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Equity for Open-Access Journal Publishing

  • Stuart M. Shieber mail

    shieber@seas.harvard.edu

    Affiliation: School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America

    Stuart M. Shieber is the Director of the Office for Scholarly Communication at Harvard University.

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  • Published: August 04, 2009
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000165
  • Featured in PLOS Collections

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Tuesday, September 15. 2009 Pre-Emptive Open Access Publishing "Compacts": Don't Say I Didn't Warn You

Posted by Harnad on 15 Sep 2009 at 11:46 GMT

I've said this so often now, unheeded, that all I can do is echo it yet again:

Regardless of the size of the asking price ("reasonable" or unreasonable), it is an enormous strategic mistake for a university or research funder to commit to pre-emptive payment of Open Access Journal Publishing fees (Gold OA) until and unless the university or funder has first mandated Green OA self-archiving for all of its own published journal article output (regardless of whether published in OA or non-OA journals).

There are so far five signatories to the "Compact for Open-Access Equity." Two of them have mandated Green OA (Harvard and MIT) and three have not (Cornell, Dartmouth, Berkeley). Many non-mandating universities have also been committing to the the pre-emptive SCOAP3 consortium.

If Harvard's and MIT's example is followed, and Green OA mandates grow globally ahead of Gold OA commitments, then there's no harm done.

But if it is instead pre-emptive commitments to fund Gold OA that grow, at the expense of mandates to provide Green OA, then the worldwide research community will yet again have shot itself in the foot insofar as universal OA -- so long within its reach, yet still not grasped -- is concerned.


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Hyperlinked version of this posting:
http://openaccess.eprints...

No competing interests declared.