Of Mythical Beasts and Zero-Embargo Mandates | Advancing Discovery | Springer Nature

“Springer Nature didn’t sign either letter [for or against the rumored Trump executive order], even though we also had our concerns about the rumored mandate. We’re very proud of the role that Springer Nature, the world’s most comprehensive Open Access publisher, has played – and continues to play – in making research more open, so we wholeheartedly agree with the end goal of immediate open access. But the means to this end has to be carefully thought out, and ultimately structured in a sustainable way. Our concerns about a potential zero-embargo mandate for subscription content from the OSTP were that it might prove counterproductive and unsustainable, by resulting in slower progress towards Gold OA and ultimately hampering the wider ‘open’ agenda – Gold OA being much more than a different business model but the doorway to open science….

Green OA, on the other hand – whether with a zero embargo or not –, is not citable or connected to the scientific record, so researchers can’t build on it. It also doesn’t provide access to the original data and so is neither replicable nor reusable, therefore limiting its usefulness for furthering academic discovery and public or commercial R&D initiatives. Moreover, it doesn’t give the general public access to many of the improvements publishers make to enhance the layout and understanding of the research, thereby making it more accessible to the lay person. And it still requires libraries and institutions to subscribe to access the version of record….”