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[BOAI] Re: On Trying to Hold Green OA and Fair-Gold OA Hostage to Subscriptions and Fools-Gold

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum AT gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2013 10:38:49 -0400


Threading: [BOAI] On Trying to Hold Green OA and Fair-Gold OA Hostage to Subscriptions and Fools-Gold from amsciforum AT gmail.com
      • This Message

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On Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 8:29 PM, Graham Triggs <grahamtriggs AT 
gmail.com>wrot=
e:


> research does require scholarly communication, and to that extent researc=
h
> - and research funders - should be concerned that however it is (or shoul=
d
> be) arranged, that there is a sustainable model for it. That includes
> ensuring continued, sustainable communication during any transition phase=
.
>

If you insist on speculating, here's a transition
scenario<http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk/harnad/Tp/resolution.htm#4.2>
:

1. Green OA universally mandated by institutions and funders.

2. Universal Green OA.

3. Institutional cancellation pressure.

4. Publishers cut costs, downsize, phase out obsolete products and services
like print and PDF, offload access provision and archiving on OA IRs,
convert to Fair-Gold OA.

5. Journal titles from publishers not willing to continue on this lower
Fair-Gold scale migrate to Fair-Gold publishers who are willing.

Harnad, Stevan (2013) The Postgutenberg Open Access Journal (revised). In,
Cope, B and Phillips, A (eds.) The Future of the Academic Journal (2nd
edition). 2nd edition of book  Chandos. http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/353991/

Even for the full set of services currently provided, there isn't
> justification that the subscription model must be sustained.
>

Yes, but that's the *institution*'s sustainability (budgetary) problem --
not the same as the publisher's subscription sustainability problem.

Universal Green will fix that...


> But I wouldn't be so quick to write-off "no longer necessary" 
activities
> by publishers. As it currently stands, the publisher's copy is a verifiab=
le
> record of peer-review taking place. It's also the version assigned
> pagination information which is still used by convention for citations
> (even in the presence of persistent identifiers). It's also the means by
> which the publication is tracked in PubMed, WoS, Scopus, etc.
>

a. The VoR will remain the publisher-tagged version, now (paid by
subscriptions) as well as post-Green (paid by Fair-Gold).

b. Pagination (forgive me, is an utterly, utterly trivial
non-problem<http://www.google.ca/search?hl=3Den&lr=3D&q=3Dharnad%20OR%20Har=
nad%20OR%20archivangelism+blogurl:http://openaccess.eprints.org/&ie=3DUTF-8=
&tbm=3Dblg&tbs=3Dqdr:m&num=3D100&c2coff=3D1&safe=3Dactive#q=3Dpagination+bl=
ogurl:http://openaccess.eprints.org/&lr=3D&c2coff=3D1&safe=3Dactive&hl=3Den=
&tbm=3Dblg&tbas=3D0&source=3Dlnt&sa=3DX&ei=3DNJPNUY8I0cTgA-fRgYgM&ved=3D0CB=
sQpwUoAA&bav=3Don.2,or.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=3Dbv.48572450,d.dmg&fp=3Dbf1350727b49=
ae6f&biw=3D1168&bih=3D790>
)

c. Double-ditto for indexing.


> This is not double payment. It's just payment. If the Gold OA publishers
> did not exist, then there would be more closed access / subscription
> journals than there are now, and you would be paying more / higher
> subscription fees.
>

That's a guess.

The must-have journals, the core of the serials crisis, are not a whit
cheaper, today, nor less must-have, just because there are also Fools-Gold
journals available to authors who would rather (or are pushed by their
Finchy funders's preferences to) pay extra money for OA instead of just
providing it for free, as Green OA.

Institutions' serials needs and expenditures on subscriptions have not gone
down as a result of Fools Gold. The Fools Gold payments are over and above
the subscription payments.

You can't assess the potential for double-dipping based on the amount of
> Gold OA articles that are published. In fact, it's probably not helpful t=
o
> even think consider double-dipping at all.
>

Double-dipping refers only to hybrid Fools-Gold (subscriptions +
Fools-Gold). I doubt there's much uptake yet, but it's certainly not true
that it's not worth "considering": It's worth very closely 
monitoring.


