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[BOAI] Re: Elsevier Still Onside of Angels on Immediate, Unembargoed Green OA Self-Archiving By Its Authors

From: Stevan Harnad <harnad AT ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 07:35:06 -0400


Threading: [BOAI] Elsevier Still Onside of Angels on Immediate, Unembargoed Green OA Self-Archiving By Its Authors from amsciforum AT gmail.com
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On 2013-05-02, at 3:17 AM, Andras Holl <holl AT konkoly.hu> wrote:

> Dear Stevan, 
> 
> Regardless however right you are, Elsevier's play with words succesfully 
confuses 
> a large number of authors, who do not deposit because of this. 

Dear Andras,

You are quite right. But word-play is word-play, and the only way to defeat it 
is to use one's brains. 
That's what authors, their institiutions and their funders need to do, with 
mandates that are clear, 
effective, monitored and verified. 

Elsevier policy allowing immediate, unembargoed self-archiving by authors is 
identical to
Springer's policy, but the way, apart from all the formal FUD. Springer is 
perfectly
straightforward about it. 

So ignore the FUD, deposit immediately, and make the immediate-deposit OA 
immediately.
Leave the FUD for those who are fatuous enough to be taken in by it.

Below is a recent posting I did on this very point on another list.

Best wishes,

Istvan

ELSEVIER VS ACADEMIC SLOW-WITTEDNESS

Elsevier has many very unsavoury practices: It overcharges for subscriptions; 
it tries [and succeeds] to make confidential contingency deals with 
universities, 
linking subscription prices to university OA policy agreements; it lobbies 
against
 OA mandates; and it hedges its policy on Green OA with so much unspeakable
 nonsense that it is hard to sort out the signal from the noise.

Yet the signal is clear for those with eyes to see and wits to filter out FUD: 
Elsevier authors all retain the right to make their refereed final drafts free 
online 
immediately upon acceptance for publication.

For anyone with any common sense, that's all that's needed. Ignore all the
 accompanying double-talk about mandates and "systematicity." It's 
all 
just incoherent formalistic FUD. Deposit your final draft in your institutional 

repository and make it immediately OA and pay no attention to anything else 
Elsevier says about it.

The trouble is, many people still do not have the sense to realize that. 
So they keep solemnly agonizing over absurd details like "You may only 
exercise the right to self-archive that all Elsevier authors retain if you are 
not required to exercise it" -- which makes as  much sense as: "You 
may 
only exercise the right to self-archive that all Elsevier authors retain if you 

do not have a blue-eyed maternal uncle."

Well I'm beginning to think that slow-wittedness deserves to learn its lesson 
the hard way. So let those so inclined keep solemnly agonizing over how 
to "comply" with Elsevier's hedged gibberish. 

(The physicists in Arxiv instantly intuited all of this nearly quarter century 
ago, and computer scientists, with anonymous FTP archives, even earlier. 
The rest of us have only ourselves to blame for our lost quarter-century 
of research access and impact...)

