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[BOAI] Elsevier: Trying to squeeze the virtual genie back into the physical bottle

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum AT gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 25 May 2015 14:25:48 -0400


Threading:      • This Message
             [BOAI] Re: Elsevier: Trying to squeeze the virtual genie back into the physical bottle from harnad AT ecs.soton.ac.uk

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*Alicia Wise wrote*
<http://www.elsevier.com/connect/coar-recting-the-record#comment-2037996108=
>
:



*Dear Stevan,*



*I admire your vision and passion for green open access =E2=80=93 in fact w=
e all do
here at Elsevier - and for your tenacity as your definitions and concepts
of green open access have remain unchanged for more than 15 years. We also
recognize that the open access landscape has changed dramatically over the
last few years, for example with the emergence of Social Collaboration
Networks. This refresh of our policy, the first since 2004, reflects what
we are hearing from researchers and research institutions about how we can
support their changing needs. We look forward to continuing input from and
collaboration with the research community, and will continue to review and
refine our policy.*



*Let me state clearly that we support both green and gold OA. Embargo
periods have been used by us =E2=80=93 and other publishers =E2=80=93 for a=
 very long time
and are not new. The only thing that=E2=80=99s changed about IRs is our old=
 policy
said you had to have an agreement which included embargos, and the new
policy is you don=E2=80=99t need to do an agreement provided you and your a=
uthors
comply with the embargo period policy. It might be most constructive for
people to just judge us based on reading through the policy and considering
what we have said and are saying.*



*With kind wishes and good night,*

*Alicia Wise, Elsevier*





Dear Alicia,



You wrote:



*"This refresh of our policy [is| the first since 2004... Embargo periods
have been used by us... for a very long time and are not new. The only
thing that=E2=80=99s changed about IRs is our old policy said you had to ha=
ve an
agreement which included embargos..."*



Is this the old policy that hasn't changed changed since 2004 (when
Elsevier was still on the "side of the angels 
<http://j.mp/OAngelS>"
insofar as Green OA was concerned) until the "refresh"? (I don't see 
any
mention of embargoes in it...):



*Date:** Thu, 27 May 2004 03:09:39 +0100 *

*From:** "Hunter, Karen (ELS-US)" *

*To:** "'harnad_at_ecs.soton.ac.uk 
<http://harnad_at_ecs.soton.ac.uk>\'" *

*Cc:** "Karssen, Zeger (ELS)" , "Bolman, Pieter (ELS)" , 
"Seeley, Mark
(ELS)" *

*Subject:** Re: Elsevier journal list *



*Stevan, *



*[H]ere is what we have decided on post-"prints" (i.e. published 
articles,
whether published electronically or in print): *



*An author may post his version of the final paper on his personal web site
and on his institution's web site (including its institutional
respository). Each posting should include the article's citation and a link
to the journal's home page (or the article's DOI). The author does not need
our permission to do this, but any other posting (e.g. to a repository
elsewhere) would require our permission. By "his version" we are 
referring
to his Word or Tex file, not a PDF or HTML downloaded from ScienceDirect -
but the author can update his version to reflect changes made during the
refereeing and editing process. Elsevier will continue to be the single,
definitive archive for the formal published version. *



*We will be gradually updating any public information on our policies
(including our copyright forms and all information on our web site) to get
it all consistent. *



*Karen Hunter *

*Senior Vice President, Strategy *

*Elsevier *

*+1-212-633-3787 *

*k.hunter_at_elsevier.com <http://k.hunter_at_elsevier.com>*



Yes, the definition of authors providing free, immediate online access
(Green OA self-archiving) has not changed since the online medium first
made it possible. Neither has researchers=E2=80=99 need for it changed, nor=
 its
benefits to research.



What has changed is Elsevier policy -- in the direction of trying to
embargo Green OA to ensure that it does not Elsevier's current revenue
levels at any risk.



Elsevier did not try to embargo Green OA from 2004-2012 =E2=80=94 but appar=
ently
only because they did not believe that authors would ever really bother to
provide much Green OA, nor that their institutions and funders would ever
bother to require them to provide it (for its benefits to research).



But for some reason *Elsevier is not ready to admit that Elsevier has now
decided to embargo Green OA purely to ensure that it does put Elsevier's
current subscription revenue levels at any risk. *



Instead, Elsevier wants to hold OA hostage to its current revenue levels --
by embargoing Green OA, with the payment of Fools-Gold OA
<https://www.google.ca/search?num=3D20&q=3Dsite%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fopenaccess.e=
prints.org+%22fools+gold%22&oq=3Dsite%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fopenaccess.eprints.org=
+%22fools+gold%22&gs_l=3Dserp.3...339136.344145.0.345749.12.12.0.0.0.0.217.=
856.11j0j1.12.0.ckpsrh...0...1.1.64.serp..12.0.0._lRkTp5SLmk>
publication fees the only alternative for immediate OA. This ensures that
Elsevier's current revenue levels either remain unchanged, or increase.



But, for public-relations reasons, Elsevier prefers to try to portray this
as all being done out of =E2=80=9Cfairness,=E2=80=9D and to facilitate =E2=
=80=9Csharing=E2=80=9D (in the
spirit of OA).



The =E2=80=9Cfairness=E2=80=9D is to ensure that no institution is exempt f=
rom Elsevier=E2=80=99s
Green OA embargoes.



And the =E2=80=9Csharing=E2=80=9D is the social sharing services like Mende=
ley
<http://www.elsevier.com/online-tools/mendeley> (which Elsevier owns),
about which Elsevier now believes (for the time being) that authors would
not bother to use enough to put their current revenue levels at risk (and
their institutions and funders cannot mandate that they use them) -- hence
that that they would not pose a risk to Elsevier's current subscription
revenue levels.



