Re: Alma Swan on Open Access in American Scientist (the journal)

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2007 18:23:01 +0100

On Thu, 5 Apr 2007, Sylvan Katz wrote:

> > Alma Swan's article "Open Access and the Progress of Science" has
> > just appeared in American Scientist (the journal) May-June Issue 2007:
> >
> I had a good laugh when I read the article about open-access and then tried
> to download the pdf file to my archive for reference ONLY to receive the
> message
> "If you are an active member of Sigma Xi, please log in now to download
> this PDF for free. If you are an American Scientist subscriber, log in now
> to proceed with your order request. Subscribers pay $5 per PDF. Public
> users pay $12 per PDF. Click here to proceed with your download as a public
> user."
> The irony was just too much!

But there is no irony at all!

Open Access means free access online.

You accessed the entire article (html version, in three pieces), freely,
online at the AmSci's own website.

In addition, Alma Swan, an advocate of self-archiving, will no
doubt self-archive the article in her Institutional Repository.

The fact that the American Scientist (a subscription-based journal, not
a Gold OA journal) does not give away its PDF for free is not an irony,
and is not a handicap, as long as AmSci does not try to prevent Alma from
self-archiving (and it does not).

Hence the version you read free on the AmSci site is in fact a *bonus*,
not an irony!

Stevan Harnad

PS You could, of course, have downloaded the HTML version you accessed!
(There are still *profound* misunderstandings about the true power and
potential of the online medium -- and of what comes with the territory,
when you make a text OA.)
Received on Thu Apr 05 2007 - 22:42:54 BST

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