On not conflating the give-away and non-give-away literature

Stevan Harnad harnad at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Fri Jun 18 11:45:56 EST 2004


On Fri, 18 Jun 2004, Richard Poynder wrote:

> based on my own experience and the experience of academics I have
> spoken to, some articles that have been peer-reviewed are also paid for -
> thus blurring the clear line between give-away and non-give-away papers that
> you say exists.

Richard,

My experience is that that percentage is 0.001 percent, but, whatever it
is, ask the authors whether they prefer the TA pennies or the OA impact,
and whatever they reply, take them at their word. (If they don't want
to give it away, they need not! If they do, they need not accept the
pennies!)

> and sometimes journalists write articles as give-aways. For this
> reason new, more flexible, licenses are useful, and of relevance both in the
> give-away and in the non-give-away environments.

CC licenses are welcome and useful. And give-away journalists who wish
to negotiate them can and should. The only point I was making about OA
was this: Peer reviewed article authors should not wrongly imagine that
they need to negotiate a CC license in order to make their article OA
via self-archiving! (I think we agree on this.)

> ...the articles in question
> went through a peer review process, and a cheque was paid to the author on
> publication. Maybe such instances are rare but it suggests to me that saying
> no one is paid to publish works that have been peer-reviewed is not strictly
> accurate, and thus the absolutely fundamental line between give-away and
> non-give-away texts you refer to is not quite that.

Agreed. See above.

> Speculation is not a sin. Moreover, if people did not allow themselves to
> speculate most of the peer-reviewed literature we are discussing would not
> exist!

No problem with speculation *in* a peer-reviewed article (if it passes
peer review)! The problem here is with speculating *about* OA (as we
have all been doing, idly and ineffectually for 15 years) instead of
*providing* OA (as we could have been doing instead)!

Speculation was fun for the first few years. Now it's getting old (and,
by the way, it's always the same old speculatuions!). What we need now
is OA, and it is fully within reach (as it has been all along).

Cheers, Stevan





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