Yet another one of the =E2=80=9Cchanges=E2=80=9D with which Elsevier seems =
to be trying to
promote sharing seems to be by trying to find a way to outlaw the
institutional repositories=E2=80=99 "share button
<http://www.elsevier.com/about/policies/hosting#non-commercial-platforms>"
(otherwise known as the =E2=80=9CFair-Dealing=E2=80=9D Button
<http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/18511/>).



So just as Elsevier is trying to claim credit for =E2=80=9Callowing=E2=80=
=9D authors to do
=E2=80=9Cdark=E2=80=9D (i.e., embargoed, non-OA) deposits, for which no pub=
lisher
permission whatsoever is or ever was required, Elsevier now has its lawyers
scrambling to find a formalizable way to make it appear as if Elsevier can
forbid its authors to provide individual reprints to one another, as
authors have been doing for six decades, under yet another new bogus formal
pretext to make it appear sufficiently confusing and threatening to ensure
that the responses to Elsevier author surveys (for its "evidence-based
policy") continue to be sufficiently perplexed and meek to justify any
double-talk in either Elsevier policy or Elsevier PR.



The one change in Elsevier policy that one can applaud, however (though
here too the underlying intentions were far from benign), is the CC-BY-NC-N=
D
license
<http://www.elsevier.com/about/policies/article-posting-policy#accepted-man=
uscript>
(unless Elsevier one day decides to back-pedal on that too too). That
license is now not only allowed but required for any accepted paper that an
author elects to self-archive.



Let me close by mentioning a few more of the howlers that keep making
Elsevier's unending series of arbitrary contractual bug-fixes logically
incoherent (i.e., self-contradictory) and technically nonsensical, hence
moot, unenforceable, and eminently ignorable for anyone who takes a few
moments to think instead of cringe. *Elsevier is trying to use pseudo-legal
words to squeeze the virtual genie (the Web) back into the physical bottle
(the old, land-based, print-on-paper world):*



*Locus of deposit:* Elsevier tries to make legal distinctions on 
"where"
the author may make their papers (Green) OA on the Web: "You may post it
here but not there." "Here" might be an institutional website, 
"there" may
be a central website. "Here" might be an institutional author's 
homepage,
"there" might be an institutional repository.



But do Elsevier's legal beagles ever stop to ask themselves what this all
means, in the online medium? *If you make your paper openly accessible
anywhere at all on the web, it is openly accessible (and linkable and
harvestable) from and to anywhere else on the Web.* Google and google
scholar will pick up the link, and so will a host of other harvesters and
indexers. And users never go to the deposit site to seek a paper: They seek
and find and link to it via the link harvesters and indexers. So locus
restrictions are silly and completely empty in the virtual world.



The silliest of all is the injunction that "you may post it on your
institutional home page but not your institutional repository." What
nonsense! The institutional home page and the institutional repository are
just tagged disk sectors and software functions, of the self-same
institution. They are virtual entities, created by definition; one can be
renamed as the other at any time. And their functionalities are completely
swappable or integrable too. That too is a feature of the virtual world.



So all Elsevier is doing by treating these virtual entities as if they were
physical ones (besides confusing and misleading their authors) is creating
terminological nuisances, forcing system administrators to keep re-naming
and re-assigning sectors and functions, needlessly, and vacuously, just to
accommodate vacuous nuisance terminological stipulations.



(The same thing applies to "systematicity" and 
"aggregation," which I
notice that Elsevier has since dropped as futile: The attempt had been to
outlaw posting where the contents of a journal were being systematically
aggregated, by analogy with a rival free-riding publisher systematically
gathering together all the disparate papers in a journal so as to re-sell
them at a cut-rate. Well not only is an institution no free-rising
aggregator: all it is gathering* its own paper output*, published in
multiple disparate journals. But, because of the virtual nature of the
medium, it is in fact the Web itself that is systematically gathering all
disparate papers together, wherever they happen to be hosted, using their
metadata tags: author, title, journal, date, URL. The rest is all just
software functionality. And if the full-text is out there, somewhere,
anywhere, and it is OA, then there is no way to stop the rest of this very
welcome and useful functionality.)



*The Arxiv exception.* In prior iterations of the policy, Elsevier tried
(foolishly) to outlaw central deposit. They essentially tried to tell
authors who had been making their papers OA in Arxiv since 1991 that they
may no longer do that. Well, that did not go down very well, so those
"legal" restrictions have now been replaced by the "Arxiv 
exception":
Authors making their papers OA there (or in RePeC) are now officially
exempt from the Elsevier OA embargo.



Well here we are again: an arbitrary Elsevier restriction on immediate-OA,
based on locus of deposit. The Pandora's box that this immediately opens is
that all a mandating institution need do in order to detoxify Elsevier's OA
embargo completely is to mandate immediate (dark) deposit of all
institutional output in the institutional repository *alongside remote
deposit in Arxiv* (which is already automated through the SWORD software
<http://arxiv.org/help/submit_sword>). That completely moots all Elsevier
OA embargoes. Yet another example of Elsevier's ineffectual nuisance
stipulations consisting of ad-hoc, pseudo-legal epicycles, all having one
sole objective: to try to scare authors of doing anything that might
possibly pose a risk to Elsevier's current revenue streams, using any words
that will do the trick, even if only for a while, and even if they make no
sense.



What's next, Elsevier? "You may use *this* software but not *this*
software"?



*The Share Button.* Although it never defines what it means by "Share
Button" (nor why it is trying to outlaw it), if what Elsevier means is the
Institutional Repository's copy-request Button
<https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/DSPACE/RequestCopy>, intended to
provide individual copies to individual copy-requestors, then this too is
just a software-facilitated eprint request.



