IEEE Still Onside With Angels on Immediate, Unembargoed Green OA

If we cut through all the IEEE spin about “sustainability” in the interview of IEEE’s Anthony Durniak by Richard Poynder, IEEE is still on the side of the angels insofar as the future — and the future growth of OA, Green OA, and Green OA mandates — are concerned, because IEEE still endorses immediate, unembargoed Green OA self-archiving of the author’s refereed, accepted final draft (not the publisher’s Version of Record).

That endorsement from Green publishers like IEEE is the only thing — repeat, the only thing — the researchers, institutions and funders of the world need in order to mandate immediate, unembargoed Green OA.

The trouble is that a certain number of publishers, unlike IEEE, try to embargo Green OA, for two reasons — one of them a perverse effect of the UK’s Finch/RCUK Folly, which virtually invited publishers to adopt a Green OA embargo and crank up its length beyond the allowable Finch/RCUK maximum limit while at the same time offering a fee-based hybrid Gold option. That way publishers could try to (1) force UK authors to pick and pay for the latter option, allowing publishers to cash in on the UK’s Fools-Gold-Fund subsidy and preference. And in that same fell swoop publishers could also try to (2) fend off the other OA mandates that are being adopted worldwide, the ones that just mandate Green OA without subsidizing or preferring Fools Gold.

Fortunately, there is a simple, cost-free remedy against all this tom-foolery: The only thing funders and institutions need do is to mandate immediate-deposit in institutional repositories (irrespective of whether access to the deposit is set immediately as Open Access or as Closed Access to comply with a publisher OA embargo). As long as the deposit itself is immediate, the institutional repository’s email-eprint-request Button can then tide over worldwide research access and usage needs with one click from the requestor and one click from the author during any publisher embargo.

This allows all funders and all institutions to mandate immediate-deposit, for all papers, without exception, regardless of OA embargoes and embargo limits. The crucial thing to understand is that the sole barrier to 100% Green OA for the past 25 years has been keystrokes. Authors were afraid to do the keystrokes, because they were afraid of their publishers. Mandates were needed in order to embolden authors to do the keystrokes. The immediate-deposit mandate ensures that N-1 of the N requisite keystrokes get done for 100% of the articles published on the planet. The Button allows authors to do an Nth keystroke for each individual paper and each individual request whenever they wish, until either the embargo expires, or embargoes die their inevitable, natural and well-deserved deaths, or the author tires of having to keep re-doing the Nth keystroke in order to comply with publishers’ mandates and sets repository access to immediate-OA — whichever comes first.

The point is that with publishers that are already on the side of the angels, like IEEE, the author can already do one Nth keystroke, once and for all, today.

And history will look favorably on such publishers, for not trying to hold research access, impact and progress hostage to sustaining their current revenue streams and modus operandi, at all costs, come what may, for as long as they possibly could, by trying to embargo OA.

We cannot remind ourselves often enough that the publishing tail must not be allowed to keep wagging the research dog.

For life after universal Green OA (the transition from pre-Green subscriptions and Fools-Gold to post-Green Fair-Gold) see the references below.

Harnad, S. (2007) The Green Road to Open Access: A Leveraged Transition. In: Anna Gacs (Ed). The Culture of Periodicals from the Perspective of the Electronic Age. L’Harmattan. 99-106.

Houghton, J. & Swan, A. (2013) Planting the Green Seeds for a Golden Harvest: Comments and Clarifications on “Going for Gold”. D-Lib Magazine 19 (1/2)

Revealing Dialogue on “CHORUS” with David Wojick, OSTI Consultant

1.0 Tripping Point: Delayed Access is not Open Access;
“Chorus” is a Trojan Horse

Note: David Wojick works part time as the Senior Consultant for Innovation at OSTI, the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, in the Office of Science of the US Department of Energy. He has a PhD in logic and philosophy of science, an MA in mathematical logic, and a BS in civil engineering. In the exchanges below, he sounds [to me] very much like a publishing interest lobbyist, but judge for yourself. He also turns out to have a rather curious [and to me surprising] history in environmental matters?



1.1 On Sat, Jul 20, 2013 at 3:56 PM, David Wojick wrote:

WOJICK: “The US Government is developing a green OA system for all articles based even in part on Federal funding, with a default embargo period of 12 months. The publishers have responded with a proposal called CHORUS that meets that requirement by taking users to the publisher’s website. Many of the journals involved presently have no OA aspect so this will significantly increase the percentage of OA articles when it is implemented over the next few years.”

Let us fervently hope that the US Government/OSTP will not be taken in by this publisher Trojan Horse called “CHORUS.”  It is a tripping point, not a tipping point.

If not, we can all tip our hats goodbye to Open Access — which means free online access immediately upon publication, not access after a one-year embargo.

CHORUS is just the latest successor organisation for self-serving anti-Open Access (OA) lobbying by the publishing industry. Previous incarnations have been the “PRISM coalition” and the “Research Works Act.”

1. It is by now evident to everyone that OA is inevitable, because it is optimal for research, researchers, research institutions, the vast R&D industry, students, teachers, journalists and the tax-paying public that funds the research.

2. Research is funded by the public and conducted by researchers and their institutions for the sake of research progress, productivity and applications — not in order to guarantee publishers’ current revenue streams and modus operandi: Research publishing is a service industry and must adapt to the revolutionary new potential that the online era has opened up for research, not vice versa!

3. That is why both research funders (like NIH) and research institutions (like Harvard) — in the US as well as in the rest of the world — are increasingly mandating (requiring) OA: See ROARMAP.

4. Publishers are already trying to delay the potential benefits of OA to research progress by imposing embargoes of 6-12 months or more on research access that can and should be immediate in the online era.

5. The strategy of CHORUS is to try to take the power to provide OA out of the hands of researchers so that publishers gain control over both the timetable and the insfrastructure for providing OA.

6. And, without any sense of the irony, the publisher lobby (which already consumes so much of the scarce funds available for research) is attempting to do this under the pretext of saving “precious research funds” for research!

7. It is for researchers to provide OA, and for their funders and institutions to mandate and monitor OA provision by requiring deposit in their institutional repositories — which already exist, for multiple purposes.

8. Depositing in repositories entails no extra research expense for research, just a few extra keystrokes, from researchers.

9. Institutional and subject repositories keep both the timetable and the insfrastructure for providing OA where it belongs: in the hands of the research community, in whose interests it is to provide OA.

