Openness Probe for the SSP Scholarly Scullery

Joseph Esposito:
“Stevan Harnad engaged Rick?s comment and asserted that such a policy was a very bad thing since it would set back the advance of Green OA. This is an interesting remark, as it reveals Professor Harnad?s conviction that librarians, indeed the whole world, should view the achievement of his idiosyncratic goal as their highest priority. As far as I know, it is not the mission of Rick?s institution or any other to put Green OA at the top of a list of desiderata. Most institutions put service to their own institutions first, as one would expect. Cancelling Green OA journals will indeed set back the advance of Green OA, but that?s beside the point.”

David Crotty (with 11 scholarly thumbs up from his co-cuisiniers):
“I find Dr. Harnad?s response here somewhat appalling. Progress in implementing Open Access will come from open discussion, analysis and experimentation, not from censorship, obfuscation and withholding information. When voices as disparate as Kent Anderson and Cameron Neylon are in agreement about OA reaching a new era of practical implementation, it should be a sign that Harnad is out of step here. It?s always valuable to have someone willing to point out the state of the Emperor?s clothing.”

Compliments to the chefs. Some suggested recipe upgrades:

1. No suggestion made that institutions cannot or should not cancel journals if their articles are all or almost all Green.

(No such journal in sight yet, however, since Green OA is still hovering around 20-30%, apart from some parts of Physics — but there it’s already been at or near 100% for over 20 years, and no cancellations in sight. For the rest, when Green OA — which grows anarchically, article by article, not systematically, journal by journal — prevails universally, because Green OA mandates prevail, all or most journal articles will be Green universally, so Green OA will not be a factor in deciding whether to cancel this journal rather than that one.)

2. The issue with Rick was not about the notion of canceling journals because their articles are all or almost all Green, but about cancelling journals (60%) because they do not have a policy of embargoing Green OA.

3. And such a perverse cancellation policy would not be a setback for Green OA but for OA.

I note in the SSP scullery discussion above that my suggestion that Rick shold post his OA-unfriendly cancellation strategy to library lists rather than to OA lists amounts to a call for censorship over open discussion. I note only that I am not the moderator of any list, hence have no say over their content. It was an open expression, on an open list, of my opinion (together with the reasons for it) that such discussion belongs on another open list. I do post this SK comment with some curiosity, as my own comments to SK have more than once failed to appear?

Stevan Harnad