Whenever a user seeks an embargoed deposit, they can click the Button to
send an email to the author to request a copy. The author need merely click
a link in the email to authorize the software to send the copy.



So does Elsevier now want to make yet another nuisance stipulation, so the
Button cannot be called a "Share Button," so instead the name of the 
author
of the embargoed paper has to be made into an email link that notifies the
author that the requestor seeks a copy, with the requestor's email alive,
and clickable, so that inserting the embargoed paper's URL will attach one
copy to the email?



Elsevier is not going to make many friends by trying to force its authors
to do jump through gratuitous hoops in order to accommodate Elsevier's ever
more arbitrary and absurd attempts to contain the virtual ether with
arbitrary verbal hacks.



*There are more.* There are further nuisance tactics in the current
iteration of Elsevier's charm initiative, in which self-serving
restrictions keep being portrayed as Elsevier's honest attempts to
facilitate rather than hamper sharing. One particularly interesting one
that I have not yet deconstructed (but that the attentive reader of the
latest Elsevier documentation will have detected) likewise moots all
Elsevier OA embargoes even more conveniently than depositing all papers in
Arxiv -- but I leave that as an exercise to the reader.



So Alicia, if Elsevier "admires [my] vision," let me invite you to 
consult
with me about present and future OA policy conditions. I'll be happy to
share with you which ones are logically incoherent and technically empty in
today's virtual world. It could save Elsevier a lot of futile effort and
save Elsevier authors from a lot of useless and increasingly arbitrary and
annoying nuisance-rules.



