The Green Road To OA — And Then On To Fair-Gold

Anonymous: “By the time we reach 100% Green OA, there will be few journals left to cancel and it will be far too late to start charging authors a “fair gold” price for something they feel they have been getting for free up till then.

Until Green OA is at or near 100%, a journal cannot be cancelled because its contents cannot be accessed any other way. And Green OA grows anarchically, not journal by journal but article by article.

So subscriptions will support publication for as long as they are sustainable; when global Green OA is at or near 100%, and at or near the point of making subscriptions unsustainable, journals will be forced to cut costs by phasing out all inessential products and services. That means print edition, online edition, access-provision and archiving. Nothing will be left for them to do except manage the peer review and certify the outcome with their journal name. All access provision and archiving will be offloaded onto the distributed global network of Green OA repositories.

And authors will not have to pay the (Fair Gold) cost of the journal’s peer review service out of pocket: Their institutions will pay for it out of a fraction of their annual windfall savings — from their subscription cancellations.

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

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).