Re: May 12 CERN meeting on implementing the Berlin Declaration

From: <>
Date: Tue, 25 May 2004 14:51:28 +0100

Below are my reactions upon reading the Schoegl/Velden Roadmap
for implementing the Berlin Declaration.

Where has the enthusiasm awakened in 14/02/02 by the the Budapest Open
Access Initiative gone?

Where now is the pioneer spirit that was spread by the researchers who
met in Budapest in that December of 2001?

Where are the dual OA strategies (BOAI-1 and BOAI-2)? Why has the
self-archiving strategy disappeared ?

On Roadmaps you have several kinds of roads to reach your destination:
Why is the Berlin-2 Roadmap contemplating only the winding slopes of
BOAI-2? Why is it headed solely toward the endless tunnel of legal issues?

BOAI-1 (self-archiving) is the more direct way to OA and has not been

The Berlin-2 Roadmap does not read as if written by researchers for
researchers and for research. It looks like Open Access, but it is not
Open Access.

Is there any researcher ready to trace a direct Roadmap to Open Access in

Helene Bosc

A 22:26 24/05/04 +0100, Stevan Harnad a écrit :
> Stevan Harnad
>This is a critique (I hope a constructive one) of Robert Schloegl's and
>Theresa Velden's (S/V's) Proposed Roadmap for implementing the Berlin
>The problems with the S/V Roadmap are, I think, substantial, but readily
>(1) The (library's) problem of journal-affordability is, as so often
>happens, treated as if it were the same thing as the (researcher's)
>problem of accessibility and impact. It is not, and OA is meant to
>be the direct remedy to the researcher's access/impact problem and
>only indirectly and eventually a possible solution to the library's
>journal-affordability problem. Trying to treat OA as a direct solution
>to the affordability problem only produces a confusing mixed-agenda with
>little likelihood of any solution and hence no clear rationale for
>(2) Open Access itself is, for much the same reason, treated
>as if were the same thing as Open Access Journal Publishing. It is not.
>Open Access Journal Publishing is merely one of the two roads to Open
>Access -- and not the faster, broader, or surer of the two.
>(3) As a consequence of (1) and (2), the concrete implementation proposals
>themselves are both vague and unfocussed.
>The solution is simple:
> (A) A clear and explicit definition of Open Access (OA) (already
> provided by the BOAI as: "immediate, permanent, toll-free, full-text,
> online access to peer-reviewed journal articles")
> plus
> (B) a clear and explicit commitment to providing OA, by the two means
> available: (B1) publishing articles in OA Journals (wherever possible)
> and (B2) otherwise publishing articles in existing journals but also
> self-archiving them in OA Archives.
>That is what needs to be implemented, no more, no less. Instead, the
>Schloegl/Velden (S/V) Roadmap is missing one of the two roads to Open
>Access, B2 (the far wider, faster and surer of the two), and it fails
>to give clear or concrete directions for using either of the roads, B1
>or B2!
> > Roadmap Proposal Robert Schloegl Theresa Velden
> > Open access is the replacement for the conventional scholarly
> > communication paradigm and not its 2nd class counterpart
>There is no paradigm and no replacement! OA is something that an author
>can *provide* for his peer-reviewed journal articles. There are many
>"classes" of peer-reviewed journals: higher quality ones, with high
>standards of peer review, lower quality ones, with lower peer-review
>standards, etc. None of this has anything whatsoever to do with whether
>or not the articles are OA, or whether or not the journals are OA.
>The reason S/V describe OA as a "paradigm change" is because they are,
>as noted, equating OA with OA publication (the "golden road" to OA). This
>is both incorrect and counterproductive. Publishing in an OA journal is
>only one of the two ways to provide OA, and it is profoundly limited by
>the fact that there exist only about 1000 OA journals (5%) today, whereas
>there exist 23,000 non-OA journals (95%)! The road to implementing OA
>that is completely missing from this "Roadmap" is the one for that 95%,
>the "green road" of self-archiving.
>Yet instead of being treated as the *access* road that it really is,
>"archiving" is only discussed in the road map in connection with
>"preservation." It is odd to be worrying about the preservation of
>as-yet-nonexistent OA traffic! Odder still for the green road, which is
>merely a supplementary means of access, for those who cannot afford the
>toll-roads, and not a substitute for it. (Why focus on the preservation
>of a near-non-existent supplement, rather than on first *providing* it?
>Particularly as the primary, non-OA version is the one that requires the
>preservation, not the supplement.)
>A paradigm change may (or may not) eventually occur, in the peer-reviewed
>journal-publishing business in the online era, but the goal of the OA
>movement is not to provide an eventual paradigm change for the publishing
>community, but to provide immediate OA for the research community.
> > Roadmap Pre-conditions for Open Access
> > ascertained quality assessment due to immediate access to
> > primary source information interconnected with interpretation
> > and secondary information
