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News from the open access movement

Monday, April 11, 2005

Richard Poynder interviews Alma Swan, Part 2

Richard Poynder, Roller Coaster Ride, Open and Shut, April 10, 2005. Part 2 of Richard's interview with Alma Swan. (See Part 1.) Excerpt:
RP: Which, in your view, is the optimal way of providing OA: green or gold?

AS: You ask this as though it's an either/or situation, yet both methods co-exist at the moment, both are growing, and both have their place. For instance, some journals have already converted to gold, some are in transition, and there are now plenty of born-gold journals. But it will not be possible to successfully convert all existing journals to a gold model, at least not without major disruptions to the businesses of some publishers, and not in a hurry. For this reason alone the Green Road is also important. [...]

RP: What does 14 years of arXiv tell us about the impact of self-archiving on traditional journals? Can the two things co-exist?

AS: It appears so. I asked both APS and IoPP what their experiences have been in carrying out their business activities alongside this massively successful example of a self-archiving repository. They both said that they had not noticed any greater downturn in subscriptions to those journals that cover the same sort of physics as arXiv than for any of their journals covering other areas of physics. [...]

RP: How do mean: minimal? [AS had just said, "governments should only get involved in the most minimal way."]

AS: I mean that if research is funded by a government (i.e. the public) then that government has the right and duty to make sure the results from it are available to all. Governments shouldn't have any role, however, in dictating how commercial publishers operate in a free market economy. And neither party needs to start interfering with a researcher's right to choose which journal they publish in. [...]

RP: My final question then: Reed Elsevier's CEO Sir Crispin Davis implied if not directly stated in The Guardian recently that the simple answer to solving the scholarly communication crisis is for governments just to pump more money into libraries? Does he have a point?

AS: No.