In “The Open Access Movement is disorganized; this must not continue,” Peter Murray-Rust [PM-R:] wrote:
PM-R: ?Stevan Harnad? argues inter alia that gratisOA (e.g. through Green, CC-restricted) rather than libreOA (e.g. through Gold, or CC-BY) should be adopted…?
Actually, I argue that Gratis Green OA rather than Libre OA should be mandated (by researchers? institutions and funders), because:
(1) 100% OA is reachable only if we mandate it;
(2) only Green OA self-archiving (not Gold OA publishing) can be mandated;
(3) all researchers want to provide Gratis OA (free online access);
(4) not all researchers want to provide Libre OA (free online access plus remix and republication rights);
(5) all disciplines need Gratis OA;
(6) not all disciplines need Libre OA;
(7) Gratis OA is much more urgent than Libre OA;
(8) 100% Gratis OA is already reachable, 100% Libre OA is not;
(9) publisher restrictions are less of an obstacle for Gratis OA;
(10) mandating Green Gratis OA is not only the fastest, surest and cheapest way to reach 100% Gratis OA but it is also the fastest, surest and cheapest way to reach Gold OA and Libre OA thereafter.
PM-R: ?If we restrict ourselves to STM publishing (where almost all of the funders? efforts are concentrated) there is not a shred of evidence that any author wishes to restrict the re-use of their publications through licenses.?
(a) OA is not just for STM articles: it?s for peer-reviewed research in all disciplines
(b) It is not just funders who are mandating OA but also institutions, for all research, funded and funded, in all disciplines
(c) Ask, and you will find more than a shred of evidence that not all authors (not even all STM authors) want to allow their verbatim texts to be re-mixed and re-published by anyone, without restriction.
(d) What all authors want re-used and re-mixed are their ideas and findings, not their verbatim texts.
(e) STM authors do want their figures and tables to be re-used and re-published, but with Green Gratis OA, that can be done; it is only their verbatim texts that they don?t want tampered with.
PM-R: ?Most scientists don?t care about Open Access. (Unfortunate, but we have to change that)?
Most still don?t know about it, and those who do are afraid to provide it, even though it has been demonstrated to be beneficial for them and their research (in terms of uptake, usage, applications, citations, impact, progress).
And that?s just why OA mandates are needed.
PM-R: ?Of the ones that care, almost none care aboutdetails. If they are told it is ?open Access? and fulfils the funders? requirements then they will agree to anything. If the publisher has a page labeled ?full Open Access ? CC-NC ? consistent with NIH funding? then they won?t think twice about what the license is.?
What they care about in such cases is not OA, but fulfilling their funders? (and institution?s) requirements.
That?s why OA needs to be mandated.
Most funders mandate only Gratis Green OA because it has fewer publisher constraints and fewer and shorter embargoes. But the advantage of mandating that the author?s version be made OA is that it makes it easier to give permission to re-use (the author?s version of) the figures and tables.
If consensus can be successfully reached on mandating Libre OA rather than just Gratis OA, all the better. But on no account should there be a delay in adopting a Gratis OA mandate in order to hold out for Libre OA.
Gold OA (whether Gratis or Libre) cannot be mandated, either by funders or institutions, and is hence not an issue. Funders and institutions cannot dictate researchers? choice of journal; nor can they dictate publishers? choice of cost-recovery model.
PM-R: ?Of the ones who care I have never met a case of a scientist ? and I want to restrict the discussion to STM ? who wishes to restrict the use of their material through licenses. No author says ?You can look at my graph, but I am going to sue you if you reproduce it? (although some publishers, such as Wiley did in the Shelley Batts affair, and presumably still do).?
The discussion of OA cannot be restricted to just STM, any more than it can be restricted to just Chemistry.
Authors, mostly ignorant of OA as well as of rights and licenses, mostly haven?t given any of them much thought.
But I can only repeat, even if they have not yet thought about it, many authors, including STP authors, would not relish giving everyone the right to publish mash-ups of their texts.
Graphs and figures are a different story; authors are happy to have those re-used and re-published in re-mixes by others (with attribution), and, as noted, the fact that the Green Gratis OA version is the author?s final draft rather than the publisher?s proprietary version of record makes this much simpler. (For the graphs in their version-of-record, some publishers might conceivably think of suing for this; but authors certainly would never do it, for their Green Gratis OA versions. So that?s another point in favor of Green Gratis OA.)
PM-R: ?the OA movement ? Cannot agree on what ?open access? means in practice?
