Re: Free Access vs. Open Access

From: Michael Eisen <mbeisen_at_LBL.GOV>
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 18:06:55 -0800


I couldn't disagree more. You are redefining open access to be no more than
free access. For many of us involved in open access the ability to reuse and
republish text is a critical part of making optimal use of the scientific
literature. PLoS chose the creative commons license in order to encourage
creative reuse of the content we publish.

You may not see the value in allowing redistribution, derivative works and
other forms of reuse, but you have to recognize that others do and that this
is an central part of the definition of open access. And you shouldn't be
encouraging this kind of confusion of open access and free access. If all
you care about is free access, then lobby for that, but don't dilute the
meaning of open access.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Stevan Harnad" <>
Sent: Monday, December 29, 2003 5:23 PM
Subject: Re: Free Access vs. Open Access

> Perhaps all Sally means here is that she thinks it would be more useful
> if open-access ("gold") journals did not use the creative-commons
> license, and instead, apart from providing immediate, permanent,
> toll-free, non-gerrymandered, online access to the full-text, the journal
> required *exclusive* copyright transfer for its sale in derivative works.
> I'd say: No harm in that; go ahead! There was never any need for the
> creative-commons license here anyway! Open-access provision was all that
> needed -- whether via the golden road or the green one.
> (But again, what market is there likely to be for derivative works when
> full-text is forever freely available online?)
> Stevan Harnad
> > On Mon, 29 Dec 2003, Sally Morris wrote:
> >
> >sm> I think it is perfectly reasonable (and in no way a denial of Open
> >sm> for a publisher to wish to retain the right to sell derivative copies
of a
> >sm> work, even if in its original form it is made freely available.
> >
> > This is indeed perfectly reasonable and correct, and in no way a denial
> > of Open Access.
> >
> > (But if the original form of a work is freely available online, it is
> > not clear what market there would be for derivative copies...)
> >
> >sm> After all, they've got to recover their costs somehow - and if they
> >sm> recover more from other sources, they will not need to ask authors to
> >sm> pay so much.
> >
> > This sentence is far less clear than the prior one, and appears to be
> > the case where open-access to the work is being provided by
> > an article that has been published in a toll-access ("green") journal
> > the case where open-access to the woork is being provided by publishing
> > it in an open-access ("gold") journal.
> >
> > If the sentence referred to self-archiving green journal articles,
> > then the authors are not paying anything (the green journals are still
> > charging access tolls).
> >
> > If the sentence was referring to publishing articles in gold
> > journals, then author/institution publication fees are paying the costs.
> >
> > There might conceivably be additional revenue to be made from
> > selling derivative works, which could then lower the gold journal's
> > author/institution fees, but (as noted) who would want to pay for
> > derivative works if the full-text was already available free for all
> > online?
> >
> > Many gold journals are using or planning to use the "creative commons"
> > license, which (as I understand it) allows anyone to publish derivative
> > works from the open-access work. That would of course include its gold
> > too. So no further right needs to be retained by the gold publisher in
> > case.
> >
> > Stevan Harnad
> >
> > NOTE: A complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing open
> > access to the peer-reviewed research literature online is available at
> > the American Scientist Open Access Forum (98 & 99 & 00 & 01 & 02 & 03):
> >
> >
> > Post discussion to:
> >
> > Unified Dual Open-Access-Provision Policy:
> > BOAI-2 ("gold"): Publish your article in a suitable open-access
> > journal whenever one exists.
> >
> > BOAI-1 ("green"): Otherwise, publish your article in a suitable
> > toll-access journal and also self-archive it.
> >
> >
> >
> >
Received on Tue Dec 30 2003 - 02:06:55 GMT

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