Re: Certification and Dissemination

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 02:41:00 +0100

On Sun, 27 Apr 2008, Ian Russell, Chief Executive, ALPSP, wrote:

> But in order to have BOTH, you have to pay for BOTH and that
> means paying both for repository dissemination and for peer
> review either using the established subscription model, author
> side payment (gold) open access or some other method...

And both *are* being paid for: About $3000 per paper published (through
institutional journal subscriptions) plus about $10 per paper archived.

I don't quite understand what you are alluding to here.

> You don't get both by imposing unfunded mandates like that
> announced by Southampton University.

Subscribing institutions pay for journals by subscribing to them.

Institutions pay (the little they cost) for their Institutional
Repositories for the benefits they confer on the institution:
Inventorying, showcasing, archiving, monitoring and assessing its own
research output, as well as maximizing its visibility, accessibility,
usage and impact.

The authors' 6 minutes of extra keystrokes per paper deposited cost
nothing. They are an investment in their research, just as all the
preceding keystrokes were.

And here is what Southampton University has to say about its "unfunded"

    "The University of Southampton is to make all its academic and
    scientific research output freely available. A decision by the
    University to provide core funding for its Institutional Repository
    establishes it as a central part of its research infrastructure..."

> And this is my point: Whilst I agree with the argument that the
> output of publicly funded research (or from a research
> institution) - which is the author's original article - should be
> freely available to the public, I do not believe that the
> 'refereed postprint' (to use your terminology, I prefer 'accepted
> manuscript') should necessarily be freely given away. That
> decision should be up to the organization that added the value by
> peer reviewing it and associating it with its brand.

The output of publicly funded research is peer-reviewed journal articles
-- which the peers review for free for publishers, and the authors
give their publishers for free to sell for subscription, in exchange
for having administered the peer review.

If and when subscriptions become unsustainable, institutions can
pay publishers for the peer review of their own article output out of a
small portion of their annual windfall savings from the cancelled
journal subscriptions.

Maximizing the usage and impact of their own peer-reviewed research
output is certainly not a decision institutions and funders need to leave
up to publishers, and that is what the growing wave of Green OA
self-archiving mandates is about.

> What right, exactly, do those imposing unfunded mandates have to
> stipulate that the value added in this way be given up for no
> compensation?

Would you say that subscription revenue was no compensation?

> Of course, the authors have the right to choose where to publish
> and long may that continue.
> In anticipation of arguments that peer review is done 'for free'
> I hasten to add that (i) this isn't the only value added (ii)
> operating peer review processes are very expensive and that (iii)
> referees have the choice whether or not to give their time and
> expertise to peer review articles (those investing in peer review
> are given no choice regarding whether or not to give away the
> fruits of their labours by unfunded mandates).

The operating costs of administering peer review (and much more) are
paid for today by institutional subscription revenue. If and when Green
OA should ever make subscriptions unsustainable, publishing will convert
to Gold OA and institutions will pay for the costs of administering peer
review (and no more) out of a portion of their subscription savings.

Publishers today have a choice: They can wait to see whether universal
Green OA eventually makes subscriptions unsustainable, or they can
convert to Gold OA right now, or they can let their titles migrate to
publishers that are happy to wait, or convert, right now. Only one
choice is not open to publishers: To prevent authors and institutions
from making the choice to maximize the impact of their refereed research
output by self-archiving it.

Stevan Harnad

> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: On Behalf Of Stevan Harnad
> > Sent: 25 April 2008 14:44
> > To:
> > Subject: Certification and Dissemination
> >
> > It's not that the author must choose (1) (journal)
> > certification OR (2) (OA repository) dissemination: The right
> > choice is of course BOTH (1) journal certification (peer
> > review) AND (2) repository dissemination (OA self-archiving).
> >
> > Joseph Esposito seems to keep wanting to imagine that what is
> > being self-archived is only or mostly unrefereed preprints
> > (and, he goes on to imagine: preprints never even destined to
> > go on to become refereed postprints).
> >
> > It would be a good idea to look at what it is that the 41
> > self-archiving mandates in ROARMAP are actually stipulating
> > must be deposited. (Without a single exception, it is the
> > refereed postprint.)
> >
> > Stevan Harnad
Received on Mon Apr 28 2008 - 02:47:45 BST

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