10. The publishing industry’s previous ploys — PRISM and the Research Works Act — were obviously self-serving Trojan Horses, promoting the publishing industry’s interests disguised as the interests of research.
Let the the US Government not be taken in this time either.

[And why does the US Government not hire consultants who represent the interests of the research community rather than those of the publishing industry?]

Eisen, M. (2013) A CHORUS of boos: publishers offer their ?solution? to public access

Giles, J. (2007) PR’s ‘pit bull’ takes on open access. Nature 5 January 2007.

Harnad, S. (2012) Research Works Act H.R.3699: The Private Publishing Tail Trying To Wag The Public Research Dog, Yet AgainOpen Access Archivangelism 287 January 7. 2012


1.2 On Sat, Jul 20, 2013 at 9:46 PM, David Wojick wrote:

WOJICK: “NIH uses a 12 month embargo and that is what the other Federal agencies are required to do, unless they can justify a longer or shorter period for certain disciplines. This has nothing to do with the publishers or CHORUS. The publishers are building CHORUS so that the agencies will use the publisher’s websites and articles instead of a redundant repository like NIH uses. They are merely agreeing to the US Governments requirements, while trying to keep their users, so there is no Trojan horse here, just common sense. Immediate access is not an option in this Federal OA program. The OA community should be happy to get green OA.”

1. The embargo length that the funding agencies allow is another matter, not the one I was discussing. (But of course the pressure for the embargoes comes from the publishers, not from the funding agencies.)

2. The Trojan Horse would be funding agencies foolishly accepting publishers’ “CHORUS” invitation to outsource author self-archivingand hence compliance with the funder mandate — to publishers, instead of having fundees do it themselves, in their own institutional repositories.

3. To repeat: Delayed Access is not Open Access — any more than Paid Access is Open Access. Open Access is immediate, permanent online access, toll-free, for all.

4. Delayed (embargoed) Access is publishers’ attempt to hold research access hostage to their current revenue streams, forcibly co-bundled with obsolete products and services, and their costs, for as long as possible. All the research community needs from publishers in the OA era is peer review. Researchers can and will do access-provision and archiving for themselves, at next to no cost. And peer review alone costs only a fraction of what institutions are paying publishers now for subscriptions.

5. Green OA is author-provided OA; Gold OA is publisher-provided OA. But OA means immediate access, so Delayed Access is neither Green OA nor Gold OA. (Speaking loosely, one can call author-self-archiving after a publisher embargo “Delayed Green” and publisher provided free access on their website after an embargo “Delayed Gold,” but it’s not really OA at all if it’s not immediate. And that’s why it’s so important to upgrade all funder mandates to make them immediate-deposit mandates, even if they are not immediate-OA mandates.)

WOJICK: “if delayed access is not open access in your view then why did you post the tipping point study, since it includes delayed access of up to 5 years? Most people consider delayed (green) access to be a paradigm of open access. That is how the term is used. You are apparently making your own language.”

That is the way publishers would like to see the term OA used, paradigmatically. But that’s not what it means. And I was actually (mildly) criticizing the study in question for failing to distinguish Open Access from Delayed Access, and for declaring that Open Access had reached the “Tipping Point” when it certainly has not — specifically because of publisher embargoes. [Please re-read my summary, still attached below: I don’t think there is any ambiguity at all about what I said and meant.]

But OA advocates can live with the allowable funder mandate embargoes for the time being — as long as deposit is mandated to be done immediately upon acceptance for publication, by the author, in the author’s institutional repository, and not a year later, by the publisher, on the publisher’s own website. Access to the author’s deposit can be set as OA during the allowable embargo period, but meanwhile authors can provide Almost-OA via their repository’s facilitated Eprint Request Button.

The Immediate-Deposit/Optional-Access (ID/OA) Mandate: Rationale and Model

Public Access to Federally Funded Research (Response to US OSTP RFI)
 
Comments on Proposed HEFCE/REF Green Open Access Mandate


1.3 On Sun, Jul 21, 2013 at 7:57 AM, David Wojick  wrote:

WOJICK: “I think what the US Government is actually doing is far more important as an OA tipping point.”

We are clearly not understanding one another:

Yes, the US funder mandates are extremely important, even if  they still need a tweak (as noted).

Yes, OA has not yet reached a tipping point. (That was my point.)

But no, Delayed Access is definitely not OA, let alone Green OA, although that is how publishers would dearly love to define OA, and especially Green OA.

WOJICK: “As for your Trojan horse point (#2) there is no author archiving with CHORUS.”

Yes, that’s the point: CHORUS is trying to take author self-archiving out of the hands  and off the sites of the research community, to put it in the hands and on the site of publishers. That is abundantly clear.

And my point was about how bad that was, and why: a Trojan Horse for the research  community and the future of OA.

But the verb should be CHORUS “would be,” not CHORUS “is” — because, thankfully, it is not yet true that this 4th publishers’ Trojan Horse has been allowed in at all. 

(The 1st Trojan Horse was Prism: routed at the gates. The 2nd was the “Research Works Act; likewise routed at the gates. The 3rd was the Finch Report: It slipped in, but concerted resistance from OA Advocates and the research community has been steadily disarming it. The 4th publisher Trojan Horse is CHORUS, and, as noted, OA Advocates and the research community are working hard to keep it out!)

WOJICK: “The author merely specifies the funder from a menu during the journal submission process and the publisher does the rest. Thus there is no burden on the authors and no redundant repository. The article is openly available from the publisher after the Federally specified embargo period. This is extremely efficient compared to the old NIH repository model.”

Indeed it would be, and would put publishers back in full control of the future of OA.

Fortunately, the CHORUS deal is far from a fait accompli, and the hope (of OA advocates and the concerned research community) is that it never will be.

The only thing the “old NH repository model” (PubMed Central, PMC) needs is an upgrade to immediate institutional deposit, followed by automatic harvesting and import (after the allowable embargo has elapsed) by PMC or any other institution-external subject based harvester. With that, the OSTP mandate model would be optimal (for the time being).

David, it is not clear why the very simple meaning of my first posting has since had to be explained to you twice. I regret that I will have to take any further failures to understand it as willful, and SIGMETRICS readers will be relieved to hear that I will make no further attempt to correct it.


1.4 On Sun, Jul 21, 2013 at 12:13 PM, David Wojick wrote:

WOJICK: “This is not about author self archiving, which is a separate issue, so I see no Trojan horse.”

1. The “This” is US federal funding agency Open Access mandates.

2. The “self” is the author, who is also the fundee, the one who is bound to comply with the conditions of the funder mandate.