> For a hybrid journal, there is a simpler point of comparison - APC vs
> average subscription revenue for closed access articles. Regardless of
> where the journal is positioned in the market, you would expect these
> should be roughly equivalent, or slightly favouring the APC.
>

I think you are very mistaken!

The hybrid-Gold publisher sets the price per article for their hybrid-Gold
APC articles, and you can be sure they set APCs to ensure that their total
revenue does not *shrink*. Unless they keep adjusting either the
subscription price or the APC to keep the Fools Gold APC from
*increasing*their revenue, they are double-dipping (since the APCs are
over and above
the subscription income, which is uncancelled and uncancellable -- until we
have universal Green OA).

If, with 100% Gold OA, there was a viable opportunity to downsize
> publishing services, then somebody would surely do it - just as Gold OA
> publishers exist today because there was a viable opportunity to establis=
h
> a new business model. Green OA is not the only route to that outcome.
>

If there were 100% Gold OA -- whether Fools Gold or Fair Gold -- I would
not be bothering with any of this, because my goal, as a researcher, is to
solve the research accessibility problem (which OA solves), not to solve
the journal affordability problem (which Green OA would solve).

But we do not have 100% Gold OA today. We just have about 10-20% Fools-Gold
OA, over-priced, double-paid, and -- if hybrid -- also double-dipped.

And we need 100% OA.

And the way to get that is to mandate Green OA.

Let researchers, their institutions and their funders take care of OA, by
mandating Green OA, and the publishers' practices and business models will
take care of themselves, adapting to the new PostGutenberg niche for
peer-reviewed journal publishing in the online era.


> 100% immediate, post peer-review Green OA might make the revenue and
> therefore costs of publishers unsustainable. But if that happens, will th=
ey
> still have an incentive to incur the costs of downsizing? Or could they
> just shutter all of their (scholarly communication) activities?
>

*Vide supra*: Some titles will downsize and convert. Others will migrate to
Fair-Gold publishers. Some titles will die (it happens all the time).

I think we should stop speculating about future business models and first
do the obvious, optimal and inevitable: mandate universal Green.

Then go back to speculating, if you like.


> Or we could find out that despite all expectations, nothing much happens
> to nothing much happens to subscription costs (because primary links are
> still to the publisher's site, etc.) - in which case, nothing much change=
s.
>

It is definitely a possibility (though I think an unlikely one) that
universal mandatory Green OA will only solve the research accessibility
problem, but not the journal affordability problem:

So what?

Researchers (and the tax-paying public) will have 100% OA.

And if institutions continue to sustain subscriptions, that will become a
matter of choice, thanks to Green OA, and no longer the life-or-death
matter it is now, with the research not accessible to users any other way.

(Think about it.)

Whilst some outcomes may appear to be more likely than others, nothing is
> actually certain.
>

Agreed. The only certainties are  (1) mathematical proof (and there's none
of that here) or (2) empirical facts that have already happened.

So let's stop speculating and make universal Green OA happen. It's fully
accessible, and already long overdue...

Stevan Harnad

PS My pejorative term "Fools-Gold" obviously only refers to 
paid-Gold, not
to that vast-majority of Gold OA journals that do not charge APCs at all,
but subsist instead on subscriptions or subsidy. Alas those free-Gold
journals are not among the must-have journals that this is all about. (Keep
that in mind too.)

