Re: Conflating Open Access With Copyright Reform: Not Helpful to Open Access

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 2009 17:07:07 -0400

I will ignore the rude and ad hominem passages that are habitual with
this commentator and respond only to the portions that have some
content and courtesy:

On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 2:12 PM, Klaus Graf<> wrote:

> Full OA is OA according the BBB definitions which are calling for libre OA.

(1) There is no such thing as "full OA."

(2) The BBB definitions have been updated into gratis OA (free online
access) and libre OA (free online access but certain -- not fully
specified -- re-use rights).

Green OA mandates are mandates for gratis OA, not libre OA.

> If libre OA is an important aim then Copyright reservation is essential.

Libre OA is important for some purposes. Gratis OA is important for
all purposes. First things first.

Libre OA is harder to mandate because it demands much more, and
sometimes more than the author wishes to provide. It is for this
reason that libre OA mandates need to allow opt-out, which makes them
no longer mandates.

The only right that needs to be "reserved" is the right to make one's
final, refereed draft gratis OA immediately upon acceptance for
publication. (Beyond that, it is not at all clear what re-use rights
all or most authors would want to grant.)

And the purpose of the "email eprint request" Button is so that
"Almost-OA" can be provided even in the cases where the immediate OA
deposit right has not been reserved, and the author elects to honor a
publisher embargo on making the deposit immediately OA.

> If OA isn't only a concern for scientists but also for the
> humanities there is no doubt that OA to journal articles is clearly
> insufficient - in the humanities OA to books and book contributions is
> essential.

OA's primary target is journal articles because these are all, without
exception, author give-aways, and their self-archiving can be

This is not true of books. Authors are free to make their books OA
(whether gratis or libre), but it cannot be mandated.

> SHERPA/ROMEO is Science-centered and angloamerican-centered

It is "centered" on those publishers that have elected to register
their policies.

(If a larger proportion of anglo-american journals or science journals
is registered, or registered as Green -- and I am not at all sure that
is the case: has anyone counted? -- then that is an empirical fact,
period. Treat the unregistered journals as gray, if you like, but
deposit the final drafts of the articles you publish in those journals
immediately upon acceptance for publication, and rely on the
"Almost-OA" Button until Green OA mandates prevail and publisher OA
embargoes their natural and well-deserved death. But don't blame Green
gratis OA or Green Gratis OA mandates, for the situation for libre OA
is incomparably worse, and does not even have mandates as a solution.)

> There is NO evidence that SHERPA/ROMEO has any significance for
> Germany's most important humanities publishers.

Vide supra.

Stevan Harnad
Received on Thu Jul 30 2009 - 22:07:37 BST

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