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[BOAI] Re: Wrong Advice On Open Access: History Repeating Itself

From: Jean-Claude =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Gu=E9don?= <jean.claude.guedon AT umontreal.ca>
Date: Mon, 09 Nov 2009 07:56:13 -0500


Threading: [BOAI] Wrong Advice On Open Access: History Repeating Itself from amsciforum AT gmail.com
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In reading Tom Wilson's response to Stevan harnad, I had the feeling of
déjà vu (as you say in English)...

I totally, fully agree with Tom Wilson. He says it perfectly. But wasn't
this said before? I have had lengthy, contentious debates with Stevan on
exactly these points, and that was a couple of years ago at least.

One point I would like to bring out (once more) and that Tom Wilson
brings out perfectly: OA journals are not limited to author-pay schemes,
and the freest of OA journals are the subsidized journals that are free
from both the  author and the reader perspective. SciELO is the perfect
example of Gold OA. I have never heard Stevan say one word about SciELO.
It simply does not seem to matter or even exist for him.

Oh well. A case of tunnel vision perhaps...

Meanwhile, let us do all we can to help Green OA and Gold OA and let us
even see how these two roads can help each other.

Simple common sense.

And thank you Tom.

Jean-Claude Guédon

Le dimanche 08 novembre 2009 à 15:00 +0000, Prof. Tom Wilson a écrit :

> Quoting Stevan Harnad <harnad AT ecs.soton.ac.uk>:
> 
> > On 1-Nov-09, at 10:21 AM, Prof. Tom Wilson wrote:
> > 
> > >> SH: Newspapers do not provide the service of peer review.
> > >
> > > TW: Irrelevant - they are all subject to the same forces and, in 
any  
> > > event, it is
> > > the scholarly community that provides peer review, not the  
> > > publisher.  Free OA
> > > journals can provide peer review just as well as the commercial  

> > > publisher,
> > > since it is without cost in either case.
> > 
> > Irrelevant to what? I would say that it is the details of peer review 
 
> > that are irrelevant, when what we are seeking is access to peer- 
> > reviewed journal articles, all annual 2.5 million of them, published  

> > in all the planet's 25,000 peer reviewed journals -- of which only  
> > about a 5th at most, and mostly not the top 5th, are OA journals.
> 
> Irrelevant to the processes of technological and social change that are 
now
> taking place
>  
> > If researchers -- as authors and users -- want OA, it borders on the  

> > absurd for them to keep waiting for journals to convert to OA, rather 
 
> > than providing it for themselves, by self-archiving their journal  
> > articles, regardless of the economic model of the journal in which  
> > they were published -- but especially for the vast majority of  
> > journals that are not OA journals. (And it is equally absurd for  
> > researchers' institutions and funders to keep dawdling in doing the  
> > obvious, which is to mandate OA self-archiving.
> 
> Why do you assume that I advocate 'waiting for journals to convert' - that 
is
> not my position.  I am arguing for diverse approaches to the problem of 
making
> available the results of research.  Self-archiving is one approach, free,
> subsidised OA journals are another. My position is not against the former, 
it
> is simply that one approach alone is not likely to be successful and, on 
top of
> that, subsidised OA journals bring the maximum social benefit.
> 
> > And posting to unrefereed content to a "social network" is 
no solution  
> > to the problem.
> 
> Who says it is? But it is an approach that may evolve within specific
> sub-disciplines, if the researchers concerned find that it is a mode of
> communication that suits them.
> 
> > Among the many dawdles that never seem to relent diverting our  
> > attention from this (and our fingertips from doing it) are irrelevant 
 
> > preoccupations with peer review reform, copyright reform, and  
> > publishing reform. And whilst  we keep fiddling, access and impact  
> > keep burning to ash...
> 
> ?
> 
> > >> SH: The purpose of the Open Access movement is not to knock 
down the
> > >> publishing industry. The purpose is to provide Open Access 
to  
> > >> refereed
> > >> research articles.
> > >
> > > TW: The only way to accomplish this in any true sense is for the 
 
> > > scholarly community
> > > to take over the publication process - as indeed was the case  
> > > originally.
> > > Commercial publishers provided a service that the technology has 
made
> > > redundant.
> > 
> > In "any true sense"? What on earth does that mean? The only 
sense in  
> > which articles are truly free online is if we make them free online.  

