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TIME, MONEY, ACCESS & IMPACT ARE 'AWASTING Plans by universities and research funders to pay the costs of Open Access Publishing ("Gold OA") are premature. Funds are short. Eighty percent of journals (including virtually all the top journals) are still subscription-based, tying up the potential funds to pay for Gold OA, and making all Gold OA payment double-payment (subscriptions + Gold OA fees). The asking price for Gold OA is still far too high. And there is concern that paying to publish may inflate acceptance rates and lower quality standards. What is needed now is for universities and funders to mandate OA self-archiving (of authors' final peer-reviewed drafts, immediately upon acceptance for publication) ("Green OA") -- which is exactly what FASTR and SPARC have proposed to do (and what 55 funders and 200 institutions worldwide have already done: see ROARMAP). Universal Green OA mandates will provide universal OA. Then, if and when universal Green OA should go on to make subscriptions unsustainable (because users are satisfied with just the Green OA versions), that will in turn induce journals to cut costs (no more print edition, no more online edition, all access-provision and archiving offloaded onto the worldwide network of institutional Green OA repositories), downsize to just providing the service of peer review, and convert to the Post-Green Gold OA cost-recovery model. Meanwhile, the subscription cancellations will have released the funds to pay these residual service costs. The natural way to charge for the service of peer review then will be on a "no-fault basis," with the author's institution or funder paying for each round of refereeing, regardless of outcome (acceptance, revision/re-refereeing, or rejection). This will minimize cost while protecting against inflated acceptance rates and decline in quality standards. 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).
Toggle Commented Feb 19, 2013 on Not FASTR Enough at T. Scott
OPEN ACCESS IS NOT THE SWINDLE: PRE-EMPTIVE HYBRID GOLD OPEN ACCESS IS Making peer-reviewed research freely accessible online to all users, not just those whose institutions can afford subscriptions, is not a swindle. It is a great benefit to research, researchers, and the public that funds the research. "Green" Open Access can be provided cost-free by authors self-archiving their peer-reviewed final drafts, free for all online, in their Open Access (OA) institutional repositories. Research institutions and funders worldwide accordingly need to mandate (require) Green OA. "Gold" OA can be provided by journals making their articles accessible online, free for all, but many charge the author a fee for this. It is not Gold OA nor the author fee for Gold OA that is a swindle either. It is "hybrid Gold OA," which is when a subscription publisher continues to collect subscriptions, forbids or embargoes Green OA, but offers Gold OA for an extra author fee. This is double-paying for OA (via multi-institutional subscriptions plus an individual author fee), for individual articles only. And the worst of it is that in the UK the publisher lobby has recently managed to persuade the government, and hence the government research funders, to mandate Gold OA instead of Green OA (which is what the UK's funders and institutions had formerly led the world in mandating since 2005). Although the wording of the new policy is unclear, it seems to state that researchers may only choose a journal that allows cost-free Green OA if the journal does not offer Gold OA; if it does offer Gold OA, UK researchers must pick and pay for Gold OA, out of scarce research funds. That is not just a swindle but a boondoggle by publishers and a colossal bungle by UK policy makers. It will fail in the UK, but it will take another 5 years to realize that. Meanwhile, even in failure, because it will encourage subscription publishers the world over to offer hybrid Gold OA at the same time as lengthening their Green OA embargoes to make sure UK authors need to pick and pay for the hybrid Gold option, it will impede the progress of Green OA mandates worldwide. The only antidote is a global hue and cry from researchers and the tax-paying public, and the adoption of Green OA mandates by funders and institutions worldwide.