>I could not follow all this terminology, but assuming that we are
>talking about the 2.5 million articles that appear in the existing
>24,000 journals, I assume peer review continues to be the quality
>assessment, OA provides universal access, and the users do the rest (read,
>use, interpret, discuss, cite) in their own subsequent research and
>articles. This usage can in turn be "assessed" through measures of the
>download and citation impact of the articles in question. It is meanwhile
>being demonstrated that the only way for usage and impact to go, given OA,
>is up: OA articles are used and cited far more than non-OA articles --
>and that's what OA is all about, is it not?
>So this first rather complicated clause of S/V's roadmap does not seem
>to say anything concrete or relevant at all.
> > superior capabilities of digital medium ( e. g. enhanced
> > multimedia representation) for scholarly communication
>With virtually all of the major journals now being hybrid -- i.e.,
>publishing both a paper and an online edition -- it seems rather late
>in the day to be preaching the virtues of the digital medium: They are
>already known, and implemented. What needs to be implemented is OA:
>i.e., immediate, permanent, toll-free, full-text online *access* to
>those digital articles!
> > Increased productivity of discovery process due to unlimited
> > and unrestricted access to all relevant information
>Yes, OA means maximized access, which means maximized impact (usage,
>productivity, progress). That is what OA is all about.
> > journal crisis as driver
>Yes, the journal affordability crisis was what first alerted us all
>to the access problem, but now it seems to be half-blinding us to the
>self-archiving solution: OA is a solution to the access problem, not the
>affordability crisis.
> > Internet/ WWW as matured enabling technology
>Yes, the online medium was what made it possible to implement open online
>access (OA). But we have already implemented the medium. We now need to
>implement the access.
>To put it another way: The *real* road is the Internet, which is already
>there. The gold and green roads to OA are "virtual" roads, one implemented
>by creating/converting OA journals and publishing our articles in them,
>the other implemented by self-archiving our non-OA journal articles to
>make them OA.
>S/V's terminology is again complicated here, and, once decoded, it
>turns out to be just stating the obvious, but without any concrete
>implementational content.
> > request for ubiquitous connectivity
>Isn't the time to worry about imperfections of Internet connectivity
>*after* we have provided OA on what there is of it, rather than
>before? (It is not the Net we are trying to implement, but OA!)
> > Evolution of Berlin Process
> >
> > Group of drivers: CERN, CNRS, MPG, + x.
>So far, these distinguished institutions have signed their names to the
>*principle* of OA, which is extremely welcome. But what is needed now is
>an implementation of those principles.
>To put it another way, one can declare that an Autobahn use is a good
>thing, but if one wants to be a *driver* (rather than a pedestrian
>cheering the principle), one needs to build and use a car!
> > representative organization for each country.
>Representative of what? And what can and should *countries* do? It is
>researchers who write the articles for which researchers seek OA. It is
>their institutions that employ the researchers. And it is national (and
>non-national) funding agencies that fund their research.
>Those are the players. Now what exactly is a *country* to do to
>implement OA?
> > Implementation of Berlin Declaration
>But what does it *mean* to implement the Berlin Declaration? What is one
>to *do*, and *how*? Was that not to be the outcome of the CERN meeting? At
>least one very concrete and specific implementation proposal -- indeed,
>a dual-roadmap -- was submitted:
>but one sees no sign of it in the vague generalities that actually
>emerged from the CERN implementation meeting. Nor are they in the S/V
> > building of OA alliance (technical, political)
>An alliance between whom and whom, to do what? Until concrete
>implementational specifics are stated, this is still just a rally behind
>a vague principle!
> > identify milestones and deliverables
>This is The language of grant applications, before we have even
>stated what needs to be done, and how! How about this for a target:
> 100% OA provision for all institutional peer-reviewed
> article output by 2007?
>And this for milestones:
> 25% OA by 2005, 50% by 2006 and 100% by 2007?
>Deliverables? Well, apart from the above (which sound like both
>milestones and deliverables), it might help to be more
>specific about the road-map:
>For all institutional researchers publishing in peer-reviewed
>journals, the milestones above can be reached in the following way:
> (1) For this particular article, does there exist a suitable
> OA journal (i.e., it is in the right area of specialization, has
> sufficiently high quality standards, etc.)? If so, submit the article
> there, and if accepted there, count that as one step toward the 2005
> institutional milestone of 25%.
>This strategy should be successful for about 5% of articles, although
