OA 2001

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 19 May 2010 10:24:55 -0500

On Wed, May 19, 2010 at 9:28 AM, Klaus Graf <klausgraf_at_googlemail.com> wrote:

> There are some Harnad-spread dogmatic misunderstandings of Open Access.
> "Establishing open access as a worthwhile procedure ideally requires
> the active commitment of each and every individual producer of
> scientific knowledge and holder of cultural heritage. Open access
> contributions include original scientific research results, raw data
> and metadata, source materials, digital representations of pictorial
> and graphical materials and scholarly multimedia material." (Berlin
> Declaration)
> Therefore it is wrong to define OA as access to scholarly literature.
> Open Access also concerns cultural heritage. My suggestion for the
> Wikipedia article is:
> Open Access (scholarly movement)

The following predates the sagacity of the "Berlin Declaration" (as
well as the "Bethesda Statement" from which that sagacity was

1. Five Essential PostGutenberg Distinctions:

In order to understand what is wrong with the picture, you first have
to make five critical distinctions. If you fail to make any one of
these distinctions, it will be impossible to make sense of the picture
or to resolve the anomaly, an anomaly completely unique to the online
era of "Scholarly Skywriting" (Harnad 1990) in the "PostGutenberg
Galaxy" (Harnad 1991).

1.1. Distinguish the non-give-away literature from the give-away literature

This is the most important PostGutenberg distinction of all. It is
what makes this small refereed research literature anomalous (~20,000
refereed journals, ~2,000,000 articles annually) -- fundamentally
unlike the bulk of the written literature: Its authors do not seek,
nor do they receive, royalties or fees for their writings. Their texts
are author give-aways (Harnad 1995a). The only thing these authors
seek is research "impact" (Harnad & Carr 2000), which comes from
accessing the eyes and minds of all potentially interested
fellow-researchers everywhere, now, and any time in the future.

The litmus test for whether a piece of writing falls in the small
give-away sector of the literature or the much larger non-give-away
sector is: "Does the author seek a royalty or fee in exchange for his
writings?" If the answer is yes (as it is for virtually all books [cf.
Harnad, Varian & Parks 2000] and newspaper or magazine articles), then
the writing is non-give-away;if the answer is no,then it is give-away.

None of what follows here is applicable to non-give-away writing, but
the non-give-away model is the one that most people have in mind for
all of writing. So it is not surprising that that small fraction of
writing that the more general model does not fit should seem

Harnad, S. (2001/2003/2004) For Whom the Gate Tolls?
http://cogprints.org/1639/ Published as: (2003) Open Access to
Peer-Reviewed Research Through Author/Institution Self-Archiving:
Maximizing Research Impact by Maximizing Online Access. In: Law, Derek
& Judith Andrews, Eds. Digital Libraries: Policy Planning and
Practice. Ashgate Publishing 2003. [Shorter version: Harnad S. (2003)
Journal of Postgraduate Medicine 49: 337-342.] and in: (2004)
Historical Social Research (HSR) 29:1. [French version: Harnad, S.
(2003) Cielographie et cielolexie: Anomalie post-gutenbergienne et
comment la resoudre. In: Origgi, G. & Arikha, N. (eds) Le texte a
l'heure de l'Internet. Bibliotheque Centre Pompidou: Pp. 77-103.
http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Temp/texte2.pdf ]

> Klaus Graf
> 2010/5/19 Marc Couture <jaamcouture_at_gmail.com>:
>> Heather Morrison wrote:
>>> Could it be that Wikipedia needs a way to disambiguate the term "open
>>> access"?
>> The page titled "Open Access" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_access) is
>> indeed a disambiguation page, leading to several other pages, among them:
>> - "Open Access (publishing)", whose title is being discussed in this forum;
>> - "Open Access journal", which has a significant overlap with the former and
>> opens with a suggestion that both be merged, a matter of sometimes heated
>> discussion in the Talk pages of both articles.
>>> One suggestion would be open access to scholarly works.  There likely is
>>> better
>>> phrasing, this is just to give an idea.
>> I had thought of "Open Access (published scholarly literature)" because what
>> is at issue is not access to "personal", unrefereed documents or works
>> (which is normally open) but to (normally refereed) documents are counted as
>> "publications" in the scholarly universe. One could think also of "Open
>> Access to scholarly publications", which is shorter and carry the same
>> meaning.
>> I was about to make this change in Wikipedia, when I read their page about
>> article titles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Article_titles and
>> decided to follow their advice :
>> "Debating controversial titles is often unproductive, and there are many
>> other ways to help improve Wikipedia."
>> So I will instead try to improve the content of the articles instead of
>> joining the kind of guerrilla, well documented in the Talk page, regarding
>> this particular issue. Doing so, I aim to contribute to increasing the
>> reliability of Wikipedia, whatever that reliability may be at the moment (by
>> the way, though I'm highly interested in all things Wikipedia, I will
>> refrain from discussing "Wikipedia ideology rather than OA pragmatics",
>> following Harna's dutiful suggestion).
>> Marc Couture
Received on Wed May 19 2010 - 16:26:06 BST

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