OA Publishing is OA, but OA is Not OA Publishing

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Sun, 28 Sep 2008 10:12:26 -0400

Many silly, mindless things have been standing in the way of the
optimal and inevitable (i.e., universal OA) for years now (canards
about permissions, peer review, preservation, etc.) , but perhaps the
biggest of them is the persistent conflation of OA with OA
OA means free online access to refereed journal articles ("gratis" OA
means access only, "libre" OA means also various re-use rights).

OA to refereed journal articles can be provided in two ways: by
publishing in an OA journal that provides OA (OA publishing, "Gold"
OA) or by publishing in a non-OA journals and self-archiving the
article (Green OA).

Hence Green OA, which is full-blooded OA, is OA, but it is *not* OA

Hence the many OA mandates that are being adopted by universities and
research funders worldwide are *not* Gold OA publishing mandates,
they are Green OA mandates.

It is not doing the OA cause, or progress towards universal OA one
bit of good to keep portraying it as a publishing reform movement,
with Gold OA publishing as its sole and true goal. 

The OA movement's sole and true goal is OA itself, universal OA. 

Whether or not universal OA will eventually lead to universal Gold OA
publishing is a separate, speculative question.

OA means OA, and OA publishing is merely one of the forms it can

(I post this out of daily frustration at continuing to see OA spoken
of as synonymous with OA publishing, and of even hearing Green OA
self-archiving mandates misdescribed as "OA publishing mandates".)

If only we could stop doing this conflation, OA would have a better
chance of reaching the optimal and inevitable more swiftly.


Your weary archivangelist,

Stevan Harnad
Received on Sun Sep 28 2008 - 17:02:04 BST

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