Best wishes,



*Stevan Harnad*

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<div dir=3D"ltr">
















<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial"><a =
href=3D"http://www.elsevier.com/connect/coar-recting-the-record#comment-203=
7996108"><b><span 
style=3D"color:rgb(38,38,38)">Alicia Wise 
wrote</span></b=
></a><span 
style=3D"color:rgb(38,38,38)">:</span></span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><b><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" style=3D"font-family:Arial;c=
olor:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></b></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">Dear 
Stevan,<=
/span></i></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span>=
</i></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">I 
admire your=
 vision
and passion for green open access =E2=80=93 in fact we all do here at Elsev=
ier - and
for your tenacity as your definitions and concepts of green open access hav=
e
remain unchanged for more than 15 years. We also recognize that the open ac=
cess
landscape has changed dramatically over the last few years, for example wit=
h
the emergence of Social Collaboration Networks. This refresh of our policy,=
 the
first since 2004, reflects what we are hearing from researchers and researc=
h
institutions about how we can support their changing needs. We look forward=
 to
continuing input from and collaboration with the research community, and wi=
ll
continue to review and refine our policy.</span></i></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span>=
</i></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">Let 
me state =
clearly
that we support both green and gold OA. Embargo periods have been used by u=
s =E2=80=93
and other publishers =E2=80=93 for a very long time and are not new. The on=
ly thing
that=E2=80=99s changed about IRs is our old policy said you had to have an =
agreement
which included embargos, and the new policy is you don=E2=80=99t need to do=
 an
agreement provided you and your authors comply with the embargo period poli=
cy.
It might be most constructive for people to just judge us based on reading
through the policy and considering what we have said and are 
saying.</span>=
</i></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span>=
</i></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">With 
kind wis=
hes and
good night,</span></i></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">Alicia Wise, =
Elsevier</span></i><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family=
:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)"></span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">Dear Alicia,</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">You wrote:</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">&quot;This 
refresh of our po=
licy [is|
the first since 2004... Embargo periods have been used by us... for a very =
long
time and are not new. The only thing that=E2=80=99s changed about IRs is ou=
r old policy
said you had to have an agreement which included 
embargos...&quot;</span></=
i><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)"></sp=
an></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">Is this the old policy that hasn&#39;t changed 
changed
since 2004 (when Elsevier was still on the &quot;<a 
href=3D"http://j.mp/OAn=
gelS"><span style=3D"color:rgb(3,37,83)">side of the 
angels</span></a>&quot=
; insofar as Green OA
was concerned) until the &quot;refresh&quot;? (I don&#39;t see any 
mention =
of
embargoes in it...):</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><b><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US=
" 
style=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">Date:</spa=
n></i></b><i><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial=
;color:rgb(38,38,38)"> Thu, 27 May 2004 03:09:39 +0100 
</span></i></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><b><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US=
" 
style=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">From:</spa=
n></i></b><i><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial=
;color:rgb(38,38,38)"> &quot;Hunter, Karen (ELS-US)&quot; 
</span></i></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><b><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US=
" 
style=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">To:</span>=
</i></b><i><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;c=
olor:rgb(38,38,38)"> &quot;&#39;<a 
href=3D"http://harnad_at_ecs.soton.ac.uk=
">harnad_at_ecs.soton.ac.uk</a>&#39;&quot; 
</span></i></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><b><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US=
" 
style=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">Cc:</span>=
</i></b><i><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;c=
olor:rgb(38,38,38)"> &quot;Karssen, Zeger (ELS)&quot; , 
&quot;Bolman, Piete=
r (ELS)&quot; ,
&quot;Seeley, Mark (ELS)&quot; </span></i></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><b><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US=
" 
style=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">Subject:</=
span></i></b><i><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Ar=
ial;color:rgb(38,38,38)"> Re: Elsevier journal list 
</span></i></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span>=
</i></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">Stevan, </spa=
n></i></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span>=
</i></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">[H]ere is wha=
t we have
decided on post-&quot;prints&quot; (i.e. published articles, whether 
publis=
hed
electronically or in print): </span></i></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span>=
</i></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">An 
author may=
 post his
version of the final paper on his personal web site and on his 
institution&=
#39;s
web site (including its institutional respository). Each posting should inc=
lude
the article&#39;s citation and a link to the journal&#39;s home page 
(or th=
e article&#39;s
DOI). The author does not need our permission to do this, but any other pos=
ting
(e.g. to a repository elsewhere) would require our permission. By &quot;his
version&quot; we are referring to his Word or Tex file, not a PDF or HTML
downloaded from ScienceDirect - but the author can update his version to
reflect changes made during the refereeing and editing process. Elsevier wi=
ll
continue to be the single, definitive archive for the formal published vers=
ion.
</span></i></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span>=
</i></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">We 
will be gr=
adually
updating any public information on our policies (including our copyright fo=
rms
and all information on our web site) to get it all consistent. 
</span></i><=
/p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span>=
</i></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">Karen Hunter =
</span></i></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">Senior Vice P=
resident,
Strategy </span></i></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">Elsevier </sp=
an></i></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">+1-212-633-37=
87 </span></i></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><i><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)"><a href=3D"ht=
tp://k.hunter_at_elsevier.com">k.hunter_at_elsevier.com</a></span></i><span=
 lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-size:11pt;font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,3=
8)"></span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">Yes, the definition of authors providing free,
immediate online access (Green OA self-archiving) has not changed since the
online medium first made it possible. Neither has researchers=E2=80=99 need=
 for it
changed, nor its benefits to research.</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">What has changed is Elsevier policy -- in the
direction of trying to embargo Green OA to ensure that it does not Elsevier=
&#39;s
current revenue levels at any risk. </span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">Elsevier did not try to embargo Green OA from
2004-2012 =E2=80=94 but apparently only because they did not believe that a=
uthors would
ever really bother to provide much Green OA, nor that their institutions an=
d
funders would ever bother to require them to provide it (for its benefits t=
o
research).</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">But for some reason <b>Elsevier is not ready to 
admit
that Elsevier has now decided to embargo Green OA purely to ensure that it =
does
put Elsevier&#39;s current subscription revenue levels at any risk. 
</b></s=
pan></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">Instead, Elsevier wants to hold OA hostage to its
current revenue levels -- by embargoing Green OA, with the payment of <a hr=
ef=3D"https://www.google.ca/search?num=3D20&amp;q=3Dsite%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fope=
naccess.eprints.org+%22fools+gold%22&amp;oq=3Dsite%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fopenacces=
s.eprints.org+%22fools+gold%22&amp;gs_l=3Dserp.3...339136.344145.0.345749.1=
2.12.0.0.0.0.217.856.11j0j1.12.0.ckpsrh...0...1.1.64.serp..12.0.0._lRkTp5SL=
mk"><span style=3D"color:rgb(3,37,83)">Fools-Gold 
OA</span></a> publication=
 fees the only
alternative for immediate OA. This ensures that Elsevier&#39;s current 
reve=
nue
levels either remain unchanged, or increase. </span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">But, for public-relations reasons, Elsevier prefers to
try to portray this as all being done out of =E2=80=9Cfairness,=E2=80=9D an=
d to facilitate
=E2=80=9Csharing=E2=80=9D (in the spirit of OA).</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">The =E2=80=9Cfairness=E2=80=9D is to ensure that no 
instit=
ution is
exempt from Elsevier=E2=80=99s Green OA embargoes. </span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">And the =E2=80=9Csharing=E2=80=9D is the social 
sharing se=
rvices like <a 
href=3D"http://www.elsevier.com/online-tools/mendeley"><span=
 style=3D"color:rgb(3,37,83)">Mendeley</span></a>
(which Elsevier owns), about which Elsevier now believes (for the time bein=
g)
that authors would not bother to use enough to put their current revenue le=
vels
at risk (and their institutions and funders cannot mandate that they use th=
em)
-- hence that that they would not pose a risk to Elsevier&#39;s current
subscription revenue levels.</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">Yet another one of the =E2=80=9Cchanges=E2=80=9D with 
whic=
h Elsevier
seems to be trying to promote sharing seems to be by trying to find a way t=
o
outlaw the institutional repositories=E2=80=99 &quot;<a 
href=3D"http://www.=
elsevier.com/about/policies/hosting#non-commercial-platforms"><span 
style=
=3D"color:rgb(3,37,83)">share 
button</span></a>&quot; (otherwise known as t=
he <a href=3D"http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/18511/"><span 
style=3D"color:r=
gb(3,37,83)">=E2=80=9CFair-Dealing=E2=80=9D
Button</span></a>). </span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">So just as Elsevier is trying to claim credit for
=E2=80=9Callowing=E2=80=9D authors to do =E2=80=9Cdark=E2=80=9D (i.e., emba=
rgoed, non-OA) deposits, for which
no publisher permission whatsoever is or ever was required, Elsevier now ha=
s
its lawyers scrambling to find a formalizable way to make it appear as if
Elsevier can forbid its authors to provide individual reprints to one anoth=
er,