>this will vary with the specialty as the 5% OA journals are not uniformly
>distributed across disciplines. For covering OA journal publication fees,
>5% contingency funds could also be provided or found.
> (2) For the 95% of articles for which there is no suitable OA journal,
> or where the article is not accepted by the OA journal to which it is
> submitted, or where there are no funds available to pay the OA journal
> publication fee, submit the article to one of the 83% of journals
> that is "green" -- i.e., has officially given its green light to
> author self-archiving. Count each accepted, published, self-archived
> article as one step toward the 2005 institutional milestone of 25% OA.
> (3) For articles submitted to the 17% of "gray" journals that have
> not yet given their official green light to self-archiving, either
> ask to self-archive each article on an individual basis (and if
> you get the green light, go ahead), or self-archive the preprint
> prior to submission and link a corrections file after peer-review.
> The 25% and 50% milestones will easily be met via the existing gold
> and green journals, and meanwhile the percentage of green journals
> will continue to increase. (Gold too, but far more slowly.)
>The above are concrete means/ends, milestones and deliverables. They
>require the implementation of a specific, concrete institutional
>OA-provision policy such as:
> > standards for OA platform interoperability and long-term
> > archiving.
>These interoperability standards, like the Internet and Web itself, are
>already in place and growing healthily. Why does an OA implementation
>proposal have to break down open doors? What is urgently needed is not
>more connectivity and more interoperability but more OA content
>And what is the point about long-term archiving? The self-archived OA
>articles from 1991 are still online and OA today, in 2004. What is not
>there is all those articles for which OA has not been provided. Nor is
>their problem that they have not been preserved: Their non-OA incarnations
>were preserved (on paper and online). Digital preservation is not the
>problem of OA. Access provision is.
> > Include sciences as well as humanities.
>All disciplines with a peer reviewed journal article literature should
>provide OA to it.
> > Education and Awareness
> > Communication internally Common OA advertisement material
> > by Berlin signatories addressed to coworkers and leaders of
> > organisation.
>Yes, but what should this communication and advertisement say? Until the
>Berlin Declaration signatories commit themselves to concrete
>implementation measures such as the above, they are merely propagating a
>vague principle (which, by default, amounts to: Wait for more OA
>journals to be created or converted, but until then just communicate and
> > Communication to political players
>Communication of *what*? Communication is fine, once we have settled on
>what we want implemented, but otherwise it is empty.
> > Signatories lobby politicians to set favorable boundary conditions
> > (financial, legal and carrier issues).
>What does this mean? Here is something it *could* mean:
> Already in place -- on the part of both research
> institutions/employers and research funders -- is the requirement
> that the research one is funded to do must be published (publish
> or perish). The only additional "boundary condition" needed is to
> extend the boundary of this publishing mandate to: "Publish your
> articles *and* also provide OA to your articles." This does *not*
> mean only, or even primarily: "Publish them in an OA journal," for
> that requirement could only be met for about 5% of articles today. It
> also means publish them in any suitable journal, but also self-archive
> them.
>Now OA journal publishing can and should be encouraged and facilitated
>by providing the funds to cover any OA journal publication costs, as
>well as by encouraging the founding and conversion of OA journals. But
>that is a slow and partial boundary condition. The other concrete
>steps to be encouraged and facilitated are the creation and filling of
>institutional OA Eprint Archives for self-archiving institutional article
>output. The milestones and deliverables for the creation and filling of
>institutional OA Archives can be digitally monitored, institutionally as
>well as globally, as follows:
>Institutional OA provision can also be encouraged and facilitated
>by implementing institutional usage/citation monitors that
>automatically compare OA and non-OA research impact (to reward OA
>providers and entice non-providers):
> > Signatories encourage learned societies to support open access
> > peer reviewing converting proprietary journals into open access
>It is always good to encourage non-OA journals to convert to OA, but
>that is a hopelessly and needlessly slow road! Far more important is to
>also encourage institutional authors to provide OA!
> > Discredit impact factor as appropriate measure in career
> > evaluation and tenure promotion
>This is an arbitrary and *extremely counterproductive* recommendation
>and it is hard to see how it made its way into an OA implementation
>proposal! The following are facts (references cited at end of this
> (1) Citation counts are correlated with both journal
> quality and journal rejection rates, hence they are valid
