Re: The Green and Gold Roads to Open Access

From: Jan Velterop <>
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2004 10:57:38 +0000

    [MODERATOR'S NOTE: I will not reply to this message (as it
    looks to be veering towards non-substantive flaming) except
    to confirm that I recognise and value most of BMC's contributions
    to OA. -- S.H.]



I'd like to make a suggestion. Let's work on bringing about OA by whatever
means we can.

1. Let's not perpetuate or aggravate misunderstandings such as quibbling
about "institutional self-archiving is simple, easy" which is true if it
means that establishing a repository is easy and relatively cheap for an
institution, but not if it means that it's a doddle for authors to
self-archive (the way I read it), which it isn't in all the institutions
that don't have a repository yet. Instead, let's try to clarify such

2. Please do not put words in my mouth that I never uttered, such as "the
true problem is not research access/impact but journal cost-recovery models
and excess profits". I never said, nor would I ever say, that "the true
problem is not research access/impact", merely that there are other problems
as well that make solving the 'true' problem more difficult.

3. Please refrain from disparaging remarks such as "your one-sided view of
OA has tied you into knots" (which is, of course, easily retorted), or
coming "dangerously close to undermining the case for OA" (which is not true
and rather insulting coming from you, given that you are fully aware of what
we try to do to bring about OA, being the first publisher who started OA on
a sizeable scale, who instigated the political discussion in the UK
Parliament, et cetera).

4. BioMed Central does not just endorse OA publishing and self-archiving,
but far more than that: we actively pursue OA publishing in an effort to
have a solid alternative available once subscription journals fail (both in
the sense of proving an alternative model so that other publishers, such as
scholarly societies, can follow the model and avoid extinction of their
journals, and of providing alternative journals to replace those
subscription titles that will fail altogether, as some publishers are bound
to simply abandon publishing rather than convert to an OA model), and we
also actively pursue the building of a widespread self-archiving
infrastructure by offering setting up and, if desired, maintaining robust
repositories for insitutions.

5. Your constructive contributions to OA are warmly welcomed; not your
spurious calculations, endless repetitions of assertions, and slagging off,
or worse, of others whose efforts to do what they can for OA are perhaps not
always according to the Harnad orthodoxy.

6. Let's simply agree to disagree on certain issues, because they can both
be right: Self-archiving is great, in the short run, but not in my view a
sustainable method for continued OA; OA Publishing is great, but not in your
view a quick enough route to OA. Soit.

Best wishes,

Jan Velterop
Received on Mon Dec 13 2004 - 10:57:38 GMT

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