Re: Open access business models

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2004 05:51:40 +0000 (GMT)

Regarding David Prosser's ARL model for the transition from
toll-access cost-recovery to the open-access cost-recovery
please note the 1998 critique of this transitional model
as well as the alternative transitional model proposed in

The points raised therein should be taken into account as otherwise we
may be committing ourselves to waiting passively for events that there
are a priori reasons to expect will not happen.

The gist of the problem is that authors paying for a journal to provide
open access to their own individual articles is exactly equivalent to
authors paying the journal to self-archive for them. Many more authors
today are providing open access to their toll-access journal articles
by self-archiving them themselves (rather than by paying the journal
to do it for them) than are publishing their articles in open access
journals. However, the numbers in all three cases are still far too small.

It does not seem a very promising way to increase those numbers to
propose that authors who do not yet have suitable open-access journals
to publish in, or do not wish to, and who are not yet self-archiving
their own toll-access journal articles, should now pay a toll-access
journal to self-archive them.

It seems more promising to set aside hypothetical models for transitions
between cost-recovery models for now and to concentrate instead
on demonstrating to authors and their institutions and their
research-funders the benefits and feasibility of open-access provision
by whichever of the available means they prefer.

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 Sat Feb 28 2004 - 05:51:40 GMT

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