Re: The Green and Gold Roads to Open Access

From: Rick Anderson <>
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2004 14:42:43 +0000

> (1) What is the something that needs to be kept in mind?

I repeat: it is that offering a scholarly author lots of readers may
not tempt her to publish in an OA journal unless publishing in that
journal will also confer upon her professional prestige. For example,
as a tenure-seeking librarian, I would rather publish an article in,
say, Serials Review than, say, American Libraries -- even though AL has
many more readers than SR.

> (2) What do you mean by "OA providers"? The authors who
> self-archive? The authors who publish in OA journals? Or the
> publishers of OA journals?

Mainly, I'm talking about publishers of OA journals, since they're
the ones who need to figure out how they're going to attract authors.
You're right that self-archiving is a separate issue. I keep trying
to talk about OA publishing. (That would probably be clearer to all if
you didn't keep changing my subject headers for me.)

> (3) The "option of publishing in a non-OA forum"? Why not
> call a spade a spade and say "non-OA *journal*"?

Um... because not all non-OA fora are journals?

> That means 95% of authors, because only 5% of journals are OA journals
> today. That means that 95% of authors today have no option *but* to
> publish in a non-OA journal.

You need to stop and reconsider the mathematical logic of that
statement, Stevan. (In fact, every author has the option of
contributing to an OA journal, even if OA journals are a small minority
in the journal marketplace.)

> (4) At least 87% of those non-OA journals, however, are already
> green: i.e., they have given their authors the green light to make
> their articles OA by self-archiving them (not "later," but
> immediately).

Right. You're back to self-archiving. I'm talking about OA journal
publishers, and the question of how they're going to attract authors.
What started this whole conversation was your assertion that scholarly
authors just want readers.

> (5) What is the "big issue" for publishers?

There are several big issues for OA publishers, of course, but the one I
keep hoping we can discuss is the issue of how OA journals are going to
be able to get better traction in the marketplace, given that they have
to compete for authors with other venues that don't charge their authors
for the privilege and that confer greater prestige. An OA journal may
be able to offer more readers, but what most scholarly authors are
really after is impact and advancement. As you've acknowledged, Stevan,
lots of the former doesn't necessarily lead to much of the latter. For
new OA journals (especially those that depend on funding from authors)
to survive in the short term, they'll need to figure out a way quickly
to increase their ability to confer prestige on those they publish. How
can they do that -- and how can we help them do that? This seems to me
to be a pretty big issue, and one that I would have thought is worthy of
discussion here.

Rick Anderson
Dir. of Resource Acquisition
Univ. of Nevada, Reno Libraries
(775) 784-6500 x273
Received on Sun Dec 12 2004 - 14:42:43 GMT

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