as authors have been doing for six decades, under yet another new bogus for=
mal
pretext to make it appear sufficiently confusing and threatening to ensure =
that
the responses to Elsevier author surveys (for its &quot;evidence-based
policy&quot;) continue to be sufficiently perplexed and meek to justify any
double-talk in either Elsevier policy or Elsevier PR.</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">The one change in Elsevier policy that one can
applaud, however (though here too the underlying intentions were far from
benign), is the <a 
href=3D"http://www.elsevier.com/about/policies/article-p=
osting-policy#accepted-manuscript"><span 
style=3D"color:rgb(3,37,83)">CC-BY=
-NC-ND license</span></a> (unless Elsevier one day
decides to back-pedal on that too too). That license is now not only allowe=
d
but required for any accepted paper that an author elects to self-archive.<=
/span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">Let me close by mentioning a few more of the howlers
that keep making Elsevier&#39;s unending series of arbitrary contractual 
bu=
g-fixes
logically incoherent (i.e., self-contradictory) and technically nonsensical=
,
hence moot, unenforceable, and eminently ignorable for anyone who takes a f=
ew
moments to think instead of cringe. <i>Elsevier is trying to use 
pseudo-leg=
al
words to squeeze the virtual genie (the Web) back into the physical bottle =
(the
old, land-based, print-on-paper world):</i></span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><span lang=3D"EN-US" styl=
e=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><b><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">Locus of 
deposit:</span></b>=
<span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">
Elsevier tries to make legal distinctions on &quot;where&quot; the 
author m=
ay
make their papers (Green) OA on the Web: &quot;You may post it here but not
there.&quot; &quot;Here&quot; might be an institutional website,
&quot;there&quot; may be a central website. &quot;Here&quot; 
might be an
institutional author&#39;s homepage, &quot;there&quot; might be an 
institut=
ional
repository.</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><span lang=3D"EN-US" styl=
e=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><span lang=3D"EN-US" styl=
e=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">But do 
Elsevier&#39;s legal bea=
gles ever stop to ask
themselves what this all means, in the online medium? <i>If you make your 
p=
aper
openly accessible anywhere at all on the web, it is openly accessible (and
linkable and harvestable) from and to anywhere else on the Web.</i> 
Google =
and
google scholar will pick up the link, and so will a host of other harvester=
s
and indexers. And users never go to the deposit site to seek a paper: They =
seek
and find and link to it via the link harvesters and indexers. So locus
restrictions are silly and completely empty in the virtual world. 
</span></=
p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><span lang=3D"EN-US" styl=
e=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><span lang=3D"EN-US" styl=
e=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">The silliest of all is 
the inju=
nction that &quot;you
may post it on your institutional home page but not your institutional
repository.&quot; What nonsense! The institutional home page and the
institutional repository are just tagged disk sectors and software function=
s,
of the self-same institution. They are virtual entities, created by definit=
ion;
one can be renamed as the other at any time. And their functionalities are
completely swappable or integrable too. That too is a feature of the virtua=
l
world.</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><span lang=3D"EN-US" styl=
e=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><span lang=3D"EN-US" styl=
e=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">So all Elsevier is 
doing by tre=
ating these virtual
entities as if they were physical ones (besides confusing and misleading th=
eir
authors) is creating terminological nuisances, forcing system administrator=
s to
keep re-naming and re-assigning sectors and functions, needlessly, and
vacuously, just to accommodate vacuous nuisance terminological stipulations=
.</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><span lang=3D"EN-US" styl=
e=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><span lang=3D"EN-US" styl=
e=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">(The same thing 
applies to &quo=
t;systematicity&quot;
and &quot;aggregation,&quot; which I notice that Elsevier has since 
dropped=
 as
futile: The attempt had been to outlaw posting where the contents of a jour=
nal
were being systematically aggregated, by analogy with a rival free-riding
publisher systematically gathering together all the disparate papers in a
journal so as to re-sell them at a cut-rate. Well not only is an institutio=
n no
free-rising aggregator: all it is gathering<i> its <u>own</u> 
paper output<=
/i>,
published in multiple disparate journals. But, because of the virtual natur=
e of
the medium, it is in fact the Web itself that is systematically gathering a=
ll
disparate papers together, wherever they happen to be hosted, using their
metadata tags: author, title, journal, date, URL. The rest is all just soft=
ware
functionality. And if the full-text is out there, somewhere, anywhere, and =
it
is OA, then there is no way to stop the rest of this very welcome and usefu=
l
functionality.)</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><span lang=3D"EN-US" styl=
e=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><b><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">The Arxiv 
exception.</span><=
/b><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)"> In
prior iterations of the policy, Elsevier tried (foolishly) to outlaw centra=
l
deposit. They essentially tried to tell authors who had been making their
papers OA in Arxiv since 1991 that they may no longer do that. Well, that d=
id
not go down very well, so those &quot;legal&quot; restrictions have now 
bee=
n
replaced by the &quot;Arxiv exception&quot;: Authors making their 
papers OA
there (or in RePeC) are now officially exempt from the Elsevier OA embargo.=
 </span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><span lang=3D"EN-US" styl=
e=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><span lang=3D"EN-US" styl=
e=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">Well here we are 
again: an arbi=
trary Elsevier
restriction on immediate-OA, based on locus of deposit. The Pandora&#39;s 
b=
ox that
this immediately opens is that all a mandating institution need do in order=
 to
detoxify Elsevier&#39;s OA embargo completely is to mandate immediate 
(dark=
)
deposit of all institutional output in the institutional repository 
<i>alon=
gside
remote deposit in Arxiv</i> (which is already automated through the <a 
href=
=3D"http://arxiv.org/help/submit_sword"><span 
style=3D"color:rgb(3,37,83)">=
SWORD
software</span></a>). That completely moots all Elsevier OA 
embargoes. Yet
another example of Elsevier&#39;s ineffectual nuisance stipulations 
consist=
ing of
ad-hoc, pseudo-legal epicycles, all having one sole objective: to try to sc=
are
authors of doing anything that might possibly pose a risk to 
Elsevier&#39;s=
 current
revenue streams, using any words that will do the trick, even if only for a
while, and even if they make no sense.</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><span lang=3D"EN-US" styl=
e=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><span lang=3D"EN-US" styl=
e=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">What&#39;s next, 
Elsevier? &quo=
t;You may use <i>this</i>
software but not <i>this</i> 
software&quot;?</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><span lang=3D"EN-US" styl=
e=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><b><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">The Share 
Button.</span></b>=
<span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">
Although it never defines what it means by &quot;Share Button&quot; 
(nor wh=
y it
is trying to outlaw it), if what Elsevier means is the Institutional
Repository&#39;s <a 
href=3D"https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/DSPACE/Reque=
stCopy"><span style=3D"color:rgb(3,37,83)">copy-request 
Button</span></a>, =
intended to provide
individual copies to individual copy-requestors, then this too is just a
software-facilitated eprint request. </span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><span lang=3D"EN-US" styl=
e=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><span lang=3D"EN-US" styl=
e=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">Whenever a user seeks 
an embarg=
oed deposit, they can
click the Button to send an email to the author to request a copy. The auth=
or
need merely click a link in the email to authorize the software to send the
copy.</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><span lang=3D"EN-US" styl=
e=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><span lang=3D"EN-US" styl=
e=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">So does Elsevier now 
want to ma=
ke yet another nuisance
stipulation, so the Button cannot be called a &quot;Share Button,&quot; 
so
instead the name of the author of the embargoed paper has to be made into a=
n
email link that notifies the author that the requestor seeks a copy, with t=
he
requestor&#39;s email alive, and clickable, so that inserting the 
embargoed=
 paper&#39;s
URL will attach one copy to the email?</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><span lang=3D"EN-US" styl=
e=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><span lang=3D"EN-US" styl=
e=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">Elsevier is not going 
to make m=
any friends by trying
to force its authors to do jump through gratuitous hoops in order to
accommodate Elsevier&#39;s ever more arbitrary and absurd attempts to 
conta=
in the
virtual ether with arbitrary verbal hacks.</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><span lang=3D"EN-US" styl=
e=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal" 
style=3D"margin-left:36pt"><b><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" s=
tyle=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">There are 
more.</span></b><s=
pan lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;color:rgb(38,38,38)">
There are further nuisance tactics in the current iteration of 
Elsevier&#39=
;s charm
initiative, in which self-serving restrictions keep being portrayed as Else=
vier&#39;s
honest attempts to facilitate rather than hamper sharing. One particularly
interesting one that I have not yet deconstructed (but that the attentive
reader of the latest Elsevier documentation will have detected) likewise mo=
ots
all Elsevier OA embargoes even more conveniently than depositing all papers=
 in
Arxiv -- but I leave that as an exercise to the reader.</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">So Alicia, if Elsevier &quot;admires [my]
vision,&quot; let me invite you to consult with me about present and 
future=
 OA
policy conditions. I&#39;ll be happy to share with you which ones are 
logic=
ally
incoherent and technically empty in today&#39;s virtual world. It could 
sav=
e
Elsevier a lot of futile effort and save Elsevier authors from a lot of use=
less
and increasingly arbitrary and annoying nuisance-rules.</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">Best wishes,</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><span lang=3D"EN-US" 
style=3D"font-family:Arial;colo=
r:rgb(38,38,38)">=C2=A0</span></p>

