Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Stevan Harnad on the emerging EC OA policy

Stevan Harnad, Feedback on the Brussels EC Meeting on Open Access, Open Access Archivangelism, March 1, 2007.  Excerpt:


(1) It would be a great strategic error if the EC allows the publishing industry lobby to draw it back into further talks and studies, instead of implementing the OA self-archiving mandate (EC A1) proposed in January 2006, and since implemented by the ERC and reinforced by EURAB.

(2) The other aim of both the publishing lobby and the Gold OA publishing lobby is to focus the EC on the issue of "funding of research on publication business models and on the scientific publication system" instead of on the issue of providing access.

(3) The research publishing industry is not the industrial dimension of research: The R&D industry is: R&D's revenues are orders of magnitude bigger than those of the publishing industry, and it shares in the current, actual loss of research access and impact that OA is meant to cure -- a cure the publishing industry lobby is (successfully) endeavouring to prevent:

(4) The substance of the recommendation of the EC petition and its 22,000+ signatories (so far), including 1000+ official organisation signatories -- universities, research institutes, scientific academies, R&D industries, etc. -- is that OA self-archiving (Green OA) should be mandated. The voices raised for OA were not about funding Gold OA, and certainly not about diverting scarce research funds from research to paying publishers for Gold OA.

(5) The research community rightly resists OA Mandates being coupled in any way with the redirection of scarce research funds, away from research and toward the payment of Gold OA publishing fees. There is no need at all to couple the EC OA mandate with the diversion of any funds from research to pay Gold OA fees. There is no reason for the mandate to make any reference to Gold OA fees at all. The mandate should be a Green OA self-archiving mandate. That is all.