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[BOAI] Re: Origin of "green" and "gold" OA

From: Shigeki Sugita <ssugita AT>
Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2013 12:37:54 +0900

Threading: [BOAI] word origin of "green" and "gold" from ssugita AT
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Dear Jean-Claude and Stevan,

Thank you for explaining.

Days ago, one of my colleagues here in Japan asked me if gold OA is the royal 
road in highest grade over all flavors of OA.
He wondered so by analogy to "Gold Medals".
I could not answered to it with clarity.

So I'd like to know furthermore, not their definitions but the etymology of the 

As for "green",

> an ecological, self-help solution

it seems satisfactory and conclusive!

Then, why is OA journals publishing named "gold", not red, blue, 
white, etc?


(2013/04/19 21:32), Stevan Harnad wrote:
> On 2013-04-18, at 11:59 PM, Shigeki Sugita <ssugita AT 
<mailto:ssugita AT>> wrote:
>> Someone please teach me about the original meanings or implications of 
"green" and "gold" at the time of the first BOAI 
recommendation. Why was self-archving named as "green" and OA 
journals as "gold"?
>> green: green light? "RoMEO-green"?
>> gold: highest grade? (like "Gold Medal")
> The original BOAI 
<>in 2002 consisted 
of two strategies, BOAI-1 and BOAI-2:
>     To achieve open access to scholarly journal literature, we recommend 
two complementary strategies.
>         *I. *Self-Archiving 
<>: First, scholars 
need the tools and assistance 
<> to deposit their 
refereed journal articles in open electronic archives, a practice commonly 
called, self-archiving*.* When these archives conform to standards created by 
the Open Archives Initiative <>, then search 
engines and other tools can treat the separate archives as one. Users then need 
not know which archives exist or where they are located in order to find and 
make use of their contents.
>         *II. *Open-access Journals <>: Second, 
scholars need the means to launch a new generation of journals committed to 
open access, and to help existing journals that elect to make the transition to 
open access. Because journal articles should be disseminated as widely as 
possible, these new journals will no longer invoke copyright to restrict access 
to and use of the material they publish. Instead they will use copyright and 
other tools to ensure permanent open access to all the articles they publish. 
Because price is a barrier to access, these new journals will not charge 
subscription or access fees, and will turn to other methods for covering their 
expenses. There are many alternative sources of funds for this purpose, 
including the foundations and governments that fund research, the universities 
and laboratories that employ researchers, endowments set up by discipline or 
institution, friends of the cause of open access, profits from the sale of
>         add-ons to the basic texts, funds freed up by the demise or 
cancellation of journals charging traditional subscription or access fees, or 
even contributions from the researchers themselves. There is no need to favor 
one of these solutions over the others for all disciplines or nations, and no 
need to stop looking for other, creative alternatives.
> These were then dubbed Green OA and Gold OA, respectively, in 2004:
> Harnad, S., Brody, T., Vallieres, F., Carr, L., Hitchcock, S., Gingras, Y, 
Oppenheim, C., Stamerjohanns, H., & Hilf, E. (2004) The Access/Impact 
Problem and the Green and Gold Roads to Open Access 
<>./ Serials Review/ 30. *Shorter 
version:* The green and the gold roads to Open Access 
<>. /Nature Web 
> *
> *
> None of this has anything to do with "highest grade" or 
"Gold Medals".
> And SHERPA Romeo's colour-code is regrettably (but incorrigibly, despite 
repeated requests across the years) at odds with the BOAI distinction, because 
it arbitrarily restricts "green" to publishers who endorse the 
self-archiving of both unrefereed preprints and refereed postprints, and 
"blue" for publishers who endorse the self-archiving of regereed 
postprints only, but not preprints: Both SHERPA/Romeo "green" and 
SHERPA/Romeo "blue" are of course BOAI Green.
> Metaphorically, one can say that Green OA is an ecological, self-help 
solution, on the part of the research community. Gold OA is a "de 
luxe" solution that also depends on the conversion of publishers to 
another cost-recovery model.
> My own view is that Globally Green OA mandates will first provide 100% OA 
and then induce publishers to convert to Gold OA (at a fair price: Fair Gold).
> Stevan Harnad
> --
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Shigeki Sugita <ssugita AT>
Chiba University Library, Japan
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