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Open Access Survey: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Stevan Harnad harnad at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Wed Feb 4 18:44:45 EST 2004

On Wed, 4 Feb 2004, Philip Hunter wrote:

>sh> ...one wonders how long it will take this stratum of the planetary
>sh> population (the research community), reputed, as it is, to be among its
>sh> brightest, to grasp, at last, that open-access is *already* within its
>sh> reach
> Speaking of 'strata of the planetary population' makes it sound as if you
> hail from somewhere beyond this planet, or else are floating somewhere
> far above us  :-)


No, I'm just another member of the research community (pointing out that
it's raining)...

>sh> Meanwhile, we archivangelists can hardly take heart in the fact that
>sh> we will eventually be seen to have been the bright lights that showed
>sh> the way, for it is so overwhelmingly obvious that our prophetic message
>sh> is no more profound or ingenious than the intellectual equivalent of
>sh> "It's raining: Put on your raincoats!"
> You are right. It *is* perfectly obvious within the Harnad model. 

There is no "Harnad model"! ("Hypothesis non fingo"!) It is a brute
(and banal) fact that immediate open access to one's own articles can
be provided by self-archiving them, and that this has already been
successfully done for about 15% of articles, but still needs to be done
for the remaining 85%.

> However the Harnad model isn't the only one (as I have suggested before),
> despite your reluctance to embrace the possibility that there are other
> ways of framing problems and solutions. When solutions are 'overwhelmingly
> obvious', almost no-one troubles to look at other options, and so they
> don't exist.

There is no Harnad model; and I believe I have not only looked at but
*adopted* all the solutions so far proposed in the Unified 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.

Have I left out anything? Paying the journal to self-archive for you? Go
ahead, if you feel like it! But do it! Don't sit around in the rain
getting wet!
> It is also perhaps (may I suggest) unwise to phrase your case in language
> which suggests an atmosphere of evangelical enthusiasm and self-proclaimed
> prophetic insight. We are talking about rational choices here, not
> the religious conversion of those without (in the Harnad model), their
> 'bril bona-fides'.

I think you have missed the irony of my metaphor! So evidently you don't
like my style. Then perhaps we could talk about substance: What exactly is
it that I am missing?

Or is it that we are not yet agreed that it's better not to stay out in
the rain without a raincoat (i.e., better to provide immediate open
access for one's research rather than to let it keep needlessly losing
research impact while we keep waiting)?

Stevan Harnad

P.S. You might have your occasional jeremiads too, Philip, if you had been
doing this for as long as I have!

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 amsci.org
        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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