Petitions, Boycotts, and Liberating the Refereed Literature Online

Stevan Harnad harnad at
Thu Oct 30 20:18:35 EST 2003

Mike Brown wrote:

> the statement from the University of California Senate was actually
> about pricing structures for online access rather than open access

It will turn out to be one of the (many!) unfortunate misunderstandings
that delayed the long-overdue era of open access that the crusade for lower
access tolls got mixed up with the crusade for toll-free access. One is a
serials librarians' battle (on behalf of researchers) and the other is a
researchers' battle. The serials crisis alerted us to the possibility and
the necessaty of toll-free access, but there the relationship ends. What
is best for lowering tolls is not necessarily what is best for toll-free
access. (And the posting in question was to an open-access forum, not
a serials pricing forum!)

> If you want people to start self-archiving then, first you need to make
> them aware of what self-archiving is and the benefits. 

Been doing that, 'lo these 10 years at least...

> Second you have to have some software with a decent interface
> that joe researcher would be able to use.

Been there, done that. Joe Researcher at at least 109 institutions,
over half the archives in OAIster, uses the software we created:

None of that is enough. What is needed is graphic empirical evidence of
the causal connection between access and impact:

And then, on that basis, an open-access policy mandated by research
institutions and research funders, along the lines of the recent Berlin

Stevan Harnad

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