> 
> Andras 
> 
> On Wed, 1 May 2013 20:24:46 -0400, Stevan Harnad wrote 
> > On Wed, May 1, 2013 at 5:10 PM, BISSET J. <james.bisset AT 
durham.ac.uk> wrote: 
> > 
> >  
> 
> > 
> > From our understanding of Elsevier policy this is not the case in two 
instances: 
> > 
> > 1) if the institution requires deposit in their institutional 
repository 
> > 2) if the funder requires open access.
> 
> > 
> > Dear James, 
> > 
> > Elsevier rights agreements state that authors retains the right to 
make their final drafts OA immediately upon publication: no embargo. 
> > 
> > I will answer your more detailed questions below, but let me already 
give you a simple general answer from which all the specific ones can be 
deduced. 
> > 
> > If a contract says you have the right to do X, then it cannot go on 
to stipulate that you only have the "right to exercise" your right to 
do X if you are not required to exercise it. That is empty double-talk, and can 
and should be completely ignored as empty. A right is a right; you either have 
it or you don't. 
> > 
> > Moreover, Elsevier authors do not need Elsevier's permission to 
deposit in their IRs any more than they need Elsevier's permission to go to the 
WC!  
> > 
> > The only thing at issue is the right to make the deposit immediately 
OA (i.e., free online). And Elsevier (like Springer, and about 60% of all 
publishers) state that the author retains the right to make the final draft OA 
immediately upon publication: no OA embargo. 
> > 
> > So all authors with any sense should go ahead and exercise that 
formally endorsed right that they retain! 
> > 
> >
> 
> > 
> > I have an email from Elsevier today confirming that in either of the 
two cases above, immediate deposit is permitted but open access is not 
permitted until [after] an embargo period... 
> >
> 
> > 
> > Elsevier is just playing on words here. As I said, the right to 
deposit is not at issue. Elsevier does not have any say over where I put my 
final draft.  
> > 
> > The only right at issue is the right to make the deposit immediately 
OA (i.e., free online). 
> > 
> >
> 
> > 
> > Additionally, Durham has reissued its mandate for self-archiving, 
including a requirement that only those deposited (not necessarily open access) 
can be used for consideration in promotion or probation (the 'how' this will 
work us still being looked at - So this has not yet been registered anywhere). 
> >
> 
> > 
> > Bravo on adopting the optimal institutional OA mandate. Soon we can 
hope that the Durham mandate will be reinforced by the very same mandate from 
HEFCE/REF: only articles whose final drafts were deposited in the author's 
institutional repository immediately upon acceptance for publication will be 
eligible for submission to the next REF (2020). 
> > 
> > Institutional and HEFCE immediate-deposit mandates can then mutually 
reinforce one another, and institutions will be able to devise a simple 
mechanism for monitoring and verifying compliance. 
> >  
> 
> > 
> > Because we now mandate deposit, Elsevier have indicated we cannot 
make any publications open access until we sign an agreement with them - which 
includes restricting access from immediate upon publication (as it was without 
a mandate) to the embargo periods mentioned above. 
> >
> 
> > 
> > This is very interesting: Have you asked yourself why Elsevier is 
asking for a second agreement? Isn't the author's signed agreement enough, if 
it is really sufficient to accord him a right yet prevent him from exercising 
that right? 
> > 
> > Well obviously not, because of the double-talk I just mentioned. In 
an agreement with the clause 
> > 
> >
> 
> > 
> > Clause C1: "You retain the right to do X" 
> 
> > 
> > followed by the clause  
> > 
> >
> 
> > 
> > Clause C2: "but you may not "exercise your right" to 
do X if you are required to do X"
> 
> > 
> > you are sanctioning a contradiction. Logically speaking (and 
contracts must obey logic as surely as they must obey the law), this is pretty 
much the same as simply saying: 
> > 
> >
> 
> > 
> > Clause C1: "You may do X" 
> 
> > 
> > and 
> > 
> >
> 
> > 
> > Clause C2: "You may not do X."
> 
> > 
> > With a logical contradiction, you can pretty much take your choice 
and do whatever you like, because anything (and the opposite of anything) 
follows from a contradiction. 
> > 
> > A good choice would be to read sequentially, follow Clause 1, and 
simply ignore Clause 2, which just says the opposite. If challenged, cite 
clause 1. 
> > 
> > And this is the real reason that Elsevier is not comfortable with 
relying on its signed author rights agreement with its authors as grounds for 
restraining them form doing what the retain the right to do if they are 