<p class=3D"MsoNormal"><b><span 
lang=3D"EN-US" style=3D"font-family:Arial;c=
olor:rgb(38,38,38)">Stevan Harnad</span></b><span 
style=3D"font-family:Aria=
l"></span></p>

</div>

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[BOAI] Re: Elsevier: Trying to squeeze the virtual genie back into the physical bottle

From: Stevan Harnad <harnad AT ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 26 May 2015 13:10:26 -0400


Threading: [BOAI] Elsevier: Trying to squeeze the virtual genie back into the physical bottle from amsciforum AT gmail.com
      • This Message


On Tue, May 26, 2015 at 1:08 AM, Michael Eisen <mbeisen AT gmail.com 
<mailto:mbeisen AT gmail.com>> wrote:
> Stevan-
> 
> I hate to say I told you so, but .... at the Budapest meeting years ago it 
was pointed out repeatedly that once green OA actually became a threat to 
publishers, they would no longer look so kindly on it. It took a while, but the 
inevitable has now happened. Green OA that relied on publishers to peer review 
papers + subscriptions to pay for them, but somehow also allowed them to be 
made freely available, was never sustainable. If you want OA you have to either 
fund publishers by some other means (subsidies, APCs) or wean yourself from 
that which they provide (journal branding). Parasitism only works so long as it 
is not too painful to the host. It's a testament to a lot of hard work from 
green OA advocates that it has become a threat to Elsevier. But the way forward 
is not to get them to reverse course, but to look past them to a future that is 
free of subscription journals. 
> 
> Also, I don't view CC-BY-NC-ND as a victory as the NC part is there to 
make sure that no commercial entity - including, somewhat ironically, PLOS - 
can use the articles to actually do anything. So this license makes these 
articles definitively non open access.
> 
> -Mike


Mike,

I will respond more fully on your blog: 
http://www.michaeleisen.org/blog/?p=1710 
<http://www.michaeleisen.org/blog/?p=1710>

To reply briefly here:

1. The publisher back-pedalling and OA embargoes were anticipated. That’s why 
the copy-request Button  
<https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/DSPACE/RequestCopy>was already 
created to provide access during any embargo, nearly 10 years ago, long before 
Elsevier and Springer began back-pedalling.

2. Immediate-deposit mandates plus the Button, once adopted universally, will 
lead unstoppably to 100% OA, and almost as quickly as if there were no 
publisher OA embargoes.

