Re: A note of caution about SCOAP3 and the pre-emptive "flip" model

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 13:09:02 -0400

Richard Poynder asks:
> [1] Question: Is it true that a Gold OA article-processing-charge model will
> create a situation in which "publishers are operating in a genuinely
> competitive market to offer a service that is good value for money"?
> If it is true, then [2] is not Stevan Harnad's concern that before moving
> to Gold OA we must first "downsize publishing and its costs to just
> the costs of peer review" by "offloading access-provision, archiving
> and their costs onto the network of Green OA Institutional Repositories
> (" a misplaced concern?
Excellent question(s)!

1. The answer to Question [1] would be "Yes" if all or most journals
today were Gold OA. But the vast majority of journals are non-OA.
Hence the competition is just among a minority of journals (about
10-15%, and mostly not the top 10-15%).

2. Meanwhile, without universal Green OA, the functions of
access-provision and archiving -- and their costs -- continue to be a
part of journal publishing, both Gold OA and non-OA, with all journals
also still providing the PDF (with its costs) too. (I leave the issue
of the print edition to those who are specialized in pondering Escher
impossible-figures. I just point out that this is a long way from
providing just peer review alone. Nor does there look to be a
transition scenario, in the absence of Green OA and a distributed
network of Green OA IRs to take over the function of access-provision
and archiving.

3. The answer to question [1] being hence "No," conditional question
[2] becomes moot.

4. There is a known, tried, tested way of scaling to 100% OA, and it
has been demonstrated to work: Green OA self-archiving and Green OA
self-archiving mandates.

5. Unlike Gold OA, which not only faces substantial scaling problems
but is not in the hands of the research community, Green OA is
entirely in the hands of the research community and can be (and has
been) mandated (and the mandates work).

6. So what are we waiting for?

Stevan Harnad
Received on Wed Jun 25 2008 - 19:25:37 BST

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