Re: [SI] Open Access - the Next Generation ?

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 12:23:51 +0100 (BST)

On Mon, 18 Apr 2005, Dr. Francis MUGUET wrote:
> A/ New approaches :
> 1/ Use of P2P technology.
> The P2P technology itself is perfectly legal.

Email is perfectly legal too and does exactly the same thing: P2P
(peer-to-peer) is unnecessary. An author's own citation metadata
(author, title, journalname, date, etc.) can always be openly archived
on the web. For the 8% of journals that have not yet given their green
light to OA self-archiving, the full-text can be self-archived for
institution-internal access only (no point in encrypting them) and emailed
to whoever requests it (based on the web-visible metadata).

> 2/ Second Generation (2G) Open Access journals.
> allow authors to describe again their research projects with not exactly the same
> words and pictures.

The preprint-plus-corrections strategy already covers this. There
is no need for 2G OA journals.

> 1/ proposal :
> Some publishers policies prevent the disclosure of Preprints
> [so use] encrypted preprints

There is no need to do this. Nondisclosure policies (the
"Ingelfinger Rule) are (1) not copyright or legal matters, just
journal policies, (2) they have almost vanished, (3) they were never
enforceable. Encryption is unnecessary.

> 2/ proposal :
> logical extension of an overlay journal... that would mirror the
> table of contents

This is covered by self-archiving metadata in each author's own
institutional archive.

> C/ New ways to improve existing mechanisms.
> 1/ Open Access Publishing :
> less than 1600 Open Access journals
> progress slow...
> form an International Society for Open Access Publishers (ISOAP)
> as joint clearing house and marketing force

All encouragement is welcome, but the reason the other 22,400 journals
are slow to convert to OA is not that they lack a society but because
giving away their own contents online is financially risky for them and
the OA cost-recovery model is both risky and untested. Hence it is for
authors and their institutions to give away their own articles if they
wish to provide OA today, not to wait for their publishers to do it
for them.

> 2/ Open Archives :
> Institutional (IU) archives are... few... and... [near] empty.

True, but institutional archives are growing, and growing faster than
OA journals (being incomparably cheaper to create, and risk-free):.

And some of them are actually filling, and hence now nearing 100% of their
current annual research output. The success of those few successful archives
comes from their having adopted an institutional self-archiving policy:

Hence it is, first and foremost, the adoption of institutional self-archiving
policies that the worldwide OA movement should be promoting and supporting:

> most funding agencies... can be covered by the name of "Institution"

Correct, but (1) funding-agency archives are central (cross-institutional)
archives, (2) not all (in some fields not even most) research is
agency-funded, (3) virtually all researchers are institutionally employed,
(4) universities have a long tradition of hosting unaffiliated researchers
(and can easily host unaffiliated authors' papers), (5) all institutions
can mandate the self-archiving of their own research output, and (6) the
optimal policy for funding agencies is also to mandate that the research
they fund should be self-archived in the author's own institutional
archive (from which it can then be harvested by the agency, if the
agency wishes).

There also already exist plenty of central archives for unaffiliated
researchers, the latest being the Internet Archive itself:

    "Brewster Kahle's Internet Archive as OA Back-Up"

What OA needs today is employer/funder mandatory self-archiving policies.

> there are far fewer funding agencies than Unversities all over the world,
> and by definition they do have financial means

(1) There are fewer funding agencies than universities, but they do not
cover all or most published research.

(2) The costs of institutional self-archiving are tiny, easily affordable
by most universities, and repaid amply by the benefits of self-archiving
(enhanced research impact).

(3) As noted, there are plenty of back-up archives with reserve capacity for both
unaffiliated authors and authors from institutions that cannot afford their own

What is missing is not archives, or finances for archives, but self-archiving

> D/ New financial mechanisms.
> The traditional publishers are extorting from the financially stressed
> scientific communities enormous amount of money...
> Western institutions shall donate 10% of their estimated savings
> due to OA adoption to scientific institutions, journals and archives,
> as well as Libraries in the third world.

It seems premature to allocate the windfall savings from OA when the OA has not
yet happened. The adoption of institutional self-archiving policies can and will
bring 100% OA. What happens after that is merely a matter of speculation:

Stevan Harnad

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Received on Mon Apr 18 2005 - 12:23:51 BST

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