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.)