Re: Reminder: Open-access funds Webcast registration deadline today

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 5 May 2010 13:44:03 -0400

On Wed, May 5 Dietrich Rordorf wrote:

> What Gold OA Publisher still has a general printed edition? Most now
> only offer print on demand...

*Most* Gold OA publishers today do -- since most Gold OA publishers
are just subscription publishers that make their online edition free
without charging an OA publication fee. Same is true for all
hybrid-Gold-OA publishers.

But, as I said, putting an end to the print edition as well as the
online edition (which just about all Gold OA publishers still provide)
is not the end of cost-cutting: Downsizing to just providing peer
review is.

> We will always need an online edition. Who wants to read a crappy
> PDF lost is some crappy repository??

Anyone whose institution cannot afford a subscription to the
publisher's edition. And that is what OA is about and for.

If the demand for the subscription version remains sustainable even
after we have universal Green OA, then that's just fine, and the end
of it: Those whose institutions want to keep paying for the
publisher's edition can do so, and those who cannot will have the
"crappy PDF lost in some crappy repository" (which they do not have
today for at least 80% of articles published annually).

[Dietrich, I've tolerated this vulgarity this one time with good
humor, but if you continue to post to this Forum in this tone, your
postings will not appear.]

> [The] 'version-of-record' will always cost the same.

Not if the user community is satisfied with the Green OA versions.

>> SH: (4) institutions are still paying sizeable journal subscription fees
> DR: (we are still talking about Gold OA Publishers - there ain't no
> subscriptions!)

No, we are talking about reality today, when most journals are not
Gold OA (let alone paid-Gold OA) journals but subscription journals.
And that's where the money to (perhaps one day) pay for Gold OA is
currently tied up.

>> SH: (5) because OA is <100%, they cannot cancel most journals.
> DR: (we are still talking about Gold OA Publishers - there ain't no
> subscriptions!)

Most journals today are subscription journals, and if an institution's
users need access to those journals, it cannot cancel its
subscriptions (until the journals either become Gold OA or their
authors make their articles Green OA!)

> (we are still talking about Gold OA Publishers - there ain't no
> subscriptions!)
> (we are still talking about Gold OA Publishers - there ain't no
> subscriptions!)

You have not understood the point, unfortunately. Your repetition does not help.

> Publishers also add value to
> the version-of-record (a fact that Stevan has been ignoring for years).

Not ignored for even a millisecond: Publisher's add the service of
peer review, for which they can and will be paid -- once subscriptions
are no longer paying for that essential service.

What is needed now is 100% OA, which can be provided, cost-free, by
mandating Green OA. Until then, pay-to-publish Gold OA journals are
premature and unnecessary (although they were a timely and
historically important proof of principle).

> [peer review (plus perhaps some editing)] are exactly the costs that an
> OA Publisher is facing today and that he will face in future. This is why I
> was asking in which way it will reduce costs for an OA Publisher to have
> the transition from <100% Green OA to 100% Green OA.

And I replied that Gold OA publishers (even the online-only, paid OA
Gold OA publishers) are still providing (and charging for) a lot more
than that today; and that universal Green OA will exert the requisite
downsizing pressure to phase out the inessentials -- if (but only if)
it makes subscriptions unsustainable (in which case it will also
release the funds to pay for the peer review service).

Stevan Harnad
Received on Wed May 05 2010 - 18:44:56 BST

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