> > Waiting for publishers to do it in our stead has been the sure way of 
 
> > *not* accomplishing it.
> 
> I do not argue that we should wait for publishers to convert to OA - I 
argue for
> the scholarly community to take control of the scholarly communication 
process
> - one way of doing that is by self-archiving, the other way is by 
publishing,
> editing and refereeing for free OA journals. What we have been waiting for 
is
> not for publishers to do something in our stead, but, to date, waiting for
> publishers to agree to self-archiving. Pretending that we are not 
dependent
> upon the agreement of publishers seems rather unrealistic.
>  
> > >> SH: The enhanced research impact that OA will provide is a  
> > >> (virtually cost-
> > >> free) way of enhancing a university's research profile and 
funding.
> > >
> > > TW: The only way it is cost free is through the publication of 
free  
> > > OA journals -
> > > anything else has either a charge or, potentially, with 
withdrawal of
> > > permission to archive.
> > 
> > Truly astonishing: Charging author/institutions publication fees 
today  
> > is decidedly not cost-free, especially while the potential funds to  
> > pay it are still locked up in subscriptions to journals whose 
articles  
> > authors are not self-archiving to make them free!
> 
> You misunderstand - author charging is not 'free OA' - 'free OA' is free 
of
> author charging and free of subscription.
> 
> > The cost per article of an Institutional Repository and a few author  

> > keystrokes is risible.
> 
> That is to assume that all the other costs - e.g., of author charging are
> irrelevant.
> 
> > And as for the tired, 10-year-old "Poisoned Apple" canard, 
I expect  
> > that people can and keep invoking it, against all sense and evidence, 
 
> > for 10 more decades as yet another of the groundless grounds for  
> > keeping fingers in that chronically idle state of Zeno's Paralysis:
> > http://www.eprints.org/openaccess/self-faq/#32.Poisoned
> > http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/12094/
> 
> Ten years old it may be, but the problem remains - regardless of how much
> self-referencing you make.
> 
> > >> SH: Hardly makes a difference. The way to take matters in 
their own  
> > >> hands
> > >> is to deposit the refereed final drafts of all their journal 
articles
> > >> in their university's OA Repository.
> > >
> > > TW: No - the way to take matters into their own hands is to 
develop  
> > > and publish in
> > > free OA journals - archiving is with the permission of the  
> > > publishers and that
> > > can be withdrawn at any time the cost to the publisher becomes  
> > > evident.
> > 
> > Repeating the Poisoned Apple canard does not make it one epsilon more 
 
> > true. Fifteen percent of articles are being self-archived, yet 63% of 
 
> > journals have already endorsed immediate OA self-archiving --  and 
for  
> > the rest, there is the immediate option of deposit plus the 
"Almost  
> > OA" via the IR's email eprint request button (for those authors 
who  
> > wish to honor publisher embargoes).
> > http://romeo.eprints.org/stats.php
> > http://openaccess.eprints.org/index.php?/archives/274-guid.html
> > 
> > These are all just the same old, wizened Zeno's canards, being  
> > repeated over and over again, year in and year out.
> > http://www.eprints.org/openaccess/self-faq/#32-worries
> > 
> > I've lately even canonized them all as haikus --
> > http://openaccess.eprints.org/index.php?/archives/648-guid.html 
> >   --
> > upgraded from koans: http://bit.ly/1CfGir
> > 
> > But it doesn't work; they seem to be imperishable, and just keep 
being  
> > reborn, as my voice goes hoarse from making the same rebuttals and my 
 
> > fingertips decline into dystonia...
> 
> Simply because the publishers at present see it as in their own 
self-interest to
> go along with self-archiving does not mean that they will see it so
> indefinitely. Things change, and you appear to deny the possibility of 
change
> in the status quo. Curious.  Will the world remain forever the same as it 
is
> now?  
> 
> > >> SH: No need whatsoever to switch to or wait for OA journals. 
Just  
> > >> deposit
> > >> all final refereed drafts of journal articles immediately 
upon
> > >> acceptance.
> > >
> > > TW: I'm not arguing for waiting - and no one is waiting, it is  
> > > happening now - there
> > > is no reason why a dual strategy cannot be applied. The focus 
upon  
> > > repositories
> > > at the expense of adopting free OA publishing supports the 
status  
> > > quo, which,
> > > in any event cannot survive the changes taking place.
> > 
> > You may not think you are arguing for waiting, but what you have been 
 