3. The “archiving” is making the fundee’s paper accessible free for all all on the Web

4. The “Trojan Horse” is the attempt by publishers to take this out of the hands of the author/fundee/mandatee and put it into the hands of the publisher, who is not the fundee, not bound by the mandate, and indeed has a conflict of interest with making papers free for all all on the Web.

5. On no account should the compliance with the funder mandate be outsourced and entrusted to a 3rd party that is not only not bound by the mandate, but in a conflict of interest with it.

WOJICK: “It is about the design of the Federal program, where I see no reason for redundant Federal archiving.”

The web is full of “redundant archiving”: the same document may be stored and hosted on multiple sites. That’s good for back-up and reliability and preservation, and part of the way the Web works. And it costs next to nothing — and certainly not to publishers. (If publishers wish to save federal research money, let them charge less for journal subscriptions; don’t fret about “redundant archiving.”)

PubMed Central (PMC) is a very valuable and widely used central search tool. Its usefulness is based on both its scope of coverage (thanks to mandates) and on its metadata quality. It borders on absurdity for publishers to criticize this highly useful and widely used resource as “redundant.” It provides access where publishers do not.

Nor does PMC’s usefulness reside in the fact that it hosts the full-texts of the papers it indexes. It’s the metadata and search capacity that makes PMC so useful. It would be equally useful if the URL for each full-text to which PMC pointed were in each fundee’s own institutional repository, and PMC hosted only the metadata and search tools. (Indeed, it would increase PMC’s coverage and make it even more economical; many of us are hoping PMC and other central repositories like Arxiv will evolve in that direction.)

WOJICK: “There is nothing in the CHORUS approach to the Federal program design that precludes author self archiving in institutional repositories as a separate activity.”

1. “This” is about US federal funding agency Open Access mandates.

2. The “self” is the author, who is also the fundee, the one who is bound to comply the with conditions of the funder mandate. 

3. The “archiving” is making the fundee’s paper accessible free for all all on the Web. If authors self-archived of their own accord, “as a separate activity,” there would have been no need for federal Open Access mandates.

4. The “Trojan Horse” is the attempt by publishers to take this out of the hands of the author/fundee/mandatee and put it into the hand of the publisher, who is not the fundee, not bound by the mandate, and indeed has a conflict of interest with making papers free for all all on the Web.

5. On no account should the compliance with the funder mandate be outsourced and entrusted to a 3rd party that is not only not bound by the mandate, but in a conflict of interest with it.

The federal mandates do not require fundees to provide toll-free access only after a year after publication: They require them to provide toll-free access within a year at the latest. Publishers have every incentive to make (and keep) this the latest, by taking self-archiving out of authors’ hands and doing it instead of them, as late as possible.

Moreover, funder OA mandates are increasingly being complemented by institutional OA mandates, which cover both funded and unfunded research. This is also why institutions have institutional repositories (archives), in which their researchers can deposit, and from which central repositories can harvest. This is also the way to tide over research needs during OA embargoes, with the help of institutional repositories’ immediate Almost-OA Button.

And again, no need here for advice from publishers, with their conflicts of interest, on how institutions can save money on their “redundant archives” by letting publishers provide the OA in place of their researchers (safely out of the reach of institutional repositories’ immediate Almost-OA Button).

WOJICK: “The journals are part of the research community and they have always been the principal archive.”

Journals consist of authors, referees, editors and publishers. Publishers are not part of the research community (not even university or learned-society publishers); they earn their revenues from it.

Until the online era, the “principal archive” has been the university library. In the online era it’s the web. The publisher’s sector of the web is proprietary and toll-based. The research community’s sector is Open Access.

And that’s another reason CHORUS is a Trojan Horse.

WOJICK: “With CHORUS they will be again.”

What on earth does this mean? That articles in the publishers’ proprietary sector will be opened up after a year?

That sounds like an excellent way to ensure that they won’t ever be opened up any earlier, and that mandates will be powerless to make them open up any earlier.

WOJICK: “After all the entire process is based on the article being published in the journal.”

Yes, but what is at issue now is not publishing but access: when, where and how?

WOJICK: “It is true that this is all future tense including the Federal program, but the design principles are here and now.”

And what is at issue here is the need to alert the Federal program that it should on no account be taken in by CHORUS’s offer to “let us do the self-archiving for you.

WOJICK: “I repeat, immediate access is not a design alternative. The OSTP guidance is clear about that. So most of your points are simply irrelevant to the present situation.”

The federal mandates do not require fundees to provide toll-free access only after a year after publication: They require them to provide toll-free access within a year at the latest. 

Immediate OA (as well as immediate-deposit plus immediate Almost-OA via the Button) is definitely an alternative — as well as a design alternative.

But not if OSTP heeds the siren call of CHORUS.


1.5 On Sun, Jul 21, 2013 at 3:01 PM, David Wojick wrote:

WOJICK: “There is no funder mandate on authors at this point, so you are assuming a burdensome model that need not be implemented.”

Right now, there is a presidential (OSTP) directive to US federal funding agencies to mandate (Green) OA.

It is each funding agency that will accordingly design and implement its own Green OA mandate, as the NIH did several years ago.

WOJICK: “The mandate (requirement) will, as always, be on the fundees: the authors of the articles that are to be made OA, as a condition of funding.”

The only mandate is on the Federal funding agencies to provide public access to funder-related articles 12 months after publication.

The presidential (OSTP) directive is to the US federal funding agencies to mandate (Green) OA, meaning that all published articles resulting from the research funded by each agency must be made OA — within 12 months of publication at the latest.

The articles are by fundees. The ones bound by the mandates are the fundees. Fundees are the ones who must make their research OA, as a condition of funding.

WOJICK: “CHORUS does this in a highly efficient manner, rendering an author mandate unnecessary.”

CHORUS does nothing. It is simply a proposal by publishers to funding agencies. 

And to suggest that the the reason funding agencies should welcome the CHORUS proposal is efficiency is patent nonsense.

To comply with their funder’s requirements, fundees must specify which articles result from the funding. The few fundee keystrokes for specifying that are exactly the same few fundee keystrokes for self-archiving the article in the OA repository.

No gain in efficiency for funders or fundees in allowing publishers to host and time the OA: just a ruse to allow publishers to retain control over the time and place of providing OA.

Because of the monumental conflict of interest — between publishers trying to protect their current revenue streams and the research community trying to make its findings as soon as widely as possible — control over the time and place of providing OA should on no account be surrendered by funders and fundees to publishers.

WOJICK: “Search is no problem as there are already many ways to search the journals.”