required to do it. So they instead try to get a signature to yet another 
agreement, from yet another party -- the university -- a further agreement tjat 
would have the (failed) intended effect of the author rights agreement: The 
institution must sign that it may not require the author to exercise his right 
to provide immediate OA. 
> > 
> > Solution? Simple: The university should not sign!  
> > 
> > If Elsevier really thinks its author agreement has already seen to it 
that mandated authors may not provide immediate OA if required by his 
university, then there is no call for the university to sign a thing. 
> > 
> > Of course, this is not quite the way Elsevier goes about trying to 
get the university to sign: It proposes a contingency, in confidential pricing 
negotiations, between the subscription deal it offers the university, and 
whether or not they require immediate OA. 
> > 
> > This would be unethical if it weren't so ludicrous. 
> > 
> > Of course the university should not sign away its right to mandate 
immediate-deposit because of a subscription-deal contingency. 
> > 
> > But the solution is even simpler than that. Not only should the 
university not sign any agreement with Elsevier over what it may or may not 
require its researchers do, but the university should not worry too much about 
embargoes; it should simply implement the "Almost OA" 
email-eprint-request Button. 
> > 
> > That way not only will the university's immediate-deposit mandate 
(with the help of the HEFCE/REF immediate-deposit mandate) ensure that all 
final drafts are immediately deposited and that at least 60% of those 
immediate-deposits (including all Elsevier deposits!) will be made immediately 
OA. But, in addition, even the those immediate-deposits that are from from the 
40% of journals -- which (unlike Springer and Elsevier and APS and IOP and all 
the other publishers who are on the Side if the angels) try to embargo OA -- 
will be made "Almost OA", via the Button. 
> > 
> > And with the help of the eprint Button, the ID/OA mandate will go on 
to make OA embargoes as ineffectual as Clause 2, once the immediate-deposit 
mandate becomes universal. 
> > 
> > And a word about "systematicity": Systematically 
duplicating the contents of a journal would mean duplicating all of its 
contents. But a single institution just provides a tiny (and unsystematic) 
fraction of any journal's contents. 
> > 
> > Globally mandated OA will be another story: But Elsevier cannot hope 
to persuade all universities worldwide to desist from mandating OA! (And it is 
noteworthy that Elsevier is not even trying to get research funders to sign 
"agreements" not mandate OA, or to extend OA embargoes; Elsevier's 
strategy there is lobbying, since they don't have the subscription discount 
carrot with which it lures naive universities into signing over their mandating 
rights in exchange for a better subscription Big-Deal. 
> > 
> >
> 
> > 
> > However, if Alicia is indicating this new stance is a move away from 
that which I was told by Elsevier earlier today, and is still less than clearly 
indicated on their web pages (which indicate an author can comply by 
self-archiving, but then go on to list embargo periods which do not meet RCUK 
policy) then that is great news. 
> >
> 
> > 
> > Alicia is just re-stating the Clause 1. Take her at her word. 
> > 
> > Best wishes, 
> > 
> > Stevan   
> > 
> >  
> 
> > 
> > On 1 May 2013, at 14:49, "Stevan Harnad" <amsciforum AT 
gmail.com> wrote: 
> > 
> >
>> 
>> 
>> > 
>> > Alicia Wise  AT wisealic20h 
>> >  AT AmSciForum Stevan - Elsevier's #oa agreement with RCUK, 
including gold & green options, is described here: 
http://www.elsevier.com/about/publishing-guidelines/policies/funding-body-agreements/research-councils-uk … 
>> > 
>> > Stevan Harnad  AT AmSciForum8h 
>> >  AT wisealic Simple Question: Is/isn't Elsevier-like 
Springer-still Green on immediate, unembargoed #oa self-archiving?  
http://j.mp/11B5gcg  
>> > 
>> > Alicia Wise  AT wisealic19m 
>> >  AT AmSciForum yes, Elsevier endorses immediate self-archiving of 
accepted final drafts free for all on the web immediately upon acceptance. 
>> > 
>> > Stevan Harnad  AT AmSciForum3m 
>> >  AT wisealic Thanks Alicia. Then Elsevier remains on Side of the 
Angels & I will continue to attest to that!
> 
> 
> 
> 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
> Andras Holl / Holl Andras                 e-mail: holl AT konkoly.hu 
> Konkoly Observatory / MTA CsFK CsI       Tel.: +36 1 3919368 Fax: +36 1 
2754668 
> IT manager / Szamitastechn. rendszervez. Mail: H1525 POBox 67, Budapest, 
Hungary 
> 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
> 
> 
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