On 2013-07-18, at 7:39 AM, Marianne Haska <marianne.haska@royalsociety.org> wrote:

Replies below from a much objective Graham Triggs to Stephen Harnad

I've already replied to the much more objective Graham Triggs: http://j.mp/RepTriggs

But can representatives of the Royal Society not speak for themselves? 

And I'm not referring to the RS's hybrid Gold option -- which is not, as I said, the 
relevant criterion for deciding whether the RS is being "fair" -- but to the RS's fall 
from its prior (2010) policy of endorsing immediate, unembargoed Green OA 
self-archiving by its authors:

Not a Proud Day in the Annals of the Royal Society (24 November 2005)

Royal Society Endorses Immediate Green OA Self-Archiving By Its Authors (22 June 2010)

Stevan Harnad


On Tuesday, 16 July 2013 03:07:58 UTC+2, Stevan Harnad wrote:
On Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 7:02 PM, LIBLICENSE <libli...@gmail.com> wrote
"Remaining a fair player, The Royal Society ensures that published open access articles bearing a publication fee are deducted from subscription prices through its Transparent Pricing Mechanism"

The Royal Society thereby pledges that it will not "double-dip" for hybrid Gold OA. The RS continues to collect subscription fees from institutions worldwide, but whatever additional revenue if gets from individual authors for hybrid Gold OA, it pledges to return as a subscription rebate to all subscribing institutions. 

But does this mean the RS is a "fair player" insofar as OA is concerned?



Actually, whilst there is an increase in the number of non-OA articles, this is more than fair (assuming that the current subscription rate is fair, and their costs are in line with inflation). It's not quite so fair in the case that the number of non-OA publications is decreasing.


Yet this is not because the hybrid Gold OA rebate amounts to individual authors' full payments for Gold OA subsidizing the subscription costs of institutions worldwide. (The author's own institution only gets back a tiny fraction of its authors' Gold OA fee in its tiny portion of the worldwide subscription rebate.)

No. Whether the RS is indeed a fair player depends on whether RS authors have the choice -- between providing Gold OA by paying the RS that additional cost over and above what the world's institutions are already paying the RS in subscriptions -- or providing Green OA at no additional cost, by self-archiving their article free for all online.

There are no rebates due for Gold OA publishing. It is not subsidizing the subscription costs worldwide. Author-paid content, and subscription-paid content are separate things, and the revenue is (in this case) being counted separately. You (or rather, your funder gives you extra to) pay for what you want to make open. And you pay for what isn't open if you want to read it.


Very simply - if, instead of publishing with the Royal Society, you published your open article (and paid the APC) in PLoS, would you expect a rebate on your Royal Society subscription, which would still be covering *exactly* the same amount of closed access content?

But now -- perhaps -- the RS seems to have adopted a 12-month embargo on Green OA (under the fell influence -- perhaps -- of the new Finch/RCUK OA policy?):

"You are free to post…the “Author Generated Postprint” - Your personal copy of the revised version of the Article as accepted by Us… on Your personal or institutional web site and load it onto an institutional or not for profit repository no earlier than 12 months from the date of first publication of the Definitive Published Version." http://royalsocietypublishing.org/site/authors/licence.xhtml

Or is this just another (silly) attempt to distinguish between authors positing on their "institutional website" (unembargoed) versus posting in their "institutional repository" (embargoed) -- in which case RS authors can happily ignore this empty pseudo-distinction, knowing that their institutional repository is indeed their institutional website.

No, according to that resource they have exactly the same policy that covers loading / depositing the postprint to any online resource - personal website, institutional website ore repository. The only distinction they make is that you can use the postprint internally, or email to colleagues without embargo. All online / systematic distribution is limited by the embargo period.