Trojan Horse from American Chemical Society: Caveat Emptor

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2007 16:42:17 +0000

Dear colleagues,

I urge you to beware of the American Chemical Society's cynical,
self-serving new "AuthorChoice" Option:
    "ACS AuthorChoice facilitates unrestricted web access to your
    published ACS article, at the time of publication, for a one-time
    fixed payment, provided by you or your funding agency. Contributing
    authors who are ACS members and/or are affiliated with an ACS
    subscribing institution receive significant discounts. This policy
    also allows you to post copies of published articles on your personal
    website and institutional repositories for non-commercial scholarly

It is an "offer" to "allow" authors to pay, not just for Gold OA --
which is what hybrid Gold/Green publishers like Springer and Cambridge
University Press offer -- but for Green OA!

In other words, ACS is proposing to charge authors for the right to
deposit their own papers in their own institutional repositories.

This ploy was bound to be tried, but I urge you not to fall for it!

You have an unassailable right to deposit your peer-reviewed, accepted
final drafts (postprints) of your ACS articles in your Institutional
Repositories. If you don't feel you can make them Open Access just yet,
make them Closed Access for now, but deposit them, immediately upon
acceptance for publication (the preprint even earlier).

    The Immediate-deposit/Optional-Access Mandate

OA self-archiving mandates by research funders and universities, with limits
on embargoes, are now being adopted to ensure that your deposits are not
left in Closed Access for long. But on no account should you pay ACS a
penny for it.

If you feel your deposit needs to be placed under a provisional Closed
Access Embargo, "almost-OA" is immediately available via the EMAIL
EPRINT REQUEST Button being implemented by more and more Institutional
Repositories. Direct individual user to author eprint requests and their
fulfillment online are Fair Use, as they have always been, even when
authors mailed paper reprints to individual requesters.

To pay for Gold OA today out of scarce research funds -- while all
publication costs are still being paid by subscriptions -- is already

    "The Geeks and the Irrational"

But to pay for Green OA would border on the absurd. Caveat Emptor!

Stevan Harnad
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Received on Tue Mar 06 2007 - 17:04:44 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:48:49 GMT