Re: Free Access vs. Open Access

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2007 04:04:53 +0100

    "Free Access vs. Open Access" (Dec 2003)

Peter Murray-Rust's worries about OA are groundless.

Peter worries he can't be be sure that:

> I can save my own copy (the MIT [site] suggests you cannot print
> it and may not be allowed to save it)

Pay no attention. Download, print, save and crunch (just as you could have done if
you had keyed in the text from reading the pages of a paper book)!

> that it will be available next week

It will. The University OA IRs all see to that. That's why they're making it OA.

    "Proposed update of BOAI definition of OA: Immediate and Permanent"
     (Mar 2005)

> that it will be unaltered in the future or that versions will be
> tracked

Versions are tracked by the IR software, and updated versions are tagged as such.
Versions can even be DIFFed:

> that I can create derivative works

You may *not* create derivative works. We are talking about someone's own writing, not
an audio for remix, And that is as it should be. The contents (meaning) are yours to
data-mine and reuse, with attribution. The words, however, are the author's (apart
from attributed fair-use quotes). Link to them if you need to re-use them verbatim
(or ask for permission).

> that I can use machines to text- or data-mine it

Yes, you can. Download and crunch away.

This is all common sense, and all comes with the OA territory when the author makes
his full-text freely accessible for all, online. The rest seems to be based on some
conflation between (1) the text of research articles and (2a) the raw research data
on which the text is based, and with (2b) software, and with (2c) multimedia -- all
the wrong stuff and irrelevant to OA).

Stevan Harnad

If you have adopted or plan to adopt a policy of providing Open Access
to your own research article output, please describe your policy at:

    BOAI-1 ("Green"): Publish your article in a suitable toll-access journal
    BOAI-2 ("Gold"): Publish your article in an open-access journal if/when
    a suitable one exists.
    in BOTH cases self-archive a supplementary version of your article
    in your own institutional repository.
Received on Tue Jun 12 2007 - 15:45:51 BST

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