Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More on the UKPMC Publishers Panel statement of principle

Stevan Harnad, On Paid Gold OA, Central Repositories, and "Re-Use" Rights, Open Access Archivangelism, October 9, 2007.  Excerpt:

On Tue, 9 Oct 2007 Andrew Albanese, Associate Editor, Library Journal, wrote:

"[J]ust writing to see if you have any thoughts on the UKPMC [UK PubMed Central] statement on re-use...seems a little unnecessary to me. Stating the obvious? Rather than say "copyright still applies," would it not have been more useful to issue guidelines on, say, how to craft a copyright clause that facilitates open access? Do these broad statements help anyone?"

I agree that the UKPMC re-use statement is unnecessary and stating the obvious....

To begin with, the UKPMC statement is about paid Gold OA, and (for reasons I have adduced many times before) I believe that...paying for Gold OA at this time is unnecessary and a waste of money (until and unless most or all of the institutional money that is currently being spent on subscriptions is released to pay for Gold OA)....Gold OA is far from being either the fastest or surest way to scale up to 100% OA today....The fastest and surest way to provide 100% OA today is for authors to self-archive their (published) articles....

Comment.  I can't agree.  While the statement focuses on details of gold OA, it says nothing to encourage gold OA in preference to green OA, and when implemented it will do nothing to slow down green OA.  General arguments to prefer green OA are not germane here.  Nor does the agreement state the obvious.  It describes what re-use rights publishers should provide when funders pay for gold OA.  That's new, beneficial, and important.  From my blog comment on Monday:  "When a funder pays a publisher to make an article OA, the publisher should remove permission barriers as well as price barriers.  But too often publishers have only removed price barriers.  This agreement to remove a key set of permission barriers is an important step forward that will help users get their work done (both human and machine users), help funders get full value for their investment, and help all players live up to the full BBB definition of OA."