> performance indicators for career evaluation and assessment.
> (2) Citation frequency is also highly correlated with research
> assessment outcomes, and not just when it is consciously counted:
> even when other correlates of quality are used.
> (3) Most important, the single most important rationale for OA itself
> is that it maximizes the usage and impact of research by maximizing
> access to it.
>It is a logical fact that access is a necessary condition for usage
>and impact. It would be a *great* shame if the single most important
>reason for providing OA were to be obscured or undermined by a completely
>orthogonal and speculative crusade against the measurement and usage of
>scientometric performance indicators!
>I strongly urge dropping this subjective and untested animus against
>objective impact measures in the Open Access context, where it can
>only cause needless harm, and where it does not belong. This is about
>implementation of OA, not about evaluation ideology.
>My guess is that the only reason this erroneous non-sequitur was obtruded
>into the S/V Roadmap at all was because of the conflation of OA
>with OA journals, mentioned earlier, and hence the perceived need to
>enhance the value of OA journals by downplaying their citation impact,
>for fear that it would be lower than non-OA journals.
>Well there is no need to magnify OA journals by diminishing the predictive
>power of impact measurement, as it has now been reported by ISI that OA
>journal impact factors are no lower (or higher) than those of comparable
>non-OA journals. Hence there is no longer any need for special pleading
>on behalf of OA journals.
>(In any case, the right comparison to make is not between OA and non-OA
>journals, which can never be equated, and are like comparing apples and
>oranges: the right comparison is between OA and non-OA articles in the
>*same* journal and same year and issue. And there the impact of the OA
>articles is substantially higher than paired non-OA articles.)
> > Legal Issues
> > adoption of creative commons license model by signatory
> > organizations.
>Why?? There is no need for the CC License model in order to provide OA
>to an author's articles published in non-OA journals! 83% of them have
>already given their authors the green light to self-archive. And many of
>the remaining 17% will do so if asked. To insist instead on a CC license
>even if the journal is unwilling is to place a constraint on authors,
>and on the prospect of OA provision, that is neither necessary nor
>helpful. It puts authors into conflict with their journals where there
>need be no conflict. (And, as usual, it does so because of a blinkered
>focus on the golden road of OA journal publishing -- where the CC license
>is fine, and unproblematic, but only a solution for that 5% of articles
>-- ignoring the green road which is able to provide immediate OA for
>the remaining 95% without having to enter into needless conflict with
>the author's journal.)
> > recommendation to co-workers.
>Recommend what? To maximize access and impact by self-archiving, or to
>enter into needless copyright conflict with their journals?
> > seek agreement with commercial publishers to accept use of
> > creative commons license.
>Why? Why not just take publishers up on the green light they have already
>given and self-archive, at least for the 83% of journals that are
>already green?
> > allow for temporary exclusive license to a publisher as transitory
> > solution.
>Why again? This is not OA: This is embargoed access, precisely at the
>fertile growth region of research when access is needed most! OA is
>"immediate, permanent, toll-free, full-text online access."
> > Sustainable, technical infrastructure
>This is already well on the way, hence irrelevant. What is needed is OA!
> > set up technical infrastructure at organizational level.
>What is this? The only "infrastructure" needed is the web, and
>institutional archives. Both are there already. Archives only need an
>(implemented) policy of filling!
> > ensure compliance to standards for interoperability (like OAI-
> > MPH).
>This is breaking down long-open doors, again. The free OAI-compliant
>software is available, the archives are up, they merely need an
>implemented policy to *fill* them.
> > take care for persistence and long-term availability (e. g.
> > introduction of globally unique, persistent ID for documents and
> > data sets, cooperation with national archiving institutions).
> > enforce efforts of communities to establish (selection) standards
> > (formats, description schemes) that facilitate long-term
> > archiving.
>Why all this focus on the preservation of the content of near-empty
>OA archives, when the real problem is *filling* those archives?
> > Facilitating retrieval of open access material
>Not a problem. *Provision* of OA material is the problem.
> > unique digital object identifier.
>Not the problem!
> > mark-up language.
>Not the problem!
> > standard (community specific) metadata.
>Not the problem!
> > develop new, appropriate genre types.
> > develop new, appropriate search and retrieval tools/concepts.
>Not the problem!
> > Address business models for open access
>Business models? OA journals may need business models, but institutional
