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IFLA Statement on Open Access

Stevan Harnad harnad at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Thu Feb 26 18:58:18 EST 2004

On Thu, 26 Feb 2004, Susanna Mornati wrote:

> At my institution we are supporting both roads to OA, and of
> course we mostly encourage the "green" strategy. Nonetheless,
> the "gold" one seems to be more appealing. We may discuss
> the reasons for days and years, but it would not change it.

Surely the relevant consideration is not which road to OA is more
*appealing* (appealing to whom? as what? why?) but which road to OA is
faster and surer. Publishing in an OA journal is the 5% solution for
immediate OA; publishing in a TA journal and also self-archiving the
article is the 95% solution for immediate OA. If OA itself is desirable
and appealing, OA self-archiving should be appealing too, by the same

> OA publishing may take longer, but it is probably also more
> likely to CREATE a deeper cultural CHANGE in the long run.

Is the goal of the OA movement cultural change or OA?
(In the long run, we all die!)

> I have a dream: peace among those who are on the same side
> of the barricade!

An OA advocate can stop making the case for the 95% solution as
soon as it is the 95% solution that is receiving 95% of the attention
and action. While it is the 5% solution that is receiving 95% of the
attention and action, there is every reason to make the case for the
95% solution as clearly as one can. (Again, on the premise that OA itself
is desirable and appealing!)

Indeed, one should make the case for the 95% solution as clearly now as
one used to make the case for OA itself, in those earlier days when it
was unawareness of the desirability and feasibility of OA itself that was
slowing the growth of OA, rather than the current lopsided preoccupation
with the 5% solution!

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 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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