The #1 Myth About Open Access

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Sun, 6 Jul 2008 14:53:54 -0400

      "Just what is open access?... In an open access journal,
      there's no charge for reading articles... Yes, that's
      pretty much all there is to the definition."

No, unfortunately that is not the definition of OA (which actual
meansfree online access), it is just the definition of Gold OA
publishing, one of the two ways to provide OA (and not the fastest or
surest way). 

The single most important reason OA is not yet growing anywhere near
as quickly as it could and should is this persistent perpetuation of
the myth that OA is just Gold OA.

Nature's latest reply to the widespread (and mostly
valid) criticismevoked by Nature's recent critique of its competitor,
Gold OA publisher PLoS, although it perpetuates a few minor
misunderstandings of its own, is far closer to the truth in its
      "[N]one of this may matter very much in the longer run
      since truly widespread open access to scientific content
      is coming about through funder-mandated [Green
      open-access self-] archiving, not [Gold] open-access

(Nature's reply states that "Nature isn't anti-open access," but it
neglects to mention that Natureback-slid in 2005 -- from having at
first been Green on OA self-archiving by its authors to rejoining
instead the minority of journals who still try to embargo
access. Nature's reply also misses the real growth region of Green OA
mandates, which is now institutional and departmental mandates
likeSouthampton's, QUT's, Minho's, CERN's, Liege's, and now Harvard's
and Stanford's, rather than just funder mandates.)

Stevan Harnad
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Received on Sun Jul 06 2008 - 19:55:57 BST

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