Re: Librarians and OA advocacy

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 19:07:10 +0100

On Mon, 23 Apr 2007, wrote:

> I agree with Fred. I'm not sure where this notion that librarians are
> anti green OA has come from. I've not seen any publication by a
> librarian to that effect, and it certainly doesn't correspond to views
> informally expressed to me by librarians.

It was I who encouraged Andrew to post his recommendation (with which I
agree completely) to the Forum. I think if it is read carefully, it will
be seen that he said *some* librarians do not yet understand and support
Green OA (and I think he could just as accurately even have said "many")
and its implications for the new role of the library in the OA era.

Fred and Charles are right too, that some librarians *do* understand
and support Green OA and its implications, and indeed have been among
the leaders of the OA movement.

In 2007 it is undeniable (and has already been so for a number of years)
that OA, optimal and inevitable though it is -- and has been from the
onset of the online age -- is now extremely late in coming. It is hence
already an irreversible historic fact that the optimal and inevitable
outcome will have arrived considerably later than it could and should
have arrived.

Some librarians did their best to hasten it; some administrators too.
Others of them did much less than they could have done.

Some publishers did their best to try to stop or at least embargo OA,
and that will not redound to their historic credit either. Some Gold OA
publishers tried to advance Gold OA in particular, but not OA in general
(i.e., Green OA). That too will diminish their historic contribution.

But there is no question at all that the ones who are primarily to blame
for this needless embargo on the optimal and inevitable outcome *for them*
are -- and have been all along -- the researchers themselves.

(But Charles, if you really want to see evidence that there do exist
librarians in the indifferent to the anti-Green portion of the spectrum
too, read the liblicense list.)

Stevan Harnad
Received on Mon Apr 23 2007 - 20:09:06 BST

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