Re: OA's Three Bogeymen

From: (wrong string) édon Jean-Claude <jean.claude.guedon_at_UMONTREAL.CA>
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 06:24:48 -0500

Alas, this whole discussion continues to assume that publishing must rest mainly on organizations that behave like businesses (hence the call for sustainability) and often are busineses. Why should they not be treated as services integral to the research cycle of activities (which should include publishing)? If so, they should simply be supported by public money. Research is supported by public money and publishing is an integral part of research. No one asks if research is sustainable, and they do not for a good reason: it is not! If publishing is an integral part of research, it follows that publishing should be supported by public money and not be submitted to market rules which, in any case, can only distort the "great conversation"of science and of scholarship more generally.
The discussion below is also about one kind of Gold Publishing, the so-called "author-pay model". Personally, I am very skeptical about this model, and increasingly so. It solves access for third world countries only through humiliating, piecemeal, requests, and it has opened the door to devious practices, some of which are precisely being discussed below. Yet,I believe the Gold Road is viable if constructed correctly. Once again, allow me to point to SciELO. To my mind, this is the best and most coherent strategy for the Gold road. It also coincides well with national science policies trying to promote science and, as SciELO's Abel Packer would say, provide a place in the sun for Third World scientists.
This is why I support a public option for scientific and scholarly publishing, but this public option should be international in nature to avoid being too vulnerable to national politics. This said, I would rather be vulnerable to national politics than to Elsevier or any other large, private, publisher. I can vote in my country but I have no voice inside the Elsevier (or Springer, or ...) structure.
Jean-Claude Guédon
PS And, as a reminder, this statement is not in support of the Gold Road as the exclusive way to reach OA; it simply tries to tweak the Gold Road to make it more viable. This is also and exactly what I do when I try tweaking the Green Road by saying that repositories must get involved in the generation of symbolic value. Both roads are needed, but they must be conceived coherently and correctly.


Van: American Scientist Open Access Forum namens Richard Poynder
Verzonden: di 16-2-2010 11:59
Onderwerp: OA's Three Bogeymen

I am inclined to agree with Keith. However, it needs to be acknowledged that researchers are not always very discerning when choosing a publisher. I have had some say to me, "In an ideal world I would not opt to pay to publish with this or that particular publisher, but I need to get my work published urgently, so I am just going to bite the bullet."

For that reason some OA publishers seem quite content not to be part of the OASPA community, and happy to operate by their own rules -- in the knowledge that there is a ready market for their services. So while one might argue that the research community can afford to ignore these companies and simply carry on using subscription publishers and Green OA, in the hope that the market will somehow create an optimal OA publishing ecosystem, I am less confident.



From: American Scientist Open Access Forum [mailto:AMERICAN-SCIENTIST-OPEN-ACCESS-FORUM_at_LISTSERVER.SIGMAXI.ORG] On Behalf Of keith.jeffery_at_STFC.AC.UK
Sent: 16 February 2010 12:00
Subject: Interview with Open Access publisher In-Tech/Sciy



All -
Richard Poynder recently suggested that there were three bogeymen haunting the OA movement: (1) asking authors to pay to publish could turn scholarly publishing into a vanity press; (2) OA publishing will in any case inevitably lead to lax or even non-existent peer review; (3) OA publishing is not financially sustainable.

In my opinion.....

There is already evidence of (1) with various publishers trying to scam payment for publishing (fortunately very few cases to date).

As a consequence of (1), (2) inevitably happens - but hopefully only in the case of a small number of so-called journals.

It may be that (3) is true; with all information to date indicating gold OA costs 3 to 4 times more than current subscription models (the figure of 3 comes from our own estimates at STFC, 4 comes from the recent posting on AMSCI concerning the ACM article).

But of course if current subscription models (maintaining peer review) are backed up by green OA via IRs then everyone has the benefit of OA at a much reduced cost.

In my opinion, the answer for academics - especially in these days of financial stringency - is to keep with the subscription model and go green OA and let future scholarship ecosystems develop.

Happy to discuss further...

Prof Keith G Jeffery E: <>
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Science and Technology Facilities Council
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
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Received on Wed Feb 17 2010 - 13:23:09 GMT

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