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[BOAI] Evidence-Based vs. Ideology-Based Open Access Policy

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum AT gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2015 08:51:35 -0400


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In my own opinion there have been four main reasons for the exceedingly
slow growth of OA (far, far slower than it could have been) =E2=80=94 (1) a=
uthor
inertia and needless copyright worries, (2) publisher resistance via
lobbying and OA embargoes, (3) premature and needless fixation on Gold OA
publishing and (4) premature and needless fixation on Libre OA (re-use
rights, CC-BY).

By far the most urgent and yet fully and immediately reachable objective
has always been free online access to refereed journal articles (=E2=80=9CG=
ratis
OA=E2=80=9D), which could long ago have been provided by authors as Green O=
A
(exactly as computer scientists spontaneously began doing in the 1980s with
anonymous ftp archiving, and physicists began doing in the 1990s with XXX
(then Arxiv).

Instead, authors in most other fields have proved extremely sluggish =E2=80=
=94
because of (1), and eventually also (2) -- and the public campaign for OA
became needlessly and counterproductively focussed on Gold OA and Libre OA,
which were neither as urgently needed as Gratis OA, nor could they be as
easily provided as Gratis OA.

OA mandates by funders and institutions then began to be recommended and
adopted, but these too have been exceedingly slow in coming, and needlessly
weak, having gotten needlessly wrapped up in Libre and Gold OA, even though
Gratis Green OA is the easiest, most effective and most natural thing to
mandate.

And the irony is that this premature and needless fixation on Libre and
Gold OA (which still persists) has not only helped slow the progress of
Gratis Green OA, but it has also slowed its very own progress.

Because the fastest and surest way to Libre, Fair-Gold OA is to first
mandate Gratis Green OA -- which, once it is being universally provided,
will usher in Libre, Fair-Gold quickly and naturally. This is evident to
anyone who simply thinks it through.

Instead, we now continue to be bogged down in (1) - (4), with many weak and
wishy-washy OA policies, Fools=E2=80=99 Gold (as well as predatory junk Gol=
d OA)
(3) from publishers clouding the landscape, and an almost superstitious
obsession with a Libre OA (2) that most research and researchers don=E2=80=
=99t need
anywhere near as urgently as they need Gratis OA itself.

Meanwhile, hardly noticed, is the fact that mandates could be incomparably
stronger and more effective if they simply focussed on requiring Green
Gratis OA, in institutional (not institution-external) repositories, where
institutions can monitor and ensure compliance by designating
immediate-deposit as the sole mechanism for submitting publications for
research evaluation (as Liege and HEFCE have done) and implementing the
copy-request Button as the antidote against publisher OA embargoes.

In yet another effort to try to get mandates on the right track =E2=80=94 r=
equiring
Gratis Green OA =E2=80=94 we have now analyzed the few existing OA policies=
=E2=80=99
effectiveness to identify which conditions maximize compliance, in the hope
that the research community can at last be persuaded to adopt
evidence-based policies instead of ideology-driven ones:

Vincent-Lamarre, Philippe, Boivin, Jade, Gargouri, Yassine, Larivi=C3=A8re,
Vincent and Harnad, Stevan (2015) Estimating Open Access Mandate
Effectiveness: I. The MELIBEA Score <http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/370203/>.

Swan, Alma; Gargouri, Yassine; Hunt, Megan; & Harnad, Stevan (2015) Open
Access Policy: Numbers, Analysis, Effectiveness
<http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/375854/>. Pasteur4OA Workpackage 3 Report.

Here is a quick little history of OA, particularly highlighting
Southampton=E2=80=99s contribution:

Carr, L., Swan, A. and Harnad, S. (2011) Creating and Curating the
Cognitive Commons: Southampton=E2=80=99s Contribution.
<http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/21844/> In: *Curating the European
University *

