On 2013-04-21, at 11:37 PM, Shigeki Sugita <ssugita@chiba-u.jp> wrote:

As for "green",
"an ecological, self-help solution"
seems satisfactory and conclusive!
[But] why is OA journals publishing named "gold", not red, blue, white, etc??

In retrospect, it was perhaps a mistake to dub OA journal publishing the 
"golden road" to OA, with its unintended connotations of prmacy or superiority, 
instead of, say, the "yellow road," in parity with the "green road" of self-archiving. 

That might have avoided the many lost years of premature gold fever, gold rush and fool's gold.

All I can say is that in my own mind it was (and is) completely obvious that
global green OA through mandated self-archiving must come first, before the transition
to gold OA pubishing. It is green self-archiving that will not only prepare the way and
hasten the transition, but it will also force peer-reviewed journal publishing to 
downsize to its sole remaining essential function in the OA age, namely, peer review.

By first making OA itself universal, along with its benefits, while subscriptions are
still paying all publication costs in full, green OA self-archiving in repositories, once it is at
or near 100% globally,  makes it possible for institutions to cancel journal subscriptions.

This in turn puts pressure -- and may be the only force that can put pressure --
on journal publishers to cut obsolete costs by unbundling and phasing out the products 
and services that global green OA makes unnecessary: the print edition, the publisher's
proprietary online edition, access-provision and archiving. 

All of that is replaced by the global network of mandated OA repositories, leaving only each 
journal's service of peer review to be provided and paid for, at a fair, sustainable price,
out of the institutional journal subscription cancelation savings. 

(And even the much lower price of the peer review service alone can and will be still further
reduced by making it a (low) "no-fault" charge for the refereeing itself, irrespective of outcome, 
thereby unbundling the cost of rejected articles from the cost of accepted articles.)

Instead, we are today still flirting with paying publishers pre-emptively for gold at today's
gold OA asking price without first providing green OA, which means double-paying for 
uncancellable institutional subscriptions at the same time as paying  for gold OA at an 
inflated price (not to mention double-dipping by hybrid subscription/gold
publishers), thereby allowing publishers to set the price and the timetable for gold OA.

I do not believe, however, that the absurd pass we have come to today -- with the UK,
the former global leader in mandating green OA, now preferentially mandating
gold OA, with all its perverse consequences of double-payment, depriving author's of
the freedom to choose their journals, imposing unwanted licenses on them, and incentivizing 
publishers to offer hybrid gold and adopt and extend green OA embargoes in order to force 
authors to choose and pay for this fool's gold -- was simply the result of the connotations of 
a color term. 

There are at least 38 other reasons why authors have been so slow to self-archive,
and they even have a name: "Zeno's Paralysis."

The cure is known, however, and that is for research institutions and funders
worldwide to mandate green OA self-archiving.

And, thankfully, they seem at long last to be getting around to doing it
better late than neverů

Once mandatory green OA has prevailed globally, and goes on to force a transition 
to fair gold, "gold" will have earned the extra connotations of its name.

Stevan Harnad

On 2013-04-21, at 11:37 PM, Shigeki Sugita <ssugita@chiba-u.jp> wrote:

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 words.

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@chiba-u.jp <mailto:ssugita@chiba-u.jp>> 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 <http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/openaccess/read>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 <http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/%7Eharnad/Tp/nature4.htm>: First, scholars need the tools and assistance <http://www.arl.org/sparc/core/index.asp?page=g20#6> 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 <http://www.openarchives.org/>, 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 <http://www.doaj.org/>: 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 <http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac..uk/10209/>./ Serials Review/ 30. *Shorter version:* The green and the gold roads to Open Access <http://www.nature.com/nature/focus/accessdebate/21.html>. /Nature Web Focus/.**

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@chiba-u.jp>
Chiba University Library, Japan

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