Directory of Open Access Journals

Stevan Harnad harnad at
Thu Jan 15 09:52:08 EST 2004

On Thu, 15 Jan 2004, Jan Velterop wrote: 

> My suggestion: 
>       "Journals that charge anybody for access to the online
>       version of research articles, or erects other access barriers
>       such as compulsory registration, anytime, anywhere, are not
>       included. (Charging only for the parallel print edition is
>       acceptable.)"

Jan's version is definitely better than mine. (I had forgotten about
tricks like compulsory registration!) But the wording still does not
quite work. We need to exclude any access-charge and any gerrymandered
access but I believe (strongly) that we need not and should not exclude
the following:

You are a journal publisher. You commit to making the full-text
contents of all your articles accessible online immediately, permanently
and directly (i.e., no registration barrier, no gerrymandered ebrary-style
interface or download) to all web-users, no strings attached 
AND (not BUT, AND) 
you also sell another edition, either on paper or online, for tolls,
to those who can and do pay them.

I see no reason (nothing to be gained) for denying such a publisher
the golden "OA" label! Whereas I do see the loss of many potential OA
publishers who are deterred by the fact that we declare that committing
to providing permanent OA to all their contents is not enough: they must
also renounce all parallel efforts to recover costs through tolls!

I strongly urge that it be made clear that (ungerrymandered) OA
provision to all of its articles by the journal is all that is required
to make a journal an OA journal. The journal's cost-recovery model and
methods are not part of the definition of either OA or OA publishing.
Only OA provision is.

We are trying to effect a transition here, as soon as possible.
Arbitrary ideological barriers are not a practical help in this.
The endstate will be what we all desire, but let us not get needlessly
restrictive while the cupboard"s still bare!

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:
        Post discussion to: 
    american-scientist-open-access-forum at
        Hypermail Archive:

Unified Dual Open-Access-Provision Policy:
    BOAI-2 ("gold"): Publish your article in a suitable open-access
            journal whenever one exists.
    BOAI-1 ("green"): Otherwise, publish your article in a suitable
            toll-access journal and also self-archive it.

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