Q&A On Post-Green-OA Gold OA vs. Pre-Emptive Gold OA

asks:

“Is ?gold? open access necessary to provide the financial resources to make open access a reality?”

No. Institutional subscriptions are already paying the cost of publication, in full, handsomely, today. No need to pay still more for Gold OA while subscriptions are still paying the bill: Just mandate Green OA self-archiving of the author’s peer-reviewed final draft.

That’s exactly what RCUK and EC research funders are mandating. All insitutions and funders worldwide need to do the same, and global OA will be a reality.

“Are taxpayers who have paid for the research entitled to the free access that ?green? open access promises?”

Of course. And all their funders and institutions need to do is mandate Green OA, as RCUK, EC, NIH and other funders, as well as UCL, Harvard, MIT and other institutions have begun to do (see ROARMAP).

“Is there a hybrid model that preserves the positive elements of both ?gold? and ?green? models?”

The RCUK & EC mandates are already hybrid Green+Gold: They mandate Green and provide funds for Gold.

But research money is already overstretched today. Gold need not be paid for in advance (pre-emptively) until and unless universal Green has caused global subscription cancelation, making subscriptions unsustainable as the means of covering the cost of publication. Then journals will downsize to providing just the peer review service alone and convert to Gold OA, paid for, per paper published, by the authors’ institutions, out of a small portion of the windfall savings freed up by the subscription cancelations made possible by the universal availability of the Green OA version.

That’s a scalable, affordable and sustainable post-Green Gold “hybrid”.

In contrast, pre-emptive payment for hybrid subscription+Gold, pre-Green, as Finch/Willets have recommended, is not: It’s just the needless and senseless waste of a lot of public money for little OA in return.

The only interest served by paying for pre-emptive hybrid subscription+Gold today is publshers’ self-interest, in preserving their current bloated revenue streams, come what may, whilst holding Green OA at bay, at the cost of both lost research access and lost research funding.

“Where does peer review and quality assurance fit in to all of this?”

Peer review is quality assurance, and it never left! Green OA is the self-archiving of peer-reviewed papers, the peer review being paid for by institutional subscriptions. Post-Green OA-Gold OA is the peer review service itself, paid for out of the subscription cancelations.

It is pre-emptive, pre-Green payment for hybrid subscription+Gold that is a needless and senseless waste of a lot of public money for little OA in return.

The only interest served by paying pre-emptively for hybrid subscription+Gold today is publshers’ self-interest in preserving their current bloated revenue streams, come what may, whilst keeping Green OA at bay, at the cost of both lost research access and lost research funding.

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.

Harnad, S. (2009) The PostGutenberg Open Access Journal. In: Cope, B. & Phillips, A (Eds.) The Future of the Academic Journal. Chandos.

Harnad, S. (2010) No-Fault Peer Review Charges: The Price of Selectivity Need Not Be Access Denied or Delayed. D-Lib Magazine 16 (7/8).

Harnad, S. (2011) Gold Open Access Publishing Must Not Be Allowed to Retard the Progress of Green Open Access Self-Archiving. Logos: The Journal of the World Book Community. 21(3-4): 86-93