They can agree, and they have agreed: http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/newsletter/08-02-08.htm#gratis-libre
PM-R: ?the OA movement? Spends (directly or indirectly) large amounts of public money (certainly hundreds of millions of dollars in author-side fees) without changing the balance of the market
The OA movement spends no public money. Perhaps you mean Gold OA journal authors?
And the objective of the OA movement is not ?changing the balance of the market.? Its objective is OA ? Gratis, and, where needed, Libre.
PM-R: ?the OA movement? Has no clear intermediate or end-goals?
The OA movement?s end-goal is Gratis OA (free online access) and, where needed, Libre OA (free online access plus re-use, re-mix re-publish rights).
Where Libre OA is needed, Gratis OA is an intermediate goal.
PM-R: ?When I find an Open Source program, I know what I am getting. When I find an Open Access paper I haven?t a clue what I am getting?.
You can be almost 100% sure that what you are getting is the peer-reviewed, final, accepted draft.
And with that, researchers whose institution cannot afford access to the publisher?s version of record would be almost 100% better off than they are now.
And that?s why the first priority is mandating Green Gratis OA self-archiving.
(The disanalogies between Open Access and Open Source are too numerous to itemize.)
PM-R: ?When I publish my code as Open Source I can?t make up the rules. I must have a license and it must be approved by OSI?
But OA is about peer-reviewed research, and there it is the refereed and editor that must approve the article.
PM-R: ?the OS community cares about what Open Source is, how it is defined, how it is labelled and whether the practice conforms to the requirements?. By contrast the OA community does not care about these things?.
As stated earlier, the OA (advocacy) community knows what OA (Gratis and Libre, Green and Gold) and what their respective ?requirements? are.
It is not the OA advocates who don?t care enough about such things; it is, unfortunately, the researcher community: the ones who need to provide the OA content.
And what?s missing isn?t a definition of OA, but OA.
PM-R: ??Open Access? was defined in the Budapest and other declarations?.
And the definition ? not etched in stone but evolving ? has been revised and updated: http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/newsletter/08-02-08.htm#gratis-libre
PM-R: ?Everyone (including Stevan) would agree that this is now consistent with what is (belatedly) being labelled as OA-libre. Note that Stevan was a signatory to this definition of Open Access?.
I signed and helped draft the first OA definition, but at that time I was not yet aware of nuances whose importance has since become apparent, requiring a revision of the definition.
PM-R: ?My immediate concern is that unless we organize the definition, labelling and practice of Open Access we are simply giving OA-opponents or OA-doubters carte blanche to do whatever they like without being brought to account. We are throwing away hundreds of millions of dollars in a wasteful fashion. We are exposing people to legal action because the terms are undefined?.
I?m afraid I?m lost here: Who are ?we?? OA advocates? What money are we throwing away? Perhaps you means authors and their funders, spending money on Gold OA that is Gratis rather than Libre? Well, I agree that?s a waste of money, but not because the OA?s Gratis but because Green OA needs to mandated before it makes sense to pay for Gold OA.
PM-R: ?If you try to re-use non-libre material because it was labelled ?Open Access? you could still end up in court?.
Highly unlikely (especially if you?re re-using graphics from the author?s draft rather than the publisher?s version-of-record).
But if you have access to it at all, you?re already better off than those researchers who do not: And that?s the primary problem OA was defined and designed to fix.
PM-R: ?As a UK taxpayer I fund scientists to do medical research (through the MRC). The MRC has decided (rightly) that the results of scientific research should be made Open. But they are not Open according to the BOAI declaration?.
They are Gratis OA (after an embargo period). Once all research is Gratis OA (and immediately upon acceptance for publication), Libre OA?s day will come.
PM-R: ?Individuals such as Stevan, Peter Suber, Alma Swan, [have] relatively little coordination and no bargaining power?
True. But we did coordinate on the updating of the definition of OA. And EnablingOpenScholarship (EOS) will attempt to guide and coordinate the OA policy-making of universities and research instititions, worldwide.
But OA advocates, individually and collectively, are not the ones with the power to provide OA: the ones with the power to provide it are researchers themselves. And the ones with the power to mandate that they provide it are their institutions and funders.
PM-R: ?So my simple proposal is that we need an Open Access Institute
Let?s publish our papers in whatever is the best journal for them, but let?s concentrate on persuading institutions and funders to mandate that we make them Green OA.
I look forward to PM-R?s explanation of why he does not agree.