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On Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 8:29 PM, Graham Triggs <span 
dir=3D"ltr">&lt;<a hre=
f=3D"mailto:grahamtriggs AT gmail.com" 
target=3D"_blank">grahamtriggs AT gmail.co=
m</a>&gt;</span> wrote:<br><div 
class=3D"gmail_quote"><div>=A0</div><blockq=
uote class=3D"gmail_quote" style=3D"margin:0 0 0 
.8ex;border-left:1px #ccc =
solid;padding-left:1ex">
<div dir=3D"ltr"><div 
class=3D"gmail_extra"><div 
class=3D"gmail_quote"><div=
>research does require scholarly communication, and to that extent research=
 - and research funders - should be concerned that however it is (or should=
 be) arranged, that there is a sustainable model for it. That includes ensu=
ring continued, sustainable communication during any transition phase.</div=
>
</div></div></div></blockquote><div><br></div><div>If you insist on specula=
ting, here&#39;s a=A0<a 
href=3D"http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk/harnad/Tp/reso=
lution.htm#4.2">transition 
scenario</a>:=A0</div><div><br></div><div>1. Gre=
en OA universally mandated by institutions and funders.</div>
<div><br></div><div>2. Universal Green 
OA.</div><div><br></div><div>3. Inst=
itutional cancellation 
pressure.</div><div><br></div><div>4. Publishers 
cut=
 costs, downsize, phase out obsolete products and services like print and P=
DF, offload access provision and archiving on OA IRs, convert to Fair-Gold =
OA.</div>
<div><br></div><div>5. Journal titles from publishers 
not willing to contin=
ue on this lower Fair-Gold scale migrate to Fair-Gold publishers who are wi=
lling.</div><div><br></div><div><span 
style=3D"font-family:Times;font-size:=
medium">Harnad, Stevan (2013) The Postgutenberg Open Access Journal 
(revise=
d). In, Cope, B and Phillips, A (eds.) The Future of the Academic Journal (=
2nd edition). 2nd edition of book=A0 Chandos.=A0</span><span 
style=3D"font-=
family:Times;font-size:medium"><a 
href=3D"http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/353991=
/">http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/353991/</a></span>=A0</div>
<div><br></div><blockquote class=3D"gmail_quote" 
style=3D"margin:0 0 0 .8ex=
;border-left:1px #ccc solid;padding-left:1ex"><div 
dir=3D"ltr"><div class=
=3D"gmail_extra"><div class=3D"gmail_quote">






<div>Even for the full set of services currently provided, there 
isn&#39;t =
justification that the subscription model must be 
sustained.=A0</div></div>=
</div></div></blockquote><div><br></div><div>Yes, but that&#39;s the <i>ins=
titution</i>&#39;s sustainability (budgetary) problem -- not the same 
as th=
e publisher&#39;s subscription sustainability problem.=A0</div>
<div><br></div><div>Universal Green will fix 
that...</div><div>=A0</div><bl=
ockquote class=3D"gmail_quote" style=3D"margin:0 0 0 
.8ex;border-left:1px #=
ccc solid;padding-left:1ex"><div dir=3D"ltr"><div 
class=3D"gmail_extra"><di=
v class=3D"gmail_quote">
<div>But I wouldn&#39;t be so quick to write-off &quot;no longer 
necessary&=
quot; activities by publishers. As it currently stands, the 
publisher&#39;s=
 copy is a verifiable record of peer-review taking place. It&#39;s also 
the=
 version assigned pagination information which is still used by convention =
for citations (even in the presence of persistent identifiers). It&#39;s 
al=
so the means by which the publication is tracked in PubMed, WoS, Scopus, et=
c.</div>
</div></div></div></blockquote><div><br></div><div>a. The VoR will remain t=
he publisher-tagged version, now (paid by subscriptions) as well as post-Gr=
een (paid by 
Fair-Gold).</div><div><br></div><div>b. 
Pagination (forgive me=
, is an utterly, utterly trivial <a 
href=3D"http://www.google.ca/search?hl=
=3Den&amp;lr=3D&amp;q=3Dharnad%20OR%20Harnad%20OR%20archivangelism+blogurl:=
http://openaccess.eprints.org/&amp;ie=3DUTF-8&amp;tbm=3Dblg&amp;tbs=3Dqdr:m=
&amp;num=3D100&amp;c2coff=3D1&amp;safe=3Dactive#q=3Dpagination+blogurl:http=
://openaccess.eprints.org/&amp;lr=3D&amp;c2coff=3D1&amp;safe=3Dactive&amp;h=
l=3Den&amp;tbm=3Dblg&amp;tbas=3D0&amp;source=3Dlnt&amp;sa=3DX&amp;ei=3DNJPN=
UY8I0cTgA-fRgYgM&amp;ved=3D0CBsQpwUoAA&amp;bav=3Don.2,or.r_cp.r_qf.&amp;bvm=
=3Dbv.48572450,d.dmg&amp;fp=3Dbf1350727b49ae6f&amp;biw=3D1168&amp;bih=3D790=
">non-problem</a>)</div>
<div><br></div><div>c. Double-ditto for 
indexing.</div><div>=A0</div><block=
quote class=3D"gmail_quote" style=3D"margin:0 0 0 
.8ex;border-left:1px #ccc=
 solid;padding-left:1ex"><div dir=3D"ltr"><div 
class=3D"gmail_extra"><div c=
lass=3D"gmail_quote">
<div>This is not double payment. It&#39;s just payment. If the Gold 
OA publ=
ishers did not exist, then there would be more closed access / subscription=
 journals than there are now, and you would be paying more / higher subscri=
ption fees.</div>
</div></div></div></blockquote><div><br></div><div>That&#39;s a guess.=A0</=
div><div><br></div><div>The must-have journals, the 
core of the serials cri=
sis, are not a whit cheaper, today, nor less must-have, just because there =
are also Fools-Gold journals available to authors who would rather (or are =
pushed by their Finchy funders&#39;s preferences to) pay extra money for 
OA=
 instead of just providing it for free, as Green OA.</div>
<div><br></div><div>Institutions&#39; serials needs 
and expenditures on sub=
scriptions have not gone down as a result of Fools Gold. The Fools Gold pay=
ments are over and above the subscription 
payments.</div><div><br></div>
<blockquote class=3D"gmail_quote" style=3D"margin:0 0 0 
.8ex;border-left:1p=
x #ccc solid;padding-left:1ex"><div dir=3D"ltr"><div 
class=3D"gmail_extra">=
<div class=3D"gmail_quote">