3. For a “way forward,” it is not enough to “look past the present to the 
future”: one must provide a demonstrably viable transition scenario to get us 
there from here. 

4. Green OA, mandated by institutions and funders, is a demonstrably viable 
transition scenario. 

5. Offering paid-Gold OA journals as an alternative and waiting instead for all 
authors to switch is not a viable transition sceario, for the reasons I 
described again yesterday in response to Éric Archambault 
<http://mailman.ecs.soton.ac.uk/pipermail/goal/2015-May/003366.html>: 
multiple journals, multiple subscribing institutions, ongoing access needs, no 
coherent “flip” strategy, hence double-payment (i.e., subscription fees for 
incoming institutional access to external institutional output plus Gold 
publication fees for providing OA to outgoing institutional published output) 
when funds are already stretched to the limit by subscriptions that are 
uncancellable — until and unless made accessible by another means.

6. That other means is 4, above. The resulting transition scenario has been 
described many times, starting in 2001 
<http://www.nature.com/nature/debates/e-access/Articles/harnad.html#B1>, 
with updates in 2007 <http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/13309/>, 2010 
<http://www.dlib.org/dlib/july10/harnad/07harnad.html>,  2013 
<http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/353991/>,  2014 
<http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2014/04/28/inflated-subscriptions-unsustainable-harnad/>, and 2015 <http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/361704/>, keeping pace with ongoing mandate and embargo developments.

7. An article that is freely accessible to all online under CC-BY-NC-ND is most 
definitely OA — Gratis OA 
<http://legacy.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/2008/08/greengold-oa-and-gratislibre-oa.html>, to be exact.

8. For the reasons I have likewise described many times before, the transition 
scenario is to mandate Gratis Green OA (together with the Button, for emabrgoed 
deposits) universally. That universal Green Gratis OA will in turn make 
subscriptions cancellable, hence unsustainable, which will in turn force 
publishers to downsize to affordable, sustainable Fair-Gold Libre OA (CC-BY).

9. It is a bit disappointing to hear an OA advocate characterize Green OA as 
parasitic on publishers, when OA’s fundamental rationale has been that 
publishers are parasitic on researchers and referees’ work as well as its 
public funding. But perhaps when the OA advocate is a publisher, the motivation 
changes…

Stevan



On Mon, May 25, 2015 at 11:23 AM, Stevan Harnad <amsciforum AT gmail.com 
<mailto:amsciforum AT gmail.com>> wrote:
Alicia Wise wrote 
<http://www.elsevier.com/connect/coar-recting-the-record#comment-2037996108>:

 

Dear Stevan,

 

I admire your vision and passion for green open access – in fact we all do 
here at Elsevier - and for your tenacity as your definitions and concepts of 
green open access have remain unchanged for more than 15 years. We also 
recognize that the open access landscape has changed dramatically over the last 
few years, for example with the emergence of Social Collaboration Networks. 
This refresh of our policy, the first since 2004, reflects what we are hearing 
from researchers and research institutions about how we can support their 
changing needs. We look forward to continuing input from and collaboration with 
the research community, and will continue to review and refine our policy.

 

Let me state clearly that we support both green and gold OA. Embargo periods 
have been used by us – and other publishers – for a very long time and are 
not new. The only thing that’s changed about IRs is our old policy said you 
had to have an agreement which included embargos, and the new policy is you 
don’t need to do an agreement provided you and your authors comply with the 
embargo period policy. It might be most constructive for people to just judge 
us based on reading through the policy and considering what we have said and 
are saying.

 

With kind wishes and good night,

Alicia Wise, Elsevier

 
 
Dear Alicia,

 
You wrote:

 
"This refresh of our policy [is| the first since 2004... Embargo periods 
have been used by us... for a very long time and are not new. The only thing 
that’s changed about IRs is our old policy said you had to have an agreement 
which included embargos..."

 
Is this the old policy that hasn't changed changed since 2004 (when Elsevier 
was still on the "side of the angels <http://j.mp/OAngelS>" 
insofar as Green OA was concerned) until the "refresh"? (I don't see 
any mention of embargoes in it...):

 
Date: Thu, 27 May 2004 03:09:39 +0100

From: "Hunter, Karen (ELS-US)"

To: "'harnad_at_ecs.soton.ac.uk 
<http://harnad_at_ecs.soton.ac.uk/>\'"

Cc: "Karssen, Zeger (ELS)" , "Bolman, Pieter (ELS)" , 
"Seeley, Mark (ELS)"

Subject: Re: Elsevier journal list

 

Stevan,

 

[H]ere is what we have decided on post-"prints" (i.e. published 
articles, whether published electronically or in print): 

 

An author may post his version of the final paper on his personal web site and 
on his institution's web site (including its institutional respository). Each 
posting should include the article's citation and a link to the journal's home 
page (or the article's DOI). The author does not need our permission to do 
this, but any other posting (e.g. to a repository elsewhere) would require our 
permission. By "his version" we are referring to his Word or Tex 
file, not a PDF or HTML downloaded from ScienceDirect - but the author can 
update his version to reflect changes made during the refereeing and editing 
process. Elsevier will continue to be the single, definitive archive for the 
formal published version.

 

We will be gradually updating any public information on our policies (including 
our copyright forms and all information on our web site) to get it all 
consistent.

 

Karen Hunter

Senior Vice President, Strategy

Elsevier

+1-212-633-3787 <tel:%2B1-212-633-3787>
k.hunter_at_elsevier.com <http://k.hunter_at_elsevier.com/>
 
Yes, the definition of authors providing free, immediate online access (Green 
OA self-archiving) has not changed since the online medium first made it 
possible. Neither has researchers’ need for it changed, nor its benefits to 
research.