And there are also already many ways to search OA articles on the web or in repositories.

So, correct: Search is no problem, and not an issue. In fact, it’s a red herring.

What is really at issue is: in whose hands should control over the time and place of providing OA be?

Answer: Funders and their fundees, not publishers.

WOJICK: “DOE PAGES, described in the first article I listed in my original post, is a model of an agency portal that is being designed to use CHORUS. It will provide agency-based search as well. CHORUS as well will provide bibliographic search capability.”

To repeat: The same functionality (and potentially much more and better functionality) is available outside the control of publishers too, via the web, institutional repositories, harvesters, indexers and search engines.

The only thing still missing is the OA content. And that’s what publishers are trying to hold back as long as possible, and to keep in their own hands.

WOJICK: “We simply do not need a new bunch of expensive redundant repositories like PMC.”

And the research community simply does not need to cede control over the locus and timetable of providing OA to publishers. 

WOJICK: “I am also beginning to wonder about your Trojan horse metaphor. The Trojan horse is a form of deception, but there is no deception here, just a logical response to a Federal requirement, one that keeps a journal’s users using the journal. The publishers are highly motivated to make CHORUS work.”

CHORUS is all deception (and perhaps self-deception too, if publishers actually believe the nonsense about “efficiency” and “expense”), and the “logic” is that of serving publishers’ interests, not the interests of research and researchers.

The simple truth is that the research community (researchers and their institutions) are perfectly capable of providing Green OA for themselves, cheaply and efficiently, in their own institutional OA repositories and central harvesters — and that this is the best way for them to retain control over the time and place of providing OA, thereby ensuring that 100% immediate OA is reached as soon as possible.

Letting in the publishers’ latest Trojan Horse, CHORUS, under the guise of increasing efficiency and reducing expense, would in reality be letting publishers maximize Delayed Access and fend off universal Green OA in favor of over-priced, double-paid (and, if hybrid, double-dipped) Fools Gold OA, thereby locking in publishers’ current inflated revenue streams and inefficient modus operandi for a long time to come, and embargoing OA itself, instead of making publishing — a service industry — evolve and  adapt naturally to what is optimal for research in the online era.


2.0 Research Community Interests
and the
Publishing Lobby’s Latest Trojan Horse (CHORUS)

2.1 On Mon, Jul 22, 2013 at 2:49 PM, David Wojick wrote:
 
WOJICK: “The Federal OA program is controlled by the Federal Government, so all your talk of ceding control is just a rhetorical device. Neither the fundees, the institutions nor the journals control it, except to the extent that the journals make the publication decisions. So no one is ceding control to anyone. And I repeat that the journals are part of the community, a central part. (You are doing your private language thing again. You do it a lot.)

“Under CHORUS the lead author merely has to check a box indicating the funder. The institutions have to do nothing more, nor does the fundee. The journal then gives the article link to the agency and makes the article publicly available at the agency controlled time. This is enormously simpler than creating repositories that fundees have to populate and funders have to work with (and someone has to build and maintain). In essence the article is published and the agency links to it. That is all and it cannot be any simpler than this. Creating a parallel universe of redundant repositories must be more complex, costly and burdensome.”

As far as I know, the publishers’ CHORUS deal that you describe (and that I have referred to in my not-so-private language argument as a Trojan Horse) has not yet been accepted by the Federal Government, nor by its funding agencies.

Maybe they will accept it, maybe they won’t. I and many others have been describing the many reasons they should not accept it.

You are repeating arguments about the redundancy and complexity and costliness of repositories to which I and many others have already replied. 

But I am not trying to persuade you that researchers using their keystrokes to deposit in OA repositories is better for research and for OA than letting publishers do it for them: The ones I and many others are trying to persuade of that are the same ones that you and the rest of the publisher lobby are trying to persuade of the opposite: the Federal government and its research funding agencies.

May the best outcome (for the research community) win.

I want to close by reminding inquiring readers of just one of the many points that David Wojick and the other CHORUS lobbyists keep passing over in silence:

The Government directive is not to make funded research freely accessible 12 months after publication but within 12 months of publication

The publishers’ Trojan Horse would not only take mandate compliance out of the hands of fundees, making compliance depend on publishers rather than fundees, but it would also ensure that the research would not be made freely accessible one minute before the full 12 months had elapsed.

If I were a publisher, interested only in protecting my current income streams, come what may, I’d certainly lobby for that, just as I would lobby for the untrammelled cigarette ads and zones, if I were a tobacco company, interested only in protecting my current income streams, come what may; or for the untrammelled manufacture and use of plastic bags, if I were a plastic bag company with similar “community” interests.

CHORUS is a terrific way of locking in publisher embargoes and Delayed Access for years and years to come, thereby leaving payment for Fools Gold as the sole option for providing immediate OA. 

(Shades of Finch — and RWA, and PRISM… The publishing lobby is a “part” of the research “community” indeed, heroically defending “our” joint interests! I’m ready for the usual next piece of rhetoric, about how un-embargoed Green OA would destroy journal publishing, and with it peer review and research quality and reliability… We’ve heard it all, many times over, for close to 25 years now…)


2.2 On Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 8:06 AM, David Wojick wrote:
 
WOJICK: “What Federal system design arguments have I not responded to?”

Here are the first few arguments you have not responded to. (I have no idea what you are attempting to sector off under the guise of responding only to “Federal system design” arguments):

1. that mandates are for public access within up to a year whereas CHORUS would provide it only at the very end

2. that OA mandates are intended to require authors to provide OA whereas CHORUS would take it out of authors’ hands entirely (thereby mooting mandate compliance altogether, let alone earlier or wider compliance).

3. that repository deposit facilitates providing eprints during any OA embargo with the repository’s eprint-request Button whereas CHORUS prevents it

4. that CHORUS locks in 1-year embargoes and puts and leaves publishers in control of both the hosting and the timetable for public access

5. that repository costs are small and mostly already invested, and for multiple uses, hence CHORUS would not save money but rather waste repositories

I have more, but that should be fine for a start…

WOJICK: “It is not an ad hominem to point out that the Federal policy is not anti-publisher, as many OA advocates are.”

I for one am not anti-publisher.  But I’m  very definitely against publisher anti-OA-mandate lobbying and I’m also against publisher embargoes on Green OA. 

Apart from that, I have a long history of defending publishers against overzealous OA advocates or overpricing plainants — as long as they were on the “side of the angels,” by endorsing immediate, unembargoed Green, as Springer and Elsevier did for many years.

