Max Planck Society Pays for Gold OA and Still Fails to Mandate Green OA

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2008 16:59:05 -0400

One can only leave it to posterity to judge the wisdom of the Max
Planck Society in being prepared to divert "central" funds toward
funding the publication of (some) MPS research in (some) Gold OA
journals (PLoS)without first mandating Green OA self-archiving for
all MPS research output.

It is not as if MPS does not have an Institutional Repository (IR):
It hasEDOC, containing 108,933 records (although it is not clear how
many of those are peer-reviewed research articles, how many of them
are OA, and what percentage of MPS's current annual research output
is deposited and OA).

But, despite being a long-time friend of OA, MPS has no Green OA
self-archiving mandate. I have been told, repeatedly, that "in
Germany one cannot mandate self-archiving," but I do not believe it,
not for a moment. This is pure lack of reflection and ingenuity:

At the very least, Closed Access deposit in EDOC can certainly be
mandated for all MPS published research output as a purely
administrative requirement, for internal record-keeping and
performance-assessment. This is called the "Immediate Deposit,
Optional Access" (IDOA) Mandate. 

And then the "email eprint request" Button can be added to EDOC to
provide almost-OA to all those deposits that the authors don't
immediately make OA of their own accord (95% of journals already
endorse immediate OA in some form).

Then the MPS can go ahead and spend any spare money it may have to
fund publication instead of research.


This should not be construed as any sort of critique of PLoS, a
superb Gold OA publisher, producing superb journals. Nor is it a
critique of paying for Gold OA, for those who have the funds. It is a
critique of paying for Gold OA without first having mandated Green
OA. (For that is rather like an institution offering to pay for its
employees' medical insurance for car accidents without first having
mandated seat-belts; or, more luridly, offering to pay for the
treatment of its employees' secondary-smoke-induced illnesses without
first having mandated that the workplace must be smoke-free.)

Stevan Harnad
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Received on Thu Aug 21 2008 - 22:00:04 BST

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