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On Planning vs. Speculation Concerning Open Access

Stevan Harnad harnad at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Tue Oct 5 08:02:05 EST 2004

On Mon, 4 Oct 2004, David Goodman wrote:

> Where do you, personally, draw the line between planning and speculation?

The short answer is that planning is based on the extrapolation of
current trends, based on the evidence and reasoning, and speculation is
the positing of jumps, discontinuities or other contingencies for which
there is little or no current evidence.

Speculation can of course be right or wrong. And I am quite as capable
of speculating and counterspeculating as anyone else (and have done
more than my share of it!). But what is now abundantly clear from the
overlong (at least 10-year) history of Open Access (OA), is that it has
been very long on speculation and very short on OA. Extrapolating that,
one comes to the rational conclusion that it might now be a better idea
to speculate less and provide OA more.

(Besides, every OA speculation and counterspeculation has by now
been heard, many, many times over! It is boring, and gets research
access/impact absolutely nowhere, no matter how much fun it may be
[for the speculator and counterspeculator] to keep doing.)

Stevan Harnad

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