The gloves came off when publishers started trying to renege on their prior endorsements of immediate Green.

WOJICK: “It is an important fact about the policy. I have to be repetitive because Harnad is presenting the same non-design arguments over and over.”

I have no idea what you mean by “non-design” arguments. The points above are against CHORUS as a means of implementing the funding agencies’ Green OA mandate, that’s all.

WOJICK: “Arguments such as that publishers cannot be trusted…”

I have not said that. I said that compliance with funders’ mandates on fundees to provide OA to their funded research should on no account be entrusted to publishers because of the obvious conflict of interest: The interest of research and researchers is that research should be OA immediately; the interest of publishers is that access should be access should be delayed for as long as possible (one year, within the “design” of the OSTP directive).

I fully trust that publishers would faithfully make articles publicly accessible — on the very last day of the maximal allowable OA embargo

WOJICK: “[Arguments such as that] access should be immediate via institutional repositories?”

I don’t just repeat that over and over: I give the reasons why: Because Open Access means Open Access, and the reasons that make Open Access important at all make it important immediately upon publication, not 12 months later.

And it’s institutional repositories because institutions are the providers of all research, funded and unfunded, in every discipline. Institutions have already created OA repositories. They have many reasons for wanting to archive, manage and publicly showcase their own research output in their own repositories — over and above the reasons for OA itself (maximizing research uptake, usage, applications, impact and progress). 

And institutions themselves are also beginning to mandate Green OA. Hence funder and institutional mandates should be convergent and mutually reinforcing. All research should be deposited in the institutional repository immediately upon acceptance for publication. (Their metadata and URLs can then be harvested by whatever central access points, databases, indices and search engines disciplines wish to create.) 

And if the author wishes to comply with a publisher embargo, access to the deposit can be set as Closed Access instead of Open Access during the embargo, in which case the repository’s eprint-request Button can provide Almost-OA during the embargo (while embargoes last — which will not be long, one hopes, once mandatory Green OA has become universal).

All of these benefits are lost if publishers are in control of providing public access on their sites, a year after publication.

WOJICK: “[Arguments such as that] delayed access is not open access, etc. My response does not vary.”

Delayed access means losing a year of Open Access. Your response does not vary because the publisher lobby is interested in minimizing, not maximizing Open Access. If the maximal allowable delay is 12 months, publishers will happily make sure it is no less than 12 months, and on their site, with no Almost-OA Button to tide over the embargo, no integration with institutional mandates, and authors entirely out of the compliance loop for mandates that are intended to generate as much OA as possible, as soon as possible.

My own response varies as much as possible, in an effort — each time – to present from every angle the case for implementing OA mandates in such a way as to provide the maximum benefit to research and researchers, rather than just to protect the proprietary interests of publishers at the expense of research. researchers, and the public that funds them.


2.3 On Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 9:47 AM, David Wojick wrote:

WOJICK: “I have already responded to these points. The publisher’s self interested motivation is to keep the web traffic to its journals.”

At the expense (to research and researchers) of impeding the growth of OA and OA mandates and ensuring that the allowable embargo length is always the maximum 12 months. (“For immediate-OA, please pay the Fools-Gold OA fee!|)

WOJICK: “Studies suggest [publishers] are losing 20% to PMC.”

And while publishers’ download sites have lost the traffic, research has gained a great deal of functionality, as well as OA.

WOJICK: “The publishers believe this, whether it is true or not, thus their motivation.”

Their motivation is in no doubt. But the issue is not what is best for publishers but what is best for research, researchers and the public that funds them.

WOJICK: “The mandate is that the articles be made publicly accessible and the articles are the publisher’s so they are not third party contractors, whatever that might mean.”

My articles are my publisher’s, not mine?

I think you might mean that the publishers are the holders of the copyright, or exclusive vending rights.

Well we’re talking about a mandate here — by the party of the second part, the author’s funder, requiring the party of the first part, the author, to make the research they’ve funded publicly accessible within a year of publication at the very latest.
 
That’s a condition of a contract the author must sign before ever doing the research, let alone signing any subsequent contract with any party of the third part regarding vending rights.

WOJICK: “The fundees need play no role.”

The fundees play no role? No role in what? The funder mandates bind the fundees, not some other party.

WOJICK: “The publishers are making a ground breaking concession by agreeing to the Federal embargo deadlines.”

Agreeing? It seems to me they don’t have much choice! Who are publishers conceding to? And conceding what?

If this is publisher largesse rather than federal government duress I would really like to know to what we owe their newfound magnanimity…

WOJICK: “This is great news for OA. I have no idea what you mean by letting them sit. They will be on view in their on-line journals, which is arguably where they belong.”

I think Cristóbal Palmer’s “let[ting] them sit” may have been an ill-chosen descriptor, but I can still make sense of it:

Ceding the provision of public access to the publisher’s site and the publisher’s timetable means that research must sit for 12 months, accessible only to subscribers, even though the mandate states that they must be made publicly accessible within 12 months at the latest. Fundees could have deposited them in repositories immediately, and made them publicly accessible earlier, or, if they wished to comply with a publishers embargo, made them immediately Almast-OA, via the repository’s Button, instead of sitting inaccessibly for 12 months.

And before you reply “fundees can still do that if they want to,” let me remind you of the fundamental purpose of Green OA mandates: It’s to get authors to provide OA. Without them, they don’t. Not because they don’t want to. But because without a mandate from their funders or institutions, they dare not: because of fear of their publishers.” The mandate releases authors from that fear.

And the CHORUS variant — in which “the fundee has no role” — would leave authors stuck in that fear, contractually unprotected by a funder mandate, and would render the funder policy empty and ineffectual beyond its absolutely minimum requirement, which is public access after 12 months (but not a moment before).

And that would of course suit publishers just fine. In fact, maybe that’s the reason for their newfound magnanimity: “Concede” on public access after a 12-month embargo, take control of hosting and providing it, and maybe that pesky global clamor for immediate OA will go away — or, better, redirect authors toward the Fools Gold counter where they pay hybrid publishers for immediate OA.

WOJICK: “The repository approach made sense when the publishers refused to provide access. That day has passed.”

Don’t bank on it. The clamor for access is growing and growing. And that’s immediate Open Access, not publisher-Delayed Access after 12 months.

