Re: Green Angels and OA Extremists

From: C.J.Smith <C.J.Smith_at_OPEN.AC.UK>
Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2008 12:15:30 -0000

On 02 December 2008 18:31 Jean-Claude Guédon wrote:


"Commercial presses will do all they can to keep self-archiving at
some artisanal, confusing level while lobbying like mad wherever they
can (this means governmental agencies such as NIH and other similar
agencies). The artisanal dimension I am talking about refers to
constraints such as preventing the use of the publisher's pdf."


Why does it matter that, on the whole, publishers restrict the use of
the final PDF? I would argue that the most value a publisher adds is
during the peer review process, not in the post-acceptance production
processes (copyediting, typesetting and proofreading) and therefore
we should be grateful that the peer-reviewed (value-added) version is
available for self-archiving. Ok, so the final version looks nicer,
but the technical content is there - surely this is the most
important thing?


(Copyediting is a dying trade, with many of the large commercial
publishers outsourcing this to companies operating from non-native
English-speaking countries that can offer cheap prices for a `full
supplier service'. A lot of the pride that used to exist in making
the final version of a paper consistent and accurate has been lost in
recent years as publishers seek to drive down costs. For example, it
always used to be the case that the proof of a paper would be sent to
both the author and an independent freelance proofreader for
checking, with the corrections collated before publication. Many
publishers no longer use freelance proofreaders, putting the onus
entirely on the author to proofread their paper. This is all very
well if the author is a native English speaker; but if not, and the
paper has been copyedited by a non-native English-speaker beforehand,
what you end up with is a final version of a paper that has had very
little value added to it over and above the final accepted manuscript


Jean-Claude's point was that having to explain to authors they can
only deposit a particular version of their paper is a constraint,
imposed the policies of publishers, aimed at slowing down the
development of Green OA. Whether or not this is true, there is, in my
opinion, a simple solution that goes a long way towards removing this


When advocating your repository to your academics, your message
should simply be `always provide your final accepted peer-reviewed
manuscript'. If it then transpires that it is one of those rare
occasions when the published version can be used, library staff can
replace it; if an embargo is needed, library staff can add it; if the
full text can't be used at all, library staff can discard it, or lock
it. I don't believe this message is difficult to understand. Ok, you
could argue that having to deliver this message in the first place is
in itself a constraint, but as long as the message is simple it
should eventually prevail.


Colin Smith
Research Repository Manager
Open Research Online (ORO)
Open University Library
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes

Tel: +44(0)1908 332971


From: American Scientist Open Access Forum
On Behalf Of Jean-Claude Guédon
Sent: 02 December 2008 18:31
Subject: Re: Green Angels and OA Extremists


I support Michael's analysis.

Commercial presses will do all they can to keep self-archiving at
some artisanal, confusing level while lobbying like mad wherever they
can (this means governmental agencies such as NIH and other similar
agencies). The artisanal dimension I am talking about refers to
constraints such as preventing the use of the publisher's pdf. Making
it difficult for libraries to stock their own IR's with the articles
of their faculty in some bulk fashion is another way to slow down
archiving. When publishers impose their own particular constraints on
self-archiving, they make things more confusing for the researchers,
and this slows down progress. In short, they act in such a way that
they cannot be directly and clearly faulted for opposing OA, but they
make sure progress will be slow, difficult, reversible and temporary.
While allowing self-archiving is indeed a step forward, it is
accompanied by so many side issues that the step is small, hesitant,
and not always pointed in the right direction.

Of course, one can always invent some work around, add yet another
button, or whatever, but this ends up making things only a little
more complex and a little more confusing for the average researcher
and it only reinforces the elements of confusion sought by at least
some of the publishers.

In short, it is a very clever strategy.

To achieve OA, we do need self-archiving, all the difficulties thrown
into its path by publishers notwithstanding, including the devious
strategies I just referred to. But we also need OA publishing. Not to
say that OA publishing should come before self-archiving, but to
point out a very simple fact: a pincer strategy on the scientific
communication system is better than a strategy based on a single
method. OA needs self-archiving, but it also needs some reform in
scientific publishing. Rather than opposing green and gold
strategies, it is better to see how they can support each other.

Jean-Claude Guédon

Le mardi 02 décembre 2008 à 07:47 -0800, Michael Eisen a écrit :


Les Carr wrote:


>  HAVING SAID THAT, the library is in no way adverse to finding

>  mechanisms that assist individuals and ease their tasks, and I guess

>  that Elsevier can have no objections to that either! How about a

>  notification email to be sent to authors of "In Press" papers that

>  contains a "Deposit this paper" button that initiates the user's

>  deposit workflow on the ScienceDirect Submitted Manuscript PDF.


You guys are such suckers. OF COURSE Elsevier can have objections to

libraries assisting individuals in self-archiving their work, because

Elsevier does not want self archiving to succeed! What do they have to

do to actually prove this to you? Stevan, Les and others seem to think

that Karen Hunter's recent email was some kind of bureaucratic error,

rather than realize it for what it clearly is - a direct statement

from Elsevier that they do not want self-archiving to actually take

off. It's a ploy (an apparently successful ploy) on their part to

diffuse moves towards effective universal open access by a) making

them seem like good guys and b) fostering the illusion that we can

have universal green OA without altering the economics of publishing.


And Stevan, rather than the typical retort about how green OA can be

achieved now, with a few keystrokes, can you please instead explain

how the policy statement from your friends at Elsevier does not

indicate that they are really opposed to real OA.

Jean-Claude Guédon
Université de Montréal



The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an
exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in
Scotland (SC 038302).
Received on Wed Dec 03 2008 - 15:04:00 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:49:36 GMT