>OA archives do not -- or no more than institutional websites require
>a "business model."
>What is needed is the concrete implementation of institutional OA
>provision policy.
> > agree on definition of open access content.
>The definition is there already: immediate, permanent, toll-free, online,
>full-text access to all peer-reviewed journal articles, by anyone who
>has access to the web. And the access must be immediate, otherwise it is
>not OA. (OA also needs to be permanent, but the continuing accessibility
>of articles in OAI archives that were made OA in 1991 confirms that this
>too is a non-problem: Non-existent -- because non-archived -- articles
>are the problem!)
> > acknowledge that creation and dissemination of research results
> > are equally indispensable elements of scholarly communication.
>Acknowledged. But these are merely principles, and what is needed for
>implementation is concrete implementation details, not more principles.
> > acknowledge on an individual level that open access costs as
> > research costs (research grants).
>This is again focussed on the golden road of OA journal publishing, the 5%
>road. What is also needed is a policy for the other 95%, and there it is
>not about providing for article publishing costs, but about providing
>OA for published articles.
> > signatories share on an institutional level a mutually distributed
> > load of community-driven communication services.
>This is hopelessly vague: Share what load? To do what? The web is
>there. All researchers already have access. Establishing OA archives
>is trivial. Implementing a policy of filling the archives is not.
> > signatories engage in bridging the digital divide.
>Banging down open doors again. All countries, rich and poor, benefit
>from OA provision, both as users and as providers.
> > Institutional Immediate Measures
> > enforce open-access publishing policy on all levels of
> > organization.
>What does this mean? Publishing in OA journals? That's the 5% solution.
>What about the other 95%?
> > install steering committee at top executive level.
>Committee to steer what, when no concrete implementation proposal has
>been made, other than publishing in OA journals where available?
> > create organizational competence center.
>For what? Here is an idea: Proxy self-archiving:
>"Let us Archive it for you!"
>And there are many other concrete ways to facilitate self-archiving:
> > assign open access policy coordinator.
>Good idea (once there is indeed an OA policy!):
> > ensure long-term funding and guarantee long-term operation.
>Of what?
> > Future Actions
> > Berlin signatories report on implementation of roadmap in a
> > series of meetings.
>So far, the S/V Roadmap contains one (golden) road: OA journal
>publishing. And one recommendation: Fund it.
>That covers 5% of the traffic. Now I suggest adding the (green) road
>for the other 95%.
> > The drivers group organises meetings every 6 months. Alliances
> > for targeting specific tasks of roadmap are recommended.
>First organize a concrete implementation plan, then work on getting it
>adopted. The right plan is simple, but it needs to be explicitly stated,
>as above, not left as vague inferences one might possibly make from
>equally vague principles.
>Stevan Harnad
> Lee KP, Schotland M, Bacchetti P, Bero LA (2002) Association of
> journal quality indicators with methodological quality of clinical
> 287 (21): 2805-2808
> "High citation rates... and low manuscript acceptance rates...
> appear to be predictive of higher methodological quality scores
> for journal articles"
> Ray J, Berkwits M, Davidoff F (2000) The fate of manuscripts rejected
> by a general medical journal. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF MEDICINE 109
> (2): 131-135.
> "The majority of the manuscripts that were rejected... were
> eventually published... in specialty journals with lower impact
> factor..."
> Donohue JM, Fox JB (2000) A multi-method evaluation of journals in the
> decision and management sciences by US academics. OMEGA-INTERNATIONAL
> "perceived quality ratings of the journals are positively
> correlated with citation impact factors... and negatively
> correlated with acceptance rate."
> Yamazaki S (1995) Refereeing System of 29 Life-Science Journals
> Preferred by Japanese Scientists SCIENTOMETRICS 33 (1): 123-129
> "There was a high correlation between the rejection rate and
> the impact factor"
>Smith, Andrew, & Eysenck, Michael (2002) "The correlation
>between RAE ratings and citation counts in psychology," June 2002
>Oppenheim, Charles (1998) The correlation between
>citation counts and the 1992 research assessment exercise
>ratings for British research in genetics, anatomy
>and archaeology, Journal of Documentation, 53:477-87.
>Holmes, Alison & Oppenheim, Charles (2001) Use of citation analysis
>to predict the outcome of the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise for
>Unit of Assessment (UoA) 61: Library and Information Management.

Helene Bosc
Unite Physiologie de la Reproduction
et des Comportements
UMR 6175
INRA-CNRS-Universite de Tours-Haras Nationaux
37380 Nouzilly
TEL : 02 47 42 78 00
FAX : 02 47 42 77 43
Received on Tue May 25 2004 - 14:51:28 BST

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