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<div dir=3D"ltr"><span 
style=3D"font-size:13px;color:rgb(51,51,51);font-fam=
ily:verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif">In my own opinion there have 
been f=
our main reasons for the exceedingly slow growth of OA (far, far slower tha=
n it could have been) =E2=80=94 (1) author inertia and needless copyright w=
orries, (2) publisher resistance via lobbying and OA embargoes, (3) prematu=
re and needless fixation on Gold OA publishing and (4) premature and needle=
ss fixation on Libre OA (re-use rights, CC-BY).</span><br 
style=3D"font-siz=
e:13px;color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif">=
<span 
style=3D"font-size:13px;color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:verdana,arial=
,helvetica,sans-serif"><br></span><div 
style=3D"font-size:13px"><span style=
=3D"color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif">By =
far the most urgent and yet fully and immediately reachable objective has a=
lways been free online access to refereed journal articles (=E2=80=9CGratis=
 OA=E2=80=9D), which could long ago have been provided by authors as Green =
OA (exactly as computer scientists spontaneously began doing in the 1980s w=
ith anonymous ftp archiving, and physicists began doing in the 1990s with X=
XX (then Arxiv).</span><br 
style=3D"color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:verdana=
,arial,helvetica,sans-serif"><br 
style=3D"color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:v=
erdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif"><span 
style=3D"color:rgb(51,51,51);font-=
family:verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif">Instead, authors in most 
other f=
ields have proved extremely sluggish =E2=80=94 because of (1), and eventual=
ly also (2) -- and the public campaign for OA became needlessly and counter=
productively focussed on Gold OA and Libre OA, which were neither as urgent=
ly needed as Gratis OA, nor could they be as easily provided as Gratis OA.<=
/span><br 
style=3D"color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:verdana,arial,helvetica,=
sans-serif"><br 
style=3D"color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:verdana,arial,helv=
etica,sans-serif"><span 
style=3D"color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:verdana,ar=
ial,helvetica,sans-serif">OA mandates by funders and institutions then 
bega=
n to be recommended and adopted, but these too have been exceedingly slow i=
n coming, and needlessly weak, having gotten needlessly wrapped up in Libre=
 and Gold OA, even though Gratis Green OA is the easiest, most effective an=
d most natural thing to mandate.</span><br 
style=3D"color:rgb(51,51,51);fon=
t-family:verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif"><br 
style=3D"color:rgb(51,51,5=
1);font-family:verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif"><span 
style=3D"color:rgb=
(51,51,51);font-family:verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif">And the 
irony is=
 that this premature and needless fixation on Libre and Gold OA (which stil=
l persists) has not only helped slow the progress of Gratis Green OA, but i=
t has also slowed its very own progress.=C2=A0</span><br 
style=3D"color:rgb=
(51,51,51);font-family:verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif"><br 
style=3D"col=
or:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif"><span styl=
e=3D"color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif">Be=
cause the fastest and surest way to Libre, Fair-Gold OA is to first mandate=
 Gratis Green OA -- which, once it is being universally provided, will ushe=
r in Libre, Fair-Gold quickly and naturally. This is evident to anyone who =
simply thinks it through.</span><br 
style=3D"color:rgb(51,51,51);font-famil=
y:verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif"><br 
style=3D"color:rgb(51,51,51);font=
-family:verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif"><span 
style=3D"color:rgb(51,51,=
51);font-family:verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif">Instead, we now 
continu=
e to be bogged down in (1) - (4), with many weak and wishy-washy OA policie=
s, Fools=E2=80=99 Gold (as well as predatory junk Gold OA) (3) from publish=
ers clouding the landscape, and an almost superstitious obsession with a Li=
bre OA (2) that most research and researchers don=E2=80=99t need anywhere n=
ear as urgently as they need Gratis OA itself.</span><br 
style=3D"color:rgb=
(51,51,51);font-family:verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif"><br 
style=3D"col=
or:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif"><span styl=
e=3D"color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif">Me=
anwhile, hardly noticed, is the fact that mandates could be incomparably st=
ronger and more effective if they simply focussed on requiring Green Gratis=
 OA, in institutional (not institution-external) repositories, where instit=
utions can monitor and ensure compliance by designating immediate-deposit a=
s the sole mechanism for submitting publications for research evaluation (a=
s Liege and HEFCE have done) and implementing the copy-request Button as th=
e antidote against publisher OA embargoes.</span><br 
style=3D"color:rgb(51,=
51,51);font-family:verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif"><br 
style=3D"color:r=
gb(51,51,51);font-family:verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif"><span 
style=3D=
"color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif">In yet=
 another effort to try to get mandates on the right track =E2=80=94 requiri=
ng Gratis Green OA =E2=80=94 we have now analyzed the few existing OA polic=
ies=E2=80=99 effectiveness to identify which conditions maximize compliance=
, in the hope that the research community can at last be persuaded to adopt=
 evidence-based policies instead of ideology-driven 
ones:</span><blockquote=
 style=3D"color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-seri=
f">Vincent-Lamarre, Philippe, Boivin, Jade, Gargouri, Yassine, 
Larivi=C3=A8=
re, Vincent and Harnad, Stevan (2015)=C2=A0<a 
href=3D"http://eprints.soton.=
ac.uk/370203/" target=3D"_blank" 
style=3D"color:rgb(0,51,102)">Estimating O=
pen Access Mandate Effectiveness: I. The MELIBEA 
Score</a>.=C2=A0<br><br>Sw=
an, Alma; Gargouri, Yassine; Hunt, Megan; &amp; Harnad, Stevan 
(2015)=C2=A0=
<a href=3D"http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/375854/" 
target=3D"_blank" style=3D"c=
olor:rgb(0,51,102)">Open Access Policy: Numbers, Analysis, 
Effectiveness</a=
>. Pasteur4OA Workpackage 3 
Report.=C2=A0<br></blockquote><span style=3D"co=
lor:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif">Here 
is a=
 quick little history of OA, particularly highlighting Southampton=E2=80=99=
s contribution:</span><blockquote 
style=3D"color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:=
verdana,arial,helvetica,sans-serif">Carr, L., Swan, A. and Harnad, S. 
(2011=
)=C2=A0<a href=3D"http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/21844/" 
target=3D"_blank" =
style=3D"color:rgb(0,51,102)">Creating and Curating the Cognitive 
Commons: =
Southampton=E2=80=99s Contribution.</a>=C2=A0In:=C2=A0<em>Curating 
the Euro=
pean University=C2=A0</em></blockquote></div></div>

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