Stevan Harnad

Potential CHORUS catastrophe for OA: How to fend it off

Richard Poynder has elicited a splendid summary of OA by the person who has done more to bring about OA than anyone else on the planet: Peter Suber

Here are a few supplements that I know Peter will agree with:

1. Potential CHORUS Catastrophe for OA: Peter’s summary of OA setbacks mentions only Finch. Finch was indeed a fiasco, with the publishing lobby convincing the UK to mandate, pay for, and prefer Gold OA (including hybrid Gold OA), and to downgrade and ignore Green OA.

Peter notes the damage that the publisher lobby has successully inflicted on worldwide (but especially UK) OA progress with the Finch/RCUK policy, but I’m sure he will agree that if the Trojan Horse of CHORUS were to be accepted by the US federal government and its funding agencies, the damage would be even greater and longer lasting:

CHORUS is an attempt by the publishing lobby to take compliance with Green OA mandates out of the hands of the fundees whom OA mandates are designed to require to provide OA, and instead transfer control over the execution, the locus and the timetable for mandate compliance into the hands of publishers.

Adopting CHORUS would mean that President Obama’s OSTP directive — requiring that federally funded research must be made freely accessible online within 12 months of publication — would instead ensure that it was made freely accessible after 12 months, and not one minute earlier;.

And CHORUS would ensure also that the authors whom all Green OA mandates worldwide are designed to require to provide OA — because they want OA yet dare not provide it without a mandate from their institutions or funders, for fear of their publishers — would no longer be affected by any mandate:

With CHORUS, publishers would have succeeded in locking in 12-month-embargoed Delayed Access instead of immediate Green OA for years to come, in the US and, inevitably, also worldwide.

So, as I am sure Peter will agree, CHORUS must be rejected at all costs, just as the previous Trojan Horses of the publishing lobby — PRISM and the Research Works Act — were rejected. It’s bad enough that Finch slipped through.

2. Hybrid Gold OA has a few additional negative features, apart from the ones Peter already mentions:

Even if the publiser gives subscribing institutions a rebate to offset double-dipping, Hybrid Gold locks in current total publisher revenue — from institutional subscription fees plus author hybrid Gold OA fees — come what may. Hybrid Gold immunizes publishers from any pressure to cut costs by phasing out obsolete products and services in the online era.

Only globally mandated Green OA self-archiving in repositories by authors can force publishers to downsize to the post-Green essentials alone.

And if a hybrid Gold journal also imposes an embargo on Green, that is tantamount to legally sanctioned extortion, even without double-dipping: “If you want to provide immediate OA, you must pay me even more than I am already being paid by your institution for subscriptions — and your institution only gets back a tiny fraction of the rebate from your surcharge.”

(This is also the option to which CHORUS, in tandem with Finch, would hold immediate OA hostage for many years more. Since immediate OA is optimal for research, hence inevitable, publishers, if funders take in their Trojan Horse, will have succeeded in delaying OA for as long as they possibly could, in defence of their current revenue streams. This is also the publishers’ self-serving scenario in which COPE institutions would unwittingly collude, if they funded Gold OA without first mandating immediate-deposit Green OA.)

3. Pre-Green Fools Gold vs. Post-Green Fair Gold: The only thing that can bring the cost of peer-reviewed journal publishing down to a fair, affordable, sustainable price is globally mandated Green OA. Only Green OA will allow institutions to cancel their journal subscriptions, thereby forcing journals to adapt naturally to the online era by cutting obsolete costs, downsizing and converting to Fair Gold. Once Green OA mandates fill them, it is the global network of Green OA repositories that will allow publishers to phase out all the products and services associated with access-provision and archiving. CHORUS and Finch are designed to allow publishers to keep co-bundling (and charging) for their obsolete products and services as long as possible.

Stevan Harnad

Green OA Embargoes: Just a Publisher Tactic for Delaying the Optimal and Inevitable

Bravo to Danny Kingsley for her invaluable antipodean OA advocacy!

I think Danny is spot-on in all the points she makes, so these are just a few supplementary remarks:

1. The publishing industry is using Green OA embargoes and lobbying to try to hold OA hostage to its current inflated revenue streams as long as possible— by forcing the research community to pay for over-priced, double-paid (and double-dipped, if hybrid) Fools Gold if it wants to have OA at all.

It’s time for the research community to stop stating that it will stop mandating and providing Green OA if there’s ever any evidence that it will cause subscription cancelations. Of course Green OA will cause cancelations, eventually; and so it should.

Green OA will not only provide 100% OA but it will also force publishers to phase out obsolete products and services and their costs, by offloading all access-provision and archiving onto the worldwide nework of Green OA repositories.

Once subscriptions are made unsustainable by mandatory Green OA, journals will downsize and convert to post-Green Fair-Gold, in place of today’s over-priced, double-paid (and double-dipped, if hybrid) Fools-Gold.

Green OA embargoes have one purpose, and one purpose only: to delay this optimal, inevitable, natural and obvious outcome for as long as possible.

Research is not funded, conducted, peer-reviewed and made public in order to provide or guarantee revenues for the publishing industry, but to be used, applied and built upon, to the benefit of the public that funds it.

Globally mandated Green OA will not only provide OA, but it will also force publishers to cut obsolete costs and downsize to just managing peer review. All access-provision and archiving will be done by the worldwide network of Green OA Institutional Repositories.

It’s in order to delay that outcome that publishers are using every means at their disposal — embargoing Green OA and lobbying against Green OA mandates with PRISM, the Research Works Act, the Finch Report and CHORUS — to fend off Green OA as long as possible and force the research community instead toward over-priced, double-paid (and, if hybrid, double-dipped) Fools Gold if they want to have any form of OA at all.

2. There is a powerful tactical triad — tried, tested and proven effective — to moot publisher delay tactics (embargoes and lobbying) — and that triad is for both funders and insitutions to

(i) mandate immediate deposit in institutional repositories, whether or not the deposit is made immediately OA,

(ii) implement the institutional repository’s facilitated eprint request Button to tide over research access needs during any embargo, and

(iii) designate repository deposit as the sole mechanism for submitting publictions for institutional performance review (or national research assessment).

3. The research community should resolutely resist publishers’ attempt to imply that “Green OA” means “Delayed (embargoed) OA.” It does not. OA means immediate, unembargoed access. It is publishers who are trying to impose embargoes, in order to delay OA and preserve their current inflated revenue streams for as long as possible, forcing authors to pay for grotesquely overpriced Fools Gold if they want immediate OA.

The immediate-deposit mandate (with the Button) immunizes against those tactics. “Delaying OA” is publishers’ objective, against the interests of research, researchers, their universities, their funders, the vast R&D industry, students, teachers, the developing world, journalists, and especially the general public who is funding the research. Immediate-deposits mandates are the way for the research community to ensure that the interests of research. Otherwise (I have said many times), it is the publishing tail continuing to wag the research dog.

