Re: What Provosts Need to Mandate

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 23:24:17 +0000

On Sun, 14 Mar 2004, Deborah Freund wrote:

> True, but if your department and dean recommend tenure based on published
> work not in open access journals, then... I should deny tenure [?]
> Its not either/or in terms of publications.

You are absolutely right. But requiring Open Access *Provision* is not the same as
requiring Open Access *Publication.* You can keep publishing in exactly the same
journals you now publish in as long as you want to! You just have to
provide Open Access to those articles, by self-archiving them.

In other words, there are *two* roads to OA: (BOAI-2) publishing in OA journals and
(BOAI-1) publishing in conventional journals, but self-archiving the articles too.
It is not (exclusive) either/or in any sense: For a systematic institutional OA
provision policy, authors need give up nothing but their needless impact-loss!

> And what about if the field is a book field?
> Then do you want web based publications only?

Two points to be made here:

In the first instance, the OA movement applies only to the peer-reviewed journal
article literature, because -- without exception -- that literature is and always
has been an author give-away, written only for research impact (after it has met
the standards of peer review), and not for fee or royalty income from sales of the

Books are another matter. They might be written in hope of royalty income (though
this rarely amounts to much!).

However, it might be that the OA model also fits the more esoteric monographs,
especially the ones that would otherwise be too expensive to put out in paper, and
might not find a willing publisher. There the answer is yes: Web-based,
online-only publication may be the best solution (as long as the publisher's
imprimatur still attests to its quality standards).

It may even be that the impact-maximizing power of OA will affect the
decision threshold for whether authors elect to go this route. There
is, after all, a trade-off between having a deluxe but pricy paper edition
versus a widely accessible online edition of your book. Scientometric
tools like citebase -- which will unify the
journal and book literature by citation-linking it and measuring and
ranking impact -- will be indifferent to the nature of the text: But will
promotion committees be indifferent to the differences in impact?

The specific target of the institutional OA provision policy, however,
is journal articles. Anything beyond that is up to the author.

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 Sun Mar 14 2004 - 23:24:17 GMT

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