EPT's Barbara Kirsop on OA's Priorities

From: Jean Kempf <Jean.Kempf_at_UNIV-LYON2.FR>
Date: Sun, 15 Nov 2009 15:19:57 +0100

Although this is an interesting article, I would say that it suffers
from two flaws, or limitations.

First the wording of the first paragraph might suggest that the only
(important) science is immediately applicable science. High enegy
physics (#1 in OA) has very little to do with "solving the world's
plights". The same can be said of most social sciences and all
humanities. They ARE part of science and research though, and are
also concerned about OA.

Second (more complex point, and certainly more contentious here).
Although all is nice and clear about the still-not-realized Green OA,
and the need for mandates, and the need to deposit (all of us fully
agree with this), the real INTELLECTUAL and POLITICAL issues today /i
n the near future are with gold OA. We need to develop completely new
concepts and machineries to prepare for the scientific publication of
tomorrow. And this conceptual and pratical work is huge. To make a
sort of rough comparison, Green OA is like .pdf : you don't really
change anything to the way you write and publish, just to the way you
disseminate. In fact despite it's great advantages and the fact that,
yes, it does enable e-science to a certain extent, Green OA is a
pursuit of tradition, even a slightly "conservative" one in a sense.
It's important but not as radical as true digital publishing which
raises much more complex questions.
Gold OA is indeed a whole different ball game, and THE FUTURE OF
ACADEMIC PUBLISHING (Books and articles). And no simple ideas or
quick tricks will do the job. It's a whole revolution in writing,
production, assesment, financing etc. So it requires all the brains
we have and all the experiments we can conduct to make it happen the
way WE (ie scientists/researchers/academics) wish it to happen.
My concern is that, just as with other technological events, by the
time Green OA (which despite its "simplicity" seems to be less than a
natural" move) becomes universal, Gold OA will be with us...

Although I dont wish to oppose the two roads, I would say, in a
nutshell, that Green OA requires organization and implementation (but
we KNOW what it is) whereas Gold OA needs imagination as we still
have to INVENT it.

Jean Kempf, Lyon, France OAPEN : http://www.oapen.org
Received on Mon Nov 16 2009 - 01:37:14 GMT

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