4. OA Metrics will follow, not precede OA. The reason we do not have 100% OA yet is not because of bias against Gold OA journals. It is because of researcher passivity, publisher activism (embargoes and lobbying) and lack of clear information and understanding about OA and how to make it happen.

It is normal and natural that journals’ quality and importance should be based on their prior track-record for quality and importance (rather than their cost-recovery model). New journals (whether OA or non-OA) first need to establish a track record for quality and importance. Besides the journal’s track record and citation impact, however, we also have citation counts for individual authors and articles, and we are slowly also developing download counts and other metrics of research usage and impact. There will be many more OA metrics too — but for that to happen, the articles themselves need to be made OA! And that is why mandating Green OA is the priority.

Stevan Harnad

Open Access Priorities

Michael Eisen is basically right on the fundamentals: There would be a huge conflict of interest if compliance with the White House Open Access (OA) mandate were left to publishers instead of researchers and their institutions, and publishers would do everything possible to sabotage the policy.

Nothing much can be said in favor of David Wojick’s long series of comments except that it is true that Michael’s focus is largely on Gold OA publishing, PMC, and re-use rights (“Libre OA”) over and above free online access rights (“Gratis OA”), whereas the White House Open Access mandate is for Green OA self-archiving in researchers’ OA repositories.

Further re-use rights are also more controversial than free online access rights because they encourage publisher embargoes (to prevent immediate free-riding by rival publishers); nor are they needed nearly as urgently and universally as immediate free online access is needed by authors and users in all disciplines today. (As much Libre OA as users need and authors wish to provide will certainly follow after universal Green Gratis OA has been successfully mandated and provided globally, but it must not be made into a needless obstacle today.)

"CHORUS": Yet Another Trojan Horse from the Publishing Industry

The OSTP should on no account be taken in by the Trojan Horse that is being offered by the research publishing industry’s “CHORUS.”

CHORUS is just the latest successor organisation for self-serving anti-Open Access (OA) lobbying by the publishing industry. Previous incarnations have been the “PRISM coalition” and the “Research Works Act.”

1. It is by now evident to everyone that OA is inevitable, because it is optimal for research, researchers, research institutions, the vast R&D industry, students, teachers, journalists and the tax-paying public that funds the research.

2. Research is funded by the public and conducted by researchers and their institutions for the sake of research progress, productivity and applications — not in order to guarantee publishers’ current revenue streams and modus operandi: Research publishing is a service industry and must adapt to the revolutionary new potential that the online era has opened up for research.

3. That is why both research funders (like NIH) and research institutions (like Harvard) — in the US as well as in the rest of the world — are increasingly mandating (requiring) OA: See ROARMAP.

4. Publishers are already trying to delay the potential benefits of OA to research progress by imposing embargoes of 6-12 months or more on research access that can and should be immediate in the online era.

5. The strategy of CHORUS is to try to take the power to provide OA out of the hands of researchers so that publishers gain control over both the timetable and the insfrastructure for providing OA.

6. And, without any sense of the irony, the publisher lobby (which already consumes so much of the scarce funds available for research) is attempting to do this under the pretext of saving “precious research funds” for research!

7. It is for researchers to provide OA, and for their funders and institutions to mandate and monitor OA provision by requiring deposit in their institutional repositories — which already exist, for multiple purposes.

8. Depositing in repositories entails no extra research expense for research, just a few extra keystrokes, from researchers.

9. Institutional and subject repositories keep both the timetable and the insfrastructure for providing OA where it belongs: in the hands of the research community, in whose interests it is to provide OA.

10. The publishing industry’s previous ploys — PRISM and the Research Works Act — were obviously self-serving Trojan Horses, promoting the publishing industry’s interests disguised as the interests of research.

Let the OSTP not be taken in this time either.

Giles, J. (2007) PR’s ‘pit bull’ takes on open access. Nature 5 January 2007.

Divide & Conquer

The new Finch/RCUK policy started off on the wrong foot from the very beginning, downgrading cost-free Green OA self-archiving and preferentially funding Gold OA publishing: double-paid Fool’s Gold. That was already at the behest of the publishing lobby.

But unfortunately that was aided and abetted by OA advocates in the thrall of Gold Fever and Rights Rapture, needlessly over-reaching for more than just the free online access that is already within reach, and making even that yet again escape our grasp. Yes, the publisher lobby is trying to divide and conquer.

But it will not succeed, because the HEFCE/REF mandate proposal has come to the rescue, dividing deposit and access-setting, requiring that deposit be immediate, in the author’s IR, and relegating publishers’ embargoes only to access-setting. It is that dividing that will conquer.

How to Immunize RCUK Against Predictable Perverse Effects of Finch Folly

Thursday July 26 2012

SH: If you were a journal publisher? what would you do, when faced with a policy like [Finch/RCUK]?

RP: What do you predict?

SH: The answer is obvious: You would offer to ?allow? your authors to pay you for hybrid Gold OA (while continuing to collect your usual subscription revenues) and, for good measure, you would ratchet up the Green OA embargo length (up to the date your grand-children finished their university education!) to make sure your authors pay you for hybrid Gold rather than picking the cost-free option that you fear might eventually pose a risk to your subscription revenues!

Monday December 10 2012

Institute of Historical Research: Statement on position in relation to open access:

“[IHR] fully support initiatives to make scholarship as widely and freely available as possible, above all online…  The government wants all RCUK funded and all QR funded scholarship to be published ?gold? insofar as funding allows. This would mean that an author (through their university) would pay an ?article processing charge? (APC) to the journal… The government also envisages ?green? open access… This means that no fee is paid by the author to a journal. Instead, the article must be made freely available on line after an embargo period.If gold access is not offered by the journal, that period could be as little as 6 to 12 months. In the case of humanities, the government is prepared to accept a longer [embargo] period, perhaps around 2 years, particularly if the journal concerned also offers gold open access…  We want first to make it clear that we will accept gold APCs… The period of embargo [IHR] will offer [for green] will be 36 MONTHS…”

QED

All is far from lost, however. There is a simple way that funder mandates can immunize themselves against such perverse consequences. They need only include the following 8 essential conditions: 

(1)  immediate-deposit (even if access to the deposit is allowed to be embargoed: no delayed deposit)  

(2) of the final peer-reviewed draft 

(3) on the date of acceptance by the journal (which is marked by a verifiable calendar date)

(4) and the immediate-deposit must be directly in the author’s own institutional repository (not institution-external)

(5) so that immediate-deposit can be monitored and verified by the author’s institution (regardless of whether the mandate is from a funder or the institution)  

(6) as a funding compliance condition and/or an institutional employment condition

(7) and the institutional repository must be designated as the sole locus for submitting publications for institutional performance evaluation, research grant applications and national research assessment.