> > doing is invoking the main classical canards that have kept people  
> > waiting (instead of depositing, and mandating) for well over a decade 
 
> > now (including Gold (OA) Fever). I'd say 4000 Gold OA journals vs. 
100  
> > Green OA mandates is a a symptom of attention deficit, not focus. The 
 
> > total amount of OA provided via spontaneous Green OA self-archiving 
is  
> > and always has been greater than the amount provided by Gold OA  
> > publishing, but that (15%) is no consolation, considering that the  
> > other 85% is and has always been within reach all along too, whereas  

> > publishers' economic models are not.
> 
> I am invoking nothing other than the will of the scholarly community to 
take the
> communication process into its own hands - I keep repeating this, but you
> appear to ignore it: one way is through self-archiving, another way is 
through
> the creation of free OA journals.  There is no reason why the two cannot 
go
> together - except in your mind which appears to take any alternative
> proposition as a personal affront.
> 
> > >> SH: The goal of the OA movement is free peer-reviewed 
research from  
> > >> access-
> > >> barriers, not to free it from peer review.
> > >
> > > TW: I'm not arguing that publication should be freed from peer  
> > > review - I'm saying
> > > that the developments in such things as social networking, etc. 
make  
> > > it
> > > possible that non-peer-review open publication is one of the  
> > > possibilties.
> > 
> > I would say that keystrokes and keystroke mandates, for the existing  

> > peer-reviewed literature, such as it is -- the one OA is trying to  
> > free -- are a far better bet (for OA) than speculations about the  
> > future of peer review.
> 
> I we do not speculate how can we be prepared for the future?  It's a 
curious
> position to take - it seems to say, 'Do not give me an argument because I 
am
> right and all other possibilities cannot exist'. In any event, there is no
> argument - I agree that self-archiving is desirable, it is one way of 
achieving
> OA - I am simply saying that it is not the only way.  And more than one
> approach can be pursued at the same time.
> 
> > >> SH: The only strategy needed for 100% OA to the OA 
movement's target
> > >> content -- the 2.5 million articles a year published in the 
planet's
> > >> 25,000 peer reviewed journals -- is author self-archiving 
and
> > >> institution/funder self-archiving mandates.
> > >
> > > TW: Impossible to achieve - arguing for a single strategy when 
that  
> > > strategy is not
> > > achievable is to bury one's head in the sand. Changes in  
> > > communication methods
> > > will continue to take place and it is likely that multiple 
methods  
> > > of OA
> > > publishing will evolve
> > 
> > Impossible to achieve? Perhaps only in the sense that overcoming  
> > Zeno's Paralysis may not be possible to achieve. But certainly not  
> > because of the validity of any of the several Zeno rationales that 
you  
> > have invoked.
> 
> Impossible to achieve because it is a Utopian ideal - and I have never yet 
met a
> Utopian ideal that was capable of being realised.
> 
> > And changes in "communication methods" are not what is at 
issue, when  
> > the target is to communicate validated peer-reviewed research rather  

> > than simply posting or blogging in a social network. (The latter is a 
 
> > supplement, not a substitute.) http://cogprints.org/1581/
> 
> That's a very odd position to take - self-archiving IS a change in 
scholarly
> communication methods, and other changes are taking place.  And if 
researchers
> find that posting to a social network is an appropriate way to communicate 
with
> their colleagues they will do so.  In fact they already do it - within 
certain
> sub-fields of science researchers already communicate with their 
colleagues in
> this way - making working papers available, receiving comments, even 
taking the
> commentators into the authorship of a paper. E-science almost depends upon 
this
> happening.  I do not argue that this is a desirable change - I simply say 
that
> to ignore the way science is changing and the way scientific communication 
is
> changing is not sensible. I am extremely unlikely to be around to see what 
the
> situation is in 25 years time, but, given the changes I have seen in the 
last
> 50, I am pretty sure that the what we have then will be very different to 
what
> we have now.
> 
> This debate seems to boil down to two opposite propositions:
> 
> Yours: self-archiving is the only way to achieve OA
> 
> Mine: self-archiving is one way of achieving OA, but given the changes 
taking
> place in the scientific communication world, not the only way and not the 
final
> way.
> 
> Tom Wilson
> 
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