Toggle Commented Oct 10, 2012 on The Great Open Access Swindle at The Ed Techie
SPLITTING THE DIFFERENCE ON OPEN ACCESS: BRAINLESSNESS MASQUERADING AS "BALANCE" New York Times, February 27, 2012: Gulf on Open Access to Federally Financed Research by Guy Gugliotta: "The debate between these two extremes has been remarkably vitriolic, in part, perhaps, because neither side has been completely honest. Mr. Adler would not discuss publishers’ profit margins, and open-access advocates frequently say that the journals are low-overhead cash cows that are gouging the public. Open-access scientists, on the other hand, are less than candid about how important it is to their careers to be published in prominent traditional journals. If scientists truly wished to kill the system, all they would have to do is withhold submissions." Utter nonsense, of course. (1) Researchers' need (and reasons) for publishing in journals with high peer review standards are no secret (and nothing to hide or apologize for!) (2) The objective of OA is not to "kill the system" but to provide OA. (3) As usual, the false assumption is that OA = Gold OA publishing. (4) OA has nothing to do with "withholding submissions" or boycotting. (5) Both bills (FRPAA and RWA) are about mandating Green OA self-archiving. What's worth writing an article (or book) about is how this relentless misunderstanding of something so stunningly simple just keeps propagating itself, year after year after year. And it looks like Congress will yet again wimp out this year on FRPAA, splitting the difference with RWA in much the same clueless spirit as the above sterling example of "balanced" journalism... So it's back to yet another year of trying to talk sense into universities about mandating Green OA... One thing the journalist got right: There is indeed something that researchers are less than candid about: not withholding submissions but about withholding keystrokes... Harnad, S. (2006) Opening Access by Overcoming Zeno's Paralysis, in Jacobs, N., Eds. Open Access: Key Strategic, Technical and Economic Aspects. Chandos.
LIKE ITS HARVARD MODEL, PRINCETON'S OPEN ACCESS POLICY NEEDS TO ADD AN IMMEDIATE-DEPOSIT REQUIREMENT, WITH NO WAIVER OPTION 1. First, congratulations to Princeton University (my graduate alma mater!) for adopting an open access mandate: a copyright-reservation policy, adopted by unanimous faculty vote. 2. Princeton is following in the footsteps of Harvard in adopting the copyright-reservation policy pioneered by Stuart Shieber and Peter Suber. 4. I hope that Princeton will now also follow in the footsteps of Harvard by adding an immediate-deposit requirement with no waiver option to its copyright-reservation mandate, as Harvard has done. 5. The Princeton copyright-reservation policy, like the Harvard copyright-reservation policy, can be waived if the author wishes: This is to allow authors to retain the freedom to choose where to publish, even if the journal does not agree to the copyright-reservation. 6. Adding an immediate-deposit clause, with no opt-out waiver option, retains all the properties and benefits of the copyright-reservation policy while ensuring that all articles are nevertheless deposited in the institutional repository upon publication, with no exceptions: Access to the deposited article can be embargoed, but deposit itself cannot; access is a copyright matter, deposit is not. 7. Depositing all articles upon publication, without exception, is crucial to reaching 100% open access with certainty, and as soon as possible; hence it is the right example to set for the many other universities worldwide that are now contemplating emulating Harvard and Princeton by adopting open access policies of their own; copyright reservation alone, with opt-out, is not. 8. The reason it is imperative that the deposit clause must be immediate and without a waiver option is that, without that, both when and whether articles are deposited at all is indeterminate: With the added deposit requirement the policy is a mandate; without it, it is just a gentleman/scholar's agreement. [Footnote: Princeton's open access policy is also unusual in having been adopted before Princeton has created an open access repository for its authors to deposit in: It might be a good idea to create the repository as soon as possible so Princeton authors can get into the habit of practising what they pledge from the outset...] Stevan Harnad EnablingOpenScholarship
OPEN ACCESS WITHOUT THE SOUND BITES (1) Yes "public access to publicly funded research" is just a sound bite: Once you look at research and research funding more closely, you realize that it should be "free researcher access to publicly funded, peer-reviewed research" -- so that the research can be used, applied and built upon by all of its intended users (researchers, and not just those whose institutions can afford to subscribe to the journal in which the research was published), for research progress, to the benefit of the public who funded it for the sake of that benefit (not for their own reading pleasure!). But that would be a bigger mouthful to say, hence the sound bite. (2) It would also be more of a mouthful to say that while journal subscriptions are paying the price of peer review, access to publicly funded, peer-reviewed research should be made free, now, by depositing the final, peer-reviewed draft in an Open Access Institutional repository immediately upon acceptance for publication -- and if and when (but only if and when) this ever makes subscriptions no longer sustainable as the means of paying for the peer review, then the peer review can be paid for as an institutional OA publishing fee, out of a fraction of the institutional windfall savings from the subscription cancelations. That too would be a mouthful to say. But it dispels all the apparent illogic and double standards that you rightly criticize in your posting. There are some who indeed believe the silly things that you rightly debunk. But that is not what OA is all about. Stevan Harnad
Toggle Commented Aug 25, 2010 on Taxpayers and Peer Review at T. Scott
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