Re: The Green and Gold Roads to Open Access

From: Heather Morrison <>
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2004 02:44:14 +0000

On 14-Dec-04, at 5:13 PM, Rick Anderson wrote:

> This is the part I don't get. If we're fooling ourselves to think that
> there's anything particularly attractive to authors about publishing in
> a Gold journal, then why is it a given that we should encourage and
> support the development of Gold journals? If Green is good enough for
> authors, readers and publishers, then what's the point of fostering
> Gold?

There are situations where considering open access publishing (the Gold
road) simply makes the most sense. For example, when there is no
profit involved and a journal is subsidized (which is not unusual),
then the difference between OA and non-OA publishing is that OA costs
less (no authentication system and support for same, no subscription
tracking if electronic only). Here, there are clearcut economic as
well as impact advantages.

When new journals are being started, particularly when the impetus
comes from academia rather than the publishing industry, it just makes
sense to consider OA publishing as the way of the future.

For well-established journals and publishers, green policies, making as
much material openly accessible, and well-thought-out OA experiments do
make sense.

In other words, the best road to open access depends on your starting
point. If you are starting a new electronic-only journal in a third
world country and your concerns are impact both for your journal and
your authors, and you have no expectation of profit, open access
publishing just makes sens. If you are a well-established publisher, a
preference for policies allowing for self-archiving and experimenting
with new OA business models is perfectly understandable. In this
context, it seems that almost everyone in academia and the publishing
community are more or less moving towards open access, albeit in
slightly different ways.


Heather G. Morrison
Project Coordinator
BC Electronic Library Network
Phone: 604-268-7001
Fax: 604-291-3023
Received on Wed Dec 15 2004 - 02:44:14 GMT

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