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Reed Elsevier initiated with "underperform"

Stevan Harnad harnad at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Tue Oct 14 15:15:01 EST 2003

On Tue, 14 Oct 2003, Richard Poynder wrote:

> "BNP Paribas expresses its concern regarding the company's current
> subscription based access, as compared to the newer and more successful
> article-fee based open access system."
> http://www.newratings.com/new2/beta/article.asp?aid=341832

Reports of the success of the open-access system over the toll-access
system are -- to borrow a phrase, now become a cliche, from Mark Twain
-- greatly exaggerated...


Now can we get back to the hard work of making the possibility of
open-access -- still definitely just a possibility -- into the reality
that is within reach? For that, we have to forget about wishing Elsevier
ill -- it's unkind, and, worse, irrelevant, indeed distracting and
misleading, channeling our energies and hopes in altogether the wrong

The toll-access system is alive and well. It is the interests of
research and researchers that are ailing, because of all the research
impact they keep losing daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, all needlessly,
because of access-denial.


The fault is not with Elsevier (a Romeo "blue" -- self-archiving-friendly
-- publisher [I misreported it as "green" in a recent posting, but it
makes absolutely no difference]), nor with the fact that toll-access
publishing is far from dead or dying.


Ceterum censio:


The fault is with the research community itself, us, for being so slow
to grasp what is undeniably within our reach: at the very, *very* least,
55% percent of our research could already be made open-access overnight
by even the most pedantic among us, by self-archiving it, tonight:


So do we instead prefer to ponder the pronouncements of the
stock-market pundits for yet another decade?

Quo usque tandem... patientia nostra abutere...?


Cicero cum Cato-the-Elder

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