(8) Repository deposits must be monitored so as to generate rich and visible metrics of usage and citation, so as both to verify and reward authors for deposit and to showcase and archive the institution’s and funder’s research output and impact; for embargoed deposits, user needs can be fulfilled via the repository’s email-eprint-request Button.

An instance of such mutually reinforcing funder and institutional policies is the FRS-FNRS policy in Belgium.

Such an integrated, maximized-strength mandate model immunizes against publisher embargoes and should be adopted, complementarily and convergently, by all institutions and funders, in Europe and worldwide.

Here is the fundamental point that needs to be grasped: The only thing that is standing between the world and 100% OA is author keystrokes (for depositing the full text in an online repository). Once those keystrokes are done, even if some of those deposits are under an access embargo, nature and human nature will take its course, under pressure from the increasingly palpable benefits of OA, and embargoes will soon die their inevitable and well-deserved deaths of natural causes — and journals will survive, and evolve, and adapt.

But it will take forever to happen if the keystrokes are not mandated. Journals will try to filibuster and embargo OA for as long as possible: it’s a conflict of interest, between, on the one hand, research, researchers, their institutions, their funders, the R&D industry, and the tax-payers who fund the research, and, on the other hand, the research publishing industry.

Scholarly research is not funded and conducted as a service to the scholarly publishing industry (regardless of whether the publishers are commercial or “scholarly”, and regardless of whether they are subscription publishers or Gold OA publishers).

It is time to stop allowing the publishing tail wag the research dog.

Mandating the Green OA keystrokes (even where embargoed) is the fastest, cheapest and surest way to get us to 100% Green OA — and then all Gold OA, Libre OA will not be far behind.

But trying ins tea to mandate Gold OA preemptively as the Finch Committee have perversely proposed to do, under the influence of the publishing industry lobby, will only serve leave the UK, the former leader of the global OA movement, far behind.

Stevan Harnad

The UK Gold Rush: "A Hand-Out from the British Government"

Re: Finch access plan unlikely to fly across the Atlantic
(Times Higher Education, 6 December 2012)


It’s not just the US and the Social Sciences that will not join the UK’s Gold Rush. Neither will Europe, nor Australia, nor the developing world.

The reason is simple: The Finch/RCUK/BIS policy was not thought through. It was hastily and carelessly cobbled together without proper representation from the most important stake-holders: researchers and their institutions, the providers of the research to which access is to be opened.

Instead, Finch/RCUK/BIS heeded the lobbying from the UK’s sizeable research publishing industry, including both subscription publishers and Gold OA publishers, as well as from a private biomedical research funder that was rather too sure of its own OA strategy (even though that strategy has not so far been very successful). BIS was also rather simplistic about the “industrial applications” potential of its 6% of world research output, not realizing that unilateral OA from one country is of limited usefulness, and a globally scaleable OA policy requires some global thinking and consultation.

Now it will indeed amount to “a handout from the British government” — a lot of money in exchange for very little OA — unless (as I still fervently hope) RCUK has the wisdom and character to fix its OA mandate as it has by now been repeatedly urged from all sides to do, instead of just digging in to a doomed policy:

Adopt an effective mechanism to ensure compliance with the mandate to self-archive in UK institutional repositories (Green OA), in collaboration with UK institutions. And scale down the Gold OA to just the affordable minimum for which there is a genuine demand, instead of trying to force it down the throats of all UK researchers in place of cost-free self-archiving: The UK institutional repositories are already there: ready, waiting — and empty.

The Finch Fiasco, the RCUK Ruckus and the Publisher Lobby

Sally Morris (Morris Associates) wrote on GOAL:

“Stevan overlooks the difference between ‘publishing’ an article in a repository and in a journal.   As long as researchers prefer the latter (and there are lots of reasons why they seem to, in addition to peer review) then there will be a demand for journals in which to publish: selection and collecting together of articles of particular relevance to a given audience, and of a certain range of quality;  ‘findability’;  kudos of the journal’s title (and impact factor);  copy-editing;  linking;  quality of presentation;  etc etc…
 
“And peer review is in any case not a contextless operation.  The selection of articles for publication in journal X is a relative matter;  not just ‘is the research soundly conducted and honestly reported?’ but ‘is it of sufficient relevance, interest and value to our readers in particular?'”

I completely agree with Sally about peer review: It is a decision by qualified specialists about whether a paper meets a journal’s established standards for quality as well as subject matter, as certified by the journal’s title and track-record, and, if not, how to revise it, if possible. (And I explicitly say so in the longer commentaries of which I only posted an excerpt on GOAL.)

But that, of course, does not change a thing about the fact that peer review is merely a service, which can be unbundled from the many other products and services with which it is currently co-bundled. It certainly does not imply that in order for referees or editors to make a decision about journal subject matter, there has to exist a set of articles co-bundled in a monthly or quarterly collection, being sold together as a co-bundled product, online or on-paper!

As to the rest of the co-bundled products and services Sally mentions: If she’s right, then journals have nothing to fear from Green OA mandates, since those only apply to the author’s peer-reviewed, revised, accepted final draft. That’s what’s self-archived in the author’s institutional repository. If all those other products and services are indeed so indispensable, then reaching 100% Green OA globally will not make journal subscriptions unsustainable, because the need, and hence the market, for all those other essential co-bundled products and services Sally mentioned will still be there.

The only difference will be that all users — not just subscribers — will have access to all peer-reviewed, revised, accepted final drafts online. (That’s Green OA, and once we are there, I can stop wasting my time and energy trying to get us there, as I have been doing for nearly 20 years now!) 

But then can I ask Sally, please, to call off her fellow publishers who have been relentlessly (and successfully) lobbying BIS (and anyone else that will listen) not to mandate Green OA, and have been imposing embargoes on Green OA, on the (rather incoherent) argument that (1) Green OA is inadequate for researchers’ needs and has already proved to be a failure and (2) that if Green OA succeeded it would destroy publishing, peer review, and research quality?

Otherwise this (incoherent) argument becomes something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, and we have the Finch Fiasco and RCUK Ruckus to show for it.

Stevan Harnad