Re: Open Choice is a Trojan Horse for Open Access Mandates

From: Jan Velterop <openaccess_at_BTINTERNET.COM>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 15:36:51 +0000

Thanks, Michael, for making this important point. It is becoming a
pattern, this confusing of means with ends. On this discussion list
the means have evolved into a nested set of orthodoxies: open access
is the means to improving efficiency of research -- OA by self-
archiving is the means to achieving OA -- institutional repositories
are the means to get self-archiving -- mandates are the means to get
these repositories filled -- political lobbying is the means to get
the mandates, and, as of Sunday 18 March, we have a message on the
list about the way this lobby should take place.

Every time when a means becomes an end in itself, there are
potentially a number of means to reach that particular end, and the
end result of the whole cascade should be a diversity of approaches
all pointing in the same direction, that of the original goal. In
principle, there is strength in diversity, as mother nature itself

Maybe it's inevitable and part of the human condition that out of
each set of means just one should develop as the focus of orthodoxy
and the rest written off, but it is certainly a shame if in that
process the original objective is lost out of sight. Especially if it
leads to denouncing the HHMI deal, to denouncing the EC for
encouraging OA but not by choosing to mandate self-archiving, to
denouncing any genuine efforts to open access after an embargo
period, and even to denouncing subject repositories for being central
and not institutional archives, et cetera. However, these are all
positive steps and should get be recognised as such.

Even if one believes in the orthodoxy promulgated as the best
possible means to the nested ends, the effect of denigrating any
other steps in the direction of improving the efficiency of research
is only resulting in slowing the process down. Research deserves
better. The end goal unites; the means evidently don't.

Jan Velterop

On 15 Mar 2007, at 14:39, Michael Kurtz wrote:

> C.Oppenheim wrote:
>> Funny, I could have sworn it was to provide easier, faster access
>> to the
>> research literature....
> No. You are confusing means with ends. If improving access would not
> improve the efficiency of research no one would care. This is not a
> zero sum game.
> Michael
> --
> Dr. Michael J. Kurtz
> Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
> 60 Garden Street
> Cambridge, MA 02138
> VOICE: +1-617-495-7434
> FAX: +1-617-495-7467
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Received on Mon Mar 19 2007 - 17:37:26 GMT

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