Re: The True Cost of the Essentials

From: Mark Doyle <doyle_at_APS.ORG>
Date: Tue, 2 Apr 2002 10:30:57 -0500


On Monday, April 1, 2002, at 08:50 PM, Stevan Harnad wrote:

> I don't think I said you advocated waiting; I drew attention to the fact
> that your words (like ALPSP's Sally Morris's words) were (perhaps
> understandably, ex officio) ambivalent.

I am not speaking ex officio. And I am not being ambivalent. It is fine
pursue self-archiving. It isn't fine to wait to develop broader solutions
that address archiving since they take a long time to develop and
they will be needed at the end point of self-archiving.

> In particular, WHO should pay attention to "true electronic archiving,"
> and how?

Everyone interested of course. Libraries, institutions, authors,
government agencies, BOAI signatories, etc. They should be working
together to create standards for marked up content, to build tools, and
build repositories that are markup aware. They should be working on new
economic models for paying for this and peer review. This shouldn't wait
on every
author self-archiving.

> I mean it is fairly clear what the advocates of immediate open access
> are advocating: That researchers should self-archive, now. And it is
> fairly clear what they are up against: A huge panoply of prima facie
> worries that have already been holding back self-archiving for far too
> long:

Fine, and neither should the false worry of slowing self-archiving hold
up discussion of these other "worries". They are worries because they
are important for scholarly communication. Some like archiving and
preservation are clearly essential and should be addressed as early
as possible if you really want to transform the whole system.

> So I have to repeat: Who should be paying attention to "true electronic
> archiving," and how? The authors of the annual 2 million articles
> in the annual 20,000 peer-reviewed journals?

Authors are only one player. Right now publishers and libraries act as
proxies for
them in building digital libraries. New proxies (or new tools) will be

> I rather think that what those authors should instead be doing is
> self-archiving.

This is a false opposition (you seem to the master of this). It is not
one or the
other. Both are important and both can develop in parallel.

> Other revolutions, "true" revolutions, are welcome, and let those who
> want to usher them in pay attention to them, but the prime focus of
> the attention of the open-access movement should be on open access,
> now.

Well, that is a tautology. My point is that open access is going to
the system (is transforming the system). But those interested in open
should also pay attention to the eventual end point now.

> Let's call a spade a spade. (Mark, please correct me if I'm wrong. I
> don't wish to misrepresent your position.) At the root of their
> (understandable) ambivalence about open access is Mark's (and APS's)
> worry that open access could compromise journals' cost-recovery before
> an alternative means of cost-recovery is in place.


> Whereas my (and
> BOAI's) worry is that open access is already long overdue. BOAI's every
> effort is dedicated to hastening open access. Do you think that
> encouraging researchers already long held back by needless worries to
> worry about "true" archiving is a way to hasten self-archiving (even if
> you are, as I do not doubt, an advocate of self-archiving)?

Again, false opposition. A long term archiving solution is needed. It
needed while open access is growing, but it will be needed as we
approach the end point. Hence each should develop in parallel.

> Note the relative emphasis, in the two interests, regarding
> cost-recovery and open-access. I don't say APS's (and other
> publishers') concerns are not understandable, but I hope you will also
> understand BOAI's and the research community's determination not to let
> such concerns continue to serve as any kind of a brake on immediate
> progress towards open access.

The APS is the research community (at least for our field). You seem to
forgetting that.

> I cannot speak for BOAI, but I am fairly confident that if APS makes
> concrete recommendations as to ways in which BOAI's efforts towards
> hastening open access can be augmented in such a way as to converge
> with APS's own efforts towards open access (without slowing BOAI's
> momentum), BOAI will prove very accommodating.

We shall see....

Anyway, I don't really have time for these long back and forths and we
have become broken records. So I'll stop here. If anyone else in the
open access world is interested in pursuing these issues with the APS,
please let me know.


Mark Doyle
Manager, Product Development
The American Physical Society
Received on Tue Apr 02 2002 - 17:33:41 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:46:29 GMT