Times Higher Ed: Professor Adam Tickell’s Four Tricky Fringillisms

Professor Adam Tickell (pro-VC, U. Birminhgam): Critically, the minister for universities and science wanted to ensure that all relevant stakeholders – universities, funders, learned societies and publishers – were represented

The only “relevant stakeholders” are those by and for whom research is funded, conducted, refereed and reported. That does not include publishers, whether commercial or learned-society.

Professor Tickell: “Open access is not a significant issue for most academic researchers: we already have access to most research papers.”

In searching the latest literature in his field, is Adam Tickell one of the rare academics who has not reached (frequently) an access-denied link offering pay-to-view with a hefty price-tag?

Is it not as evident in Birmingham that most universities can only afford to subscribe to a fraction of the peer-reviewed research journals published annually, and that even the university with the biggest serials budget — Harvard — has announced that it can no longer sustain it?

Professor Tickell: “Many UK-based learned societies rely on income from publishing – most of which is export income – to remain viable”

Are Green Open Access Mandates rendering anyone’s publishing income nonviable?

And are learned societies’ interests the interests of learned research or the interests of sustaining learned societies’ publishing income?

Professor Tickell: “As green was unacceptable to funders unless learned societies and publishers were willing to allow it with minimal embargo periods (which would undermine their business models), the group recommended gold as part of a mix that includes elements of all forms of open access.”

Are the interests of publishers, whether commercial or learned-society, the arbiters of what is in the interest of those by and for whom research is funded, conducted, refereed and reported? And what was the green part of the Finch “mix”? This?:

FINCH ON GREEN: “The [Green OA] policies of neither research funders nor universities themselves have yet had a major effect in ensuring that researchers make their publications accessible in institutional repositories? [so] the infrastructure of subject and institutional repositories should [instead] be developed [to] play a valuable role complementary to formal publishing, particularly in providing access to research data and to grey literature, and in digital preservation [no mention of Green OA]?”

Stevan Harnad