Re: On the Need to Take Both Roads to Open Access

From: jan velterop <>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2003 22:15:45 +0000


Option 1, publishing in open access journals, is open to virtually all
disciplines of biology and medicine. It is not the number of open
access journals that counts here, but the disciplines covered.

Top papers in biology could go to PLoS Biology or JBiol, and all other
papers could go to the 100 or so other journals BioMed Central
publishes. Of course, in reality that won't happen and more OA journals
and OA publishers are needed, not just to cover the disciplines of
biology and medicine (that's done), but to cover 'soft'
classifications, divisions and distinctions, such as schools of
thought, national or regional interests, scholarly society interests,
super-specialisms, real or perceived quality layers, prestige levels,
et cetera.

But to say that the *option* isn't currently open, at least to authors
of the majority of life science papers (some 60% of the total science
literature), is incorrect.

Best wishes,


On Monday, Oct 27, 2003, at 18:03 Europe/London, Stevan Harnad wrote:

> On Mon, 27 Oct 2003, Jan Velterop wrote:
>> Our advice to authors should be:
>> 1. Publish in open access journals when possible;
>> 2. If not possible, self-archive in OAI-compliant repositories in a
>> machine-readable format (such as XML);
>> 3. Should that not be possible either, self-archive in other formats
>> (such
>> as pdf).
>> However, in *any* case, make sure your articles are freely and
>> publicly
>> available!
> That's exactly the right advice, in exactly the right order. However:
> (1) It is an undeniable fact that option 1 is open to very few of the
> yearly 2,500,000 papers published today (because the open-access --
> "golden" -- journals are far too few: >>5%).
> (2) Option 2 will be open only
> to the papers in some of the Romeo "green" journals (those that allow
> the self-archiving of the publisher's XML) plus the still infinitesmal
> (though growing) number of authors who write their papers in XML.
> (3) So the overwhelming majority of papers today will only have option
> 1
> (which includes PDF, HTML, TeX, etc.).
> If they *do* all do that, however, my own work in this domain will be
> done and I will return to the ranks of the creators and users of this
> literature (and your message box will have fewer and shorter emails!).
> But your 3-pronged advice is right, and I hope you will be giving it
> to all
> authors!
> Cheers, Stevan
> NOTE: Complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing open
> access to the peer-reviewed research literature online is available at
> the American Scientist September Forum (98 & 99 & 00 & 01 & 02 & 03):
> Posted discussion to:
> Dual Open-Access Strategy:
> BOAI-2: Publish your article in a suitable open-access journal
> whenever one exists.
> BOAI-1: Otherwise, publish your article in a suitable toll-access
> journal and also self-archive it.
Received on Mon Oct 27 2003 - 22:15:45 GMT

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