Re: Fwd: Publishers with Paid Options for Open Access

From: Peter Millington <Peter.Millington_at_NOTTINGHAM.AC.UK>
Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 17:03:57 +0100

It is a pity that Prof. Harnad is only interested in "default" and
"sufficient" options, and not in the best options, or indeed the most
appropriate options.
While author's final post-refereed draft is sufficient and acceptable
for open access and research purposes, it is not the best. The best
is the published version (publisher's PDF if you will). At the very
least, this is the authoritative version vis-à-vis page numbers for
quoted extracts and the like. Also, it significantly expedites
deposition to be able to use the publisher's PDF rather than having
to generate your own, with all the complications that that may
In my view, the publishers who permit the use of their PDFs deserve
to be applauded for their far-sightedness. Other publishers should be
encouraged to do likewise. SHERPA therefore makes no apologies for
having published our "good list" - (Some may concur with
Prof. Harnad in regarding the Paid OA list - - as the "bad list", but I
couldn't possibly comment.)
As for where material may be deposited, Prof. Harnad states that
permission to deposit in institutional repositories should be the
default, implying that this would be sufficient. However, as before,
institutional repositories alone are not the best option. Surely the
best policy must be to be able to deposit in any open access
repository - institutional and/or disciplinary.
In any case, SHERPA/RoMEO has no choice but to reflect/quote the
terminology for repository types used in the publishers' open access
policies, CTAs, and related documentation. These are often wanting in
clarity and are not always fully thought through. If the publishers
do better, it follows that SHERPA/RoMEO's data will also improve.
<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns =
"urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Peter Millington

SHERPA Technical Development Officer
Greenfield Medical Library, <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns =
"urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />University of
Nottingham, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, NG7 2UH, England



From: American Scientist Open Access Forum
On Behalf Of Stevan Harnad
Sent: 03 September 2008 16:16
Subject: Fwd: Publishers with Paid Options for Open Access

On 3-Sep-08, at 8:57 AM, wrote:

> Stevan misunderstands the purpose of SHERPA/ROMEO.  It
is there to report
> publishers' terms and conditions, to help authors decide
where to place their
> articles.  To argue that it should not list those publishers
that are not "green"
> is akin to asking an abstracting service not to record those
articles that the
> editor happens not to agree with.
> Some funders, such as Wellcome,  encourage the applicant for
funding to
> include the cost of paying a "gold" journal in their funding
bid. If it is to perform
> a useful information function, SHERPA/ROMEO has to reflect
current reality,
> not ideal future scenarios.

I can only disagree (profoundly) with my comrade-at-arms,
Charles Oppenheim, on this important strategic point!

I certainly did not say that SHERPA/ROMEO should only list
Green Publishers! It should list all publishers (and, more
relevantly, all their individual journals).
But along with the journals, SHERPA/ROMEO should only list and
classify the journal policy details that are relevant to OA, OA
mandates, and the growth of OA.
Those four relevant journal policy details are these:

      (1) Does the journal endorse immediate OA
      self-archiving of the refereed postprint? If so,
      the journal is GREEN.

      (2) Does the journal endorse the immediate OA
      self-archiving of the unrefereed preprint only? If
      so, the journal is PALE-GREEN.

      (3) Is the journal neither GREEN nor PALE-GREEN? If
      so then the journal is GRAY.

      (4) If the journal is PALE-GREEN or GRAY, does it
      endorse OA self-archiving after an embargo? If so,
      how long?

That's it. All the rest of the details that SHERPA/ROMEO is
currently canonizing are irrelevant amplifications of noise
that merely confuse instead of informing, clarifying and
facilitating OA-relevant policy and decisions on the part of
authors, institutions and funders.
Amongst the irrelevant and confusing details that SHERPA/ROMEO
is currently amplifying (and there are many!), there are two
that might be worth retaining as a footnote, as long as it is
made clear that they are not fundamental for policy or
practice, but merely details for two special cases:

      (i) What version is endorsed for OA self-archiving:
      the author's final draft or the publisher's PDF?

      (ii) Where does the journal endorse self-archiving:
      the author's institutional repository and/or
      central repositories?

The reason these details are inessential is that the default
option in both cases is already known a priori: 

(i) Self-archiving the author's final draft is
the default option. A publisher that endorses self-archiving
the publisher's PDF also authorizes, a fortiori, the
self-archiving of the author's final draft. (Pedants might have
some fun thrashing this one back and forth, citing all sorts of
formalisms and legalisms, but in the end, sense would prevail:
Once the publisher has formally authorized making the published
article OA, matters of author prior versions or author updates
are all moot.)

The default option of self-archiving the postprint is
sufficient for OA, hence the PDF side-show is a needless

(ii)  Self-archiving in the author's institutional repository
is the default option. A publisher that endorses self-archiving
in a central repository also endorses, a fortiori,
self-archiving in the author's own institutional repository.

The default option of self-archiving in the institutional
repository is sufficient for OA, hence the matter of central
deposit is a needless distraction. (Where direct central
deposit is mandated by a funder, this can and will be
implemented by automatic ARROW-based export to central
repositories, of either the metadata and full-text or merely
the metadata and the link to the full-text.)

Hence (i) and (ii) are minor details that need only be
consulted by those who, for some reason, are particularly
concerned about the PDF, or those who need to comply with a
funder mandate that specifies central deposit.

There is absolutely no call for SHERPA/ROMEO to advertise the
price lists of GRAY publishers for paid OA! I can only repeat
that that is grotesque. Let authors and funders who are foolish
enough to squander their money on paying those publishers
(instead of just relying on their tolerated embargo limits plus
the Button) find out the prices for themselves. 


Stevan Harnad

      From:  Stevan Harnad

      Sent: 03 September 2008 13:49


      Subject: Re: Publishers with Paid Options for Open

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

      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% immediate-OA.

      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

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Received on Wed Sep 03 2008 - 19:41:51 BST

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