Re: UK Select Committee Inquiry into Scientific Publication

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 00:49:20 +0000

On Mon, 12 Jan 2004, Sally Morris wrote:

> I think the CILIP response ignores the fact that new licensing arrangements
> from publishers have actually significantly increased the percentage of
> available literature which library patrons can now access. I'm not saying
> it's anything like 100 percent, but it is much improved

Licensing improves the return on the tolls for the HAVES who can afford
the tolls. Open access is about the HAVE-NOTS who cannot afford the

The relevant facts are these:

(1) There are 24,000 peer-reviewed research journals worldwide, publishing
2.5 million articles per year.

(2) 23,000 of these 24,000 (>95%) are toll-access journals. (Tolls
are: subscriptions, licenses, pay-to-view.)

(3) It is true of every single toll-access article that (the institutions
of) most its potential users worldwide cannot afford access to it, no
matter how good the licensing arrangements. (Call that the worldwide

(4) The above (3) would continue to be true even if every one of the
toll-access journals were sold *at cost."

(5) Consequently it is true of every single toll-access article that
it is losing most of its potential research impact -- daily, weekly,
monthly, yearly, and cumulatively.

(6) Consequently, the research community and the progress, productivity
and impact of research require that toll-access for the HARVARDS be
supplemented with open-access for the HAVE-NOTS, regardless of the
licensing arrangements.

Stevan Harnad

NOTE: A complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing open
access to the peer-reviewed research literature online (1998-2004)
is available at the American Scientist Open Access Forum:
        To join the Forum:
        Post discussion to:
        Hypermail Archive:

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 Jan 13 2004 - 00:49:20 GMT

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