Please Don't Conflate Green and Gold OA

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2008 06:41:03 -0500

At the Students for a Free Culture Conference, Lawrence Lessig
advised students, on "Remix Culture":
      "I think the obvious, low-hanging-fruit fight for
      the Students for Free Culture movement right now is to
      start having sit-ins in universities where they don't
      adopt Open Access publishing rules. It's ridiculous that
      scholars publish articles in journals that then charge 5,
      10, 15 thousand dollars for people around the world to
      get access to it."

It may just be because of the wrong choice of words ("Open Access
publishing rules"), but as stated, this does not sound like the right
advice to give to students on what to do to help persuade
universities to provide Open Access to their refereed research
journal article output, nor does it correspond with what is
being mandated by the 28 pioneer universities and departments
(including Harvard and Stanford, and 30 research funders, including
NIH) that have actually mandated OA.

As noted in Larry's link, OA is
            "free, immediate, permanent, full-text,
            online access, for any user, web-wide...
            primarily [to] research articles published in
            peer-reviewed journals."

But that OA can be provided by two means:
      "Gold OA" publishing (authors publishing in journals that
      make their articles free online, sometimes at a fee to
      the author/university) 


      "Green OA" self-archiving (authors publishing articles in
      whatever journals they choose, but depositing their final
      refereed draft in their university's institutional
      repository to make it free online)

The 28 pioneering universities/departments (and 30 funders) have all
mandated Green OA (mandatory deposit), but Larry seems to be
advocating that students strike for mandating Gold OA (mandatory
publishing in a Gold OA journal). 

Please see
            "The University's Mandate to Mandate Open

on the Open Students: Students for Open Access to Research blog,
where I have tried to describe what students can do to help persuade
universities to provide Open Access to their refereed research
journal article output.

Stevan Harnad
Received on Wed Nov 19 2008 - 12:04:22 GMT

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