<div>You can&#39;t assess the potential for double-dipping based on 
the amo=
unt of Gold OA articles that are published. In fact, it&#39;s probably not 
=
helpful to even think consider double-dipping at 
all.</div></div></div>
</div></blockquote><div><br></div><div>Double-dipping refers only to hybrid=
 Fools-Gold (subscriptions + Fools-Gold). I doubt there&#39;s much uptake 
y=
et, but it&#39;s certainly not true that it&#39;s not worth 
&quot;consideri=
ng&quot;: It&#39;s worth very closely monitoring.</div>
<div>=A0</div><blockquote class=3D"gmail_quote" 
style=3D"margin:0 0 0 .8ex;=
border-left:1px #ccc solid;padding-left:1ex"><div 
dir=3D"ltr"><div class=3D=
"gmail_extra"><div class=3D"gmail_quote">

<div>For a hybrid journal, there is a simpler point of comparison - APC 
vs =
average subscription revenue for closed access articles. Regardless of wher=
e the journal is positioned in the market, you would expect these should be=
 roughly equivalent, or slightly favouring the APC.</div>
</div></div></div></blockquote><div><br></div><div>I think you are very mis=
taken!</div><div><br></div><div>The hybrid-Gold 
publisher sets the price pe=
r article for their hybrid-Gold APC articles, and you can be sure they set =
APCs to ensure that their total revenue does not <i>shrink</i>. 
Unless they=
 keep adjusting either the subscription price or the APC to keep the Fools =
Gold APC from <i>increasing</i> their revenue, they are 
double-dipping (sin=
ce the APCs are over and above the subscription income, which is uncancelle=
d and uncancellable -- until we have universal Green OA).</div>
<div><br></div><blockquote class=3D"gmail_quote" 
style=3D"margin:0 0 0 .8ex=
;border-left:1px #ccc solid;padding-left:1ex"><div 
dir=3D"ltr"><div class=
=3D"gmail_extra"><div 
class=3D"gmail_quote"><div>If, with 100% Gold OA, the=
re was a viable opportunity to downsize publishing services, then somebody =
would surely do it - just as Gold OA publishers exist today because there w=
as a viable opportunity to establish a new business model. Green OA is not =
the only route to that outcome.</div>
</div></div></div></blockquote><div><br></div><div>If there were 100% Gold =
OA -- whether Fools Gold or Fair Gold -- I would not be bothering with any =
of this, because my goal, as a researcher, is to solve the research accessi=
bility problem (which OA solves), not to solve the journal affordability pr=
oblem (which Green OA would solve).</div>
<div><br></div><div>But we do not have 100% Gold OA 
today. We just have abo=
ut 10-20% Fools-Gold OA, over-priced, double-paid, and -- if hybrid -- also=
 double-dipped.</div><div><br></div><div>And we 
need 100% OA.</div><div>
<br></div><div>And the way to get that is to mandate Green 
OA.</div><div><b=
r></div><div>Let researchers, their institutions and their 
funders take car=
e of OA, by mandating Green OA, and the publishers&#39; practices and 
busin=
ess models will take care of themselves, adapting to the new PostGutenberg =
niche for peer-reviewed journal publishing in the online era.</div>
<div>=A0</div><blockquote class=3D"gmail_quote" 
style=3D"margin:0 0 0 .8ex;=
