Re: Publishers with Paid Options for Open Access

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 08:54:32 -0400

On 3-Sep-08, at 6:57 AM, Jane H Smith, SHERPA, wrote:

> Where a publishers' standard policy does not allow an author to comply
> with their funding agency's mandate, paid open access options may enable
>an author to comply.

On no account should any author comply with any mandate to provide
Open Access (OA) by paying a (non-Green) publisher to do so.

That would be a grotesque distortion of the purpose of both OA and OA mandates.
It would also profoundly discourage funders and institutions from
mandating OA, and authors from complying with OA mandates.

If a journal is not one of the 63% of journals that are already Green
on immediate OA self-archiving
    -- --
then the right strategy for the author is to deposit the refereed
final draft in their institutional repository anyway, immediately upon
acceptance for publication.

Access to that deposit can then be set as Closed Access instead of
Open Access during the publisher embargo, if the author wishes. The
repository's semi-automatic "email eprint request" Button can then
provide all would-be users with almost-OA during the embargo:

Most OA mandates tolerate an embargo of 6-12 months. Once immediate
deposit is universally mandated by 100% of funders and institutions,
that will provide at least 63% immediate-OA plus at most 37%
almost-OA, immediately, for a universal total of 100% immediate-OA
plus almost-OA.

Not long after OA mandates are adopted universally, the increasingly
palpable benefits of the resultant OA to research, researchers, and
the tax-paying public will ensure that the rest of the dominos will
inevitably fall quite naturally of their own accord, yielding 100%

Both JISC and SHERPA have an outstanding record for supporting and
promoting OA, worldwide. The OA movement and the global research
community are greatly in their debt. However, JISC, and especially
SHERPA, alas also have a history of amplifying arbitrary, irrelevant
and even absurd details and noise associated with publisher policies
and practices, instead of focusing on what makes sense and is
essential to the understanding and progress of OA.

I urge JISC and SHERPA to focus on what the research community needs
to hear, understand and do in order to reach 100% OA as soon as
possible -- not on advertising publisher options that are not only
unnecessary but counterproductive to the growth of OA and OA mandates.

Stevan Harnad
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Received on Wed Sep 03 2008 - 13:59:15 BST

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