Directory of Open Access Journals

Stevan Harnad harnad at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Mon Jan 12 09:45:53 EST 2004


On Mon, 12 Jan 2004, Kjellberg Sara wrote:

> Hi Stevan,
> 
> >     2.1 Cost: Journals that use a funding model that charges users or
> >     their institutions are not included.
> >     http://www.doaj.org/articles/about/#criteria
> >
>sh >  I suggest changing the above to:
> >
> >     2.1 Cost: Journals that use a funding model that charges all users or
> >     their institutions are not included. However, journals that continue
> >     to charge subscribing users or their institutions to cover their
> >     costs but also provide immediate, permanent, toll-free full-text
> >     online access to everyone else are included.
>
> We are not sure what you mean. If a journal is freely available
> for users but asks for voluntary subscriptions we don't see that as
> they are "charging" users, but rather are asking for contributions
> to survive. In this way we mean that we can use the already existing
> selection criteria. Is there something we are missing here?
>
> Sincerely,
> /Sara and Jörgen

Hi Sara,

Yes, I am afraid there is something you are missing here!

The DOAJ criteria are extremely ambiguous as they stand now.
Cortex is a conventional toll-access journal. It charges subscriptions
to individuals and institutions, just as it always did, and just as
most journals do. However, in the interest of research access and impact,
it *also* makes the online version of its full-texts all available
toll-free to everyone.

Cortex is not asking for "voluntary" subscriptions any more than
any other toll-access journal is doing so! (Subscription is always
"voluntary.") What Cortex is doing is supplementing the usual toll-access
system with an open-access version for any users whose institutions
cannot afford the tolls, for the sake of research impact and access.

Perhaps part of the misunderstanding here is about the status of the paper
edition. Most journals still produce a paper edition, which they sell
for subscription (tolls). Your current definition rules them all out,
because they charge for access! I think the added clarifying passage I
suggested would resolve the unnecessary ambiguity and misunderstanding
this would otherwise elicit.

So I repeat: 

        "2.1 Cost: Journals that use a funding model that charges users
        or their institutions are not included."

is misleading and will (1) make journals that still charges subscriptions
think they are not open-access (gold) journals even though they make all their
full-text contents immediately and permanently accessible toll-free
online to everyone on the web; moreover, this will also (2) discourage
journals that are contemplating doing so from doing so, because they
think we would not count them as an open-access journals!

It is for this reason that I strongly urge you to include the clarifying
passage.

(I hope you don't mind that I reply on the list, but I think this ambiguity needs
to be dispelled in others' minds as well.)

Best wishes,

Stevan

> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Stevan Harnad [mailto:harnad at ecs.soton.ac.uk]
> > Sent: den 12 januari 2004 13:41
> > To: AMERICAN-SCIENTIST-OPEN-ACCESS-FORUM at LISTSERVER.SIGMAXI.ORG
> > Subject: Re: [AMERICAN-SCIENTIST-OPEN-ACCESS-FORUM] Directory of Open
> > Access Journals
> > 
> > 
> > Dear Sara & Lars,
> > 
> > I have a suggestion for correcting one of your criteria for 
> > being listed as
> > an Open Access Journal in DOAJ:
> > http://www.doaj.org/articles/about/#criteria
> > 
> > Currently, it reads:
> > 
> >     2.1 Cost: Journals that use a funding model that charges users or
> >     their institutions are not included.
> > 
> > I think there is a big ambiguity here: Clearly a journal whose full
> > content you can only access via individual or institutional tolls is not
> > an open-access journal. But what about a journal that continues to charge
> > access-tolls to those who are able (and willing) to pay them yet also
> > commits itself to making all of its contents immediately and permanently
> > accessible toll-free online (i.e., open access) as well? (E.g., Cortex,
> > which is, rightly, included, but does not fit the present 
> > DOAJ definition).
> > 
> > It is critically important that the open-access movement should not narrow
> > itself down to become "the movement for changing the cost-recovery model
> > for journal publishing." It is the movement for immediate, permanent,
> > toll-free, full-text online access to all journal articles. Hence every
> > journal that commits itself to providing permanent open access should
> > be acknowledged to be an open-access journal irrespective of whether it
> > still also offers a toll-access version.
> > 
> > I suggest changing the above to:
> > 
> >     2.1 Cost: Journals that use a funding model that charges all users or
> >     their institutions are not included. However, journals that continue
> >     to charge subscribing users or their institutions to cover their
> >     costs but also provide immediate, permanent, toll-free full-text
> >     online access to everyone else are included.
> > 
> > Best wishes,
> > 
> > Stevan Harnad
> > 
> > NOTE: A complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing open
> > access to the peer-reviewed research literature online (1998-2004)
> > is available at the American Scientist Open Access Forum:
> >         To join the Forum:
> >     
> > http://amsci-forum.amsci.org/archives/American-Scientist-Open-
> Access-Forum.html
>         Post discussion to:
>     american-scientist-open-access-forum at amsci.org
>         Hypermail Archive:
>     http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Hypermail/Amsci/index.html
> 
> Unified Dual Open-Access-Provision Policy:
>     BOAI-2 ("gold"): Publish your article in a suitable open-access
>             journal whenever one exists.
>             http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/boaifaq.htm#journals
>     BOAI-1 ("green"): Otherwise, publish your article in a suitable
>             toll-access journal and also self-archive it.
>             http://www.eprints.org/self-faq/
>     http://www.soros.org/openaccess/read.shtml
>     http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Temp/berlin.htm
> 




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