border-left:1px #ccc solid;padding-left:1ex"><div 
dir=3D"ltr"><div class=3D=
"gmail_extra"><div class=3D"gmail_quote">
<div>100% immediate, post peer-review Green OA might make the revenue and 
t=
herefore costs of publishers unsustainable. But if that happens, will they =
still have an incentive to incur the costs of downsizing? Or could they jus=
t shutter all of their (scholarly communication) activities?</div>
</div></div></div></blockquote><div><br></div><div><i>Vide supra</i>: Some =
titles will downsize and convert. Others will migrate to Fair-Gold publishe=
rs. Some titles will die (it happens all the 
time).=A0</div><div><br></div>
<div>I think we should stop speculating about future business models and 
fi=
rst do the obvious, optimal and inevitable: mandate universal 
Green.</div><=
div><br></div><div>Then go back to speculating, if you 
like.</div><div>
=A0</div><blockquote class=3D"gmail_quote" 
style=3D"margin:0 0 0 .8ex;borde=
r-left:1px #ccc solid;padding-left:1ex"><div 
dir=3D"ltr"><div class=3D"gmai=
l_extra"><div class=3D"gmail_quote">
<div>Or we could find out that despite all expectations, nothing much 
happe=
ns to nothing much happens to subscription costs (because primary links are=
 still to the publisher&#39;s site, etc.) - in which case, nothing much 
cha=
nges.</div>
</div></div></div></blockquote><div><br></div><div>It is definitely a possi=
bility (though I think an unlikely one) that universal mandatory Green OA w=
ill only solve the research accessibility problem, but not the journal affo=
rdability problem:</div>
<div><br></div><div>So 
what?=A0</div><div><br></div><div>Researchers 
(and t=
he tax-paying public) will have 100% 
OA.</div><div><br></div><div>And if in=
stitutions continue to sustain subscriptions, that will become a matter of =
choice, thanks to Green OA, and no longer the life-or-death matter it is no=
w, with the research not accessible to users any other way.</div>
<div><br></div><div>(Think about 
it.)</div><div><br></div><blockquote class=
=3D"gmail_quote" style=3D"margin:0 0 0 .8ex;border-left:1px #ccc 
solid;padd=
ing-left:1ex"><div dir=3D"ltr"><div 
class=3D"gmail_extra"><div class=3D"gma=
il_quote">

<div>Whilst some outcomes may appear to be more likely than others, 
nothing=
 is actually 
certain.=A0</div></div></div></div></blockquote><div><br></div=
><div>Agreed. The only certainties are =A0(1) mathematical proof (and 
there=
&#39;s none of that here) or (2) empirical facts that have already 
happened=
.</div>
<div><br></div><div>So let&#39;s stop speculating 
and make universal Green =
OA happen. It&#39;s fully accessible, and already long 
overdue...=A0</div><=
/div><br><div>Stevan 
Harnad</div><div><br></div><div>PS My pejorative 
term =
&quot;Fools-Gold&quot; obviously only refers to paid-Gold, not to that 
vast=
-majority of Gold OA journals that do not charge APCs at all, but subsist i=
nstead on subscriptions or subsidy. Alas those free-Gold journals are not a=
mong the must-have journals that this is all about. (Keep that in mind too.=
)</div>

--047d7b343f08468d9d04e037d64e--

        
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