Elsevier Gives Authors Green Light for Open Access Self-Archiving

Stevan Harnad harnad at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Sat Jul 24 07:45:51 EST 2004


    Prior Topic Thread:
    "Elsevier Gives Authors Green Light for Open Access Self-Archiving"
    http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Hypermail/Amsci/3770.html

On Sat, 24 Jul 2004 [identity deleted] wrote:

> I'm reading about your green light model of self-archiving.
> If you have a moment, where is a review of why some publishers 
> are not averse to self-archiving of *post-print* items? 
> Seems counterintuitive that any of them would allow this. 

Asking for a review of why publishers are "not averse" to the
self-archiving of the refereed postprint rather gets the wrong end of the
stick: 

It is spectators and speculators who have simply *assumed* that publishers
would be opposed. Publishers, more sensibly and practically, saw that
there was no point or possibility in opposing OA itself: that would create
far too great and obvious a conflict of interest between themselves and
their authors, given the growing empirical evidence for the dramatic
benefits of OA for research and researchers.
http://www.dlib.org/dlib/june04/harnad/06harnad.html

So publishers sensibly and benignly gave OA self-archiving the green
light, partly to demonstrate that they are not trying to oppose the
benefits of OA for research and researchers -- and partly also because
enhanced article impact also means enhanced journal impact, which sells
more journals and attracts more authors.
http://romeo.eprints.org/stats.php

Most publishers have, however, understandably been "averse" to converting
to gold (OA journal) publishing, because of the risks and uncertainties
of this still untested cost-recovery model. They prefer to wait and see;
and supporting green is a sensible and natural way to resist pressure
to convert to gold:

    "See, I support OA: If authors want it, they can go ahead self-archive
    their own individual articles. But please don't ask me to make all
    the sacrifices and assume all the risks: if you want OA so much,
    you have the green light: Your move!"

http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Temp/greenroad.html

One can speculate about what will happen *after* there is 100% OA
(and I too have speculated about the possibilities in the past
http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Tp/resolution.htm#4.2 )
but it is now clear that far too much precious time (and access, and
impact) has already been lost speculating and counter-speculating, while
doing nothing: What is needed now is self-archiving, not speculation.

Your own question is merely inviting me to do some more speculation: 84%
of journals are green. Don't look a gift-horse in the mouth and worry
about whether it might not be Trojan: You have the green light. Cross
the street!

Stevan Harnad

P.S. The difference between pale-green (preprints) and full-green
(postprints) is trivial, as the authors can always post the corrections
after the preprints. Moreover, no green light is needed to post preprints,
so even the green/gray distinction is merely a psychological matter:
http://www.eprints.org/self-faq/#copyright1





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