Re: DeepDyve - 99 cent article rentals

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 2009 23:10:23 -0500

On 5-Nov-09, at 7:26 PM, Joseph Esposito wrote:

      I don't want to comment further on DeepDyve's program as
      I have a
      relationship there, but I find Professor Harnad's
      perceived irony
      to be misplaced.

      OF COURSE, people would find ways to monetize OA content.
      did you expect?  And if someone prefers to purchase
      through "monetized OA" instead of going directly to the
      free OA
      source, why would anyone want to interfere with an
      preference?  I fail to see the virtue of the top-down,
      policies that Professor Harnad supports.

The answer is simple: At the moment, OA's target content -- all 2.5
million articles published annually in the planet's 25,000 -- is
still 85% absent (i.e., not made OA by its authors). The mandates are
in order to get it self-archived, and hence made OA. The current bids
to "monetize" the existing OA content -- whether from OA journals or
from OA repositories -- are likely to reduce the momentum (from both
users and authors) to provide that missing OA content, as well as to
reduce the institutional and funder momentum to mandate that they
provide it.

That is a bad thing (for OA, and authors, and users, and their
institutions and funders, and the general public that funds much of
the research funding and for whose benefit that research is being

But once all OA's target content is OA, I couldn't care less if
secondary vendors try to "monetize it" -- or users are foolish enough
to pay for it (since it is all already OA).

As for what is said below about books: nolo contendere. Refereed
journal articles (OA's primary target content) are all, without
exception, author give-aways, written purely for user uptake, usage
and impact, not for sales royalty income. Not so for books. So books
are irrelevant to the irony of the premature floating, touting and
uptake of $0.99 PPV at this time: jubilatio praecox.

Stevan Harnad

      I recently did a survey of a segment of scholarly book
      and stumbled upon an interesting practice.  One publisher
      books directly from its Web site.  All the titles also
      appear on
      Amazon.  Amazon's prices are less expensive across the
      But the publisher continues to do good business from its
      site.  Why?  Do we ban publishers from selling from their
      sites and mandate that all sales go to Amazon?

      Joe Esposito

      On 11/4/09 3:39 PM, "Stevan Harnad"
      <> wrote:

            Ahmed is quite right. This sort of re-use
            comes with the

            territory if one adopts a CC attrib license.

            It's still ironic that OA content can be used
            to promote PPV

            which in turn slows the momentum for growth
            of OA...


            On 3-Nov-09, at 6:04 PM, Ahmed Hindawi wrote:

                  I am surprised that Steven (or
                  anyone else for that matter) is

                  surprised that PLoS content is
                  available on the DeepDyve site.

                  All PLoS articles are published
                  under CC attribution license

                  (which does not prevent
                  commercial reuse), just like most
                  of the

                  major OA journals/publishers.
                  DeepDyve does not even need to

                  PLoS permission to index, host,
                  or even sell the material on

                  their web site. I am glad
                  DeepDyve is not charging for PLoS

                  articles (or Hindawi articles),
                  but if they did, they would be

                  within their legal rights and
                  would not need to get any

                  permissions from the publisher or
                  the authors (as the copyright

                  holders) in order to do that.

                  Ahmed Hindawi

                  On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 8:42 PM,
                  Stevan Harnad


                              - iTunes
                              comes to


                        I'm surprised PLoS
                        would agree to
                        provide its content
                        as part

                        of the perks for a
                        pay-per-view scheme.
                        This gives "re-use" a

                        whole new dimension.

                        DeepDyve is of course
                        doomed (by OA), but
                        OA is going about its

                        inevitable destiny so
                        glacially slowly that
                        there's probably

                        time for a few bucks
                        to be made out of
                        this absurd scheme

                        (motivated by the
                        equally absurd
                        pricing practices of


                        Just surprised to see
                        PLoS along for the
                        ride. (Since they

                        no money out of it,
                        it is presumably for
                        the sake of eyeballs,

                        but they're reaching
                        those current
                        eyeballs at the cost

                        prolonging the
                        darkness for far more
                        future ones. It's not

                        like a pay-to-pollute
                        scheme, in that it's
                        not self-limiting


                        Stevan Harnad
Received on Fri Nov 06 2009 - 04:23:43 GMT

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