) The research community, in the meantime, keeps losing its daily,
weekly, monthly, yearly usage and impact, cumulatively, while we keep
debating about hypothetical transitions to Gold OA.

(10) The full weight of those whose primary interest is in the
transition to OA should accordingly be thrown behind the Green OA
mandates, forsaking all others (till 100% OA is safely upon us or

Stevan Harnad
Received on Tue Mar 06 2007 - 03:47:13 GMT

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