Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Gold and green, not just gold

Stevan Harnad, Pitting Petitions Against Pit-Bulls: Sense Versus Sensationalism, Open Access Archivangelism, February 11, 2007.  Excerpt:

CRITIQUE OF: Goldacre, Ben (2007) Open access and the price of knowledge. The Guardian, Saturday February 10, 2007....

Ben Goldacre has his heart in the right place, but:

(1) The Open Access (OA) movement is not the "Open Access Journal movement."

Trying to convert non-OA journals to OA journals (and to convert authors to publishing in them) is only one of the two ways to make articles OA ("Gold OA"), and the far more resistant and less certain way.  The surer, faster way is just to convert authors to self-archiving their own articles (published in whatever journal they wish) on the web to make them OA ("Green OA")....The research community has just signed a petition in support of the European Commission's proposal to mandate Green OA (20,000 individuals, 1000 institutions)....

(2) It is not "two [Gold] OA publishing organisations" that have led the fight for OA, but one (Green and Gold) organisation -- the same one that first coined the term OA in 2002: the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI).

(3) The need for access to "medical literature", and in "developing countries" is just one small portion of the need for OA, which concerns all forms of research, and researchers all over the world.

(4) The primary need for OA is to make research (most of it specialised and technical) freely available not only to "part-time tinkering thinkers, journalists and the public" but to the researchers worldwide for whom it was written and who can use and apply it to the benefit of the public that paid for it.

(5) To demonize non-OA publisher Reed-Elsevier as the "sponsor of the DSEI international arms fair [that] needs police, security, wire fences, and the pitbull of PR [Dezenhall] to defend it" is to sink into the very same pit-bull tactics.  Reed-Elsevier journals are Green on OA....