 
What has changed is Elsevier policy -- in the direction of trying to embargo 
Green OA to ensure that it does not Elsevier's current revenue levels at any 
risk.

 
Elsevier did not try to embargo Green OA from 2004-2012 — but apparently only 
because they did not believe that authors would ever really bother to provide 
much Green OA, nor that their institutions and funders would ever bother to 
require them to provide it (for its benefits to research).

 
But for some reason Elsevier is not ready to admit that Elsevier has now 
decided to embargo Green OA purely to ensure that it does put Elsevier's 
current subscription revenue levels at any risk.

 
Instead, Elsevier wants to hold OA hostage to its current revenue levels -- by 
embargoing Green OA, with the payment of Fools-Gold OA 
<https://www.google.ca/search?num=20&q=site%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fopenaccess.eprints.org+%22fools+gold%22&oq=site%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fopenaccess.eprints.org+%22fools+gold%22&gs_l=serp.3...339136.344145.0.345749.12.12.0.0.0.0.217.856.11j0j1.12.0.ckpsrh...0...1.1.64.serp..12.0.0._lRkTp5SLmk> publication fees the only alternative for immediate OA. This ensures that Elsevier's current revenue levels either remain unchanged, or increase.

 
But, for public-relations reasons, Elsevier prefers to try to portray this as 
all being done out of “fairness,” and to facilitate “sharing” (in the 
spirit of OA).

 
The “fairness” is to ensure that no institution is exempt from Elsevier’s 
Green OA embargoes.

 
And the “sharing” is the social sharing services like Mendeley 
<http://www.elsevier.com/online-tools/mendeley> (which Elsevier owns), 
about which Elsevier now believes (for the time being) that authors would not 
bother to use enough to put their current revenue levels at risk (and their 
institutions and funders cannot mandate that they use them) -- hence that that 
they would not pose a risk to Elsevier's current subscription revenue levels.

 
Yet another one of the “changes” with which Elsevier seems to be trying to 
promote sharing seems to be by trying to find a way to outlaw the institutional 
repositories’ "share button 
<http://www.elsevier.com/about/policies/hosting#non-commercial-platforms>" (otherwise known as the “Fair-Dealing” Button <http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/18511/>).

 
So just as Elsevier is trying to claim credit for “allowing” authors to do 
“dark” (i.e., embargoed, non-OA) deposits, for which no publisher 
permission whatsoever is or ever was required, Elsevier now has its lawyers 
scrambling to find a formalizable way to make it appear as if Elsevier can 
forbid its authors to provide individual reprints to one another, as authors 
have been doing for six decades, under yet another new bogus formal pretext to 
make it appear sufficiently confusing and threatening to ensure that the 
responses to Elsevier author surveys (for its "evidence-based 
policy") continue to be sufficiently perplexed and meek to justify any 
double-talk in either Elsevier policy or Elsevier PR.

 
The one change in Elsevier policy that one can applaud, however (though here 
too the underlying intentions were far from benign), is the CC-BY-NC-ND license 
<http://www.elsevier.com/about/policies/article-posting-policy#accepted-manuscript> (unless Elsevier one day decides to back-pedal on that too too). That license is now not only allowed but required for any accepted paper that an author elects to self-archive.

 
Let me close by mentioning a few more of the howlers that keep making 
Elsevier's unending series of arbitrary contractual bug-fixes logically 
incoherent (i.e., self-contradictory) and technically nonsensical, hence moot, 
unenforceable, and eminently ignorable for anyone who takes a few moments to 
think instead of cringe. Elsevier is trying to use pseudo-legal words to 
squeeze the virtual genie (the Web) back into the physical bottle (the old, 
land-based, print-on-paper world):

 
Locus of deposit: Elsevier tries to make legal distinctions on 
"where" the author may make their papers (Green) OA on the Web: 
"You may post it here but not there." "Here" might be an 
institutional website, "there" may be a central website. 
"Here" might be an institutional author's homepage, "there" 
might be an institutional repository.

 
But do Elsevier's legal beagles ever stop to ask themselves what this all 
means, in the online medium? If you make your paper openly accessible anywhere 
at all on the web, it is openly accessible (and linkable and harvestable) from 
and to anywhere else on the Web. Google and google scholar will pick up the 
link, and so will a host of other harvesters and indexers. And users never go 
to the deposit site to seek a paper: They seek and find and link to it via the 
link harvesters and indexers. So locus restrictions are silly and completely 
empty in the virtual world.

 
The silliest of all is the injunction that "you may post it on your 
institutional home page but not your institutional repository." What 
nonsense! The institutional home page and the institutional repository are just 
tagged disk sectors and software functions, of the self-same institution. They 
are virtual entities, created by definition; one can be renamed as the other at 
any time. And their functionalities are completely swappable or integrable too. 
That too is a feature of the virtual world.

 
So all Elsevier is doing by treating these virtual entities as if they were 
physical ones (besides confusing and misleading their authors) is creating 
terminological nuisances, forcing system administrators to keep re-naming and 
re-assigning sectors and functions, needlessly, and vacuously, just to 
accommodate vacuous nuisance terminological stipulations.

 
(The same thing applies to "systematicity" and 
"aggregation," which I notice that Elsevier has since dropped as 
futile: The attempt had been to outlaw posting where the contents of a journal 
were being systematically aggregated, by analogy with a rival free-riding 
publisher systematically gathering together all the disparate papers in a 
journal so as to re-sell them at a cut-rate. Well not only is an institution no 
free-rising aggregator: all it is gathering its own paper output, published in 
multiple disparate journals. But, because of the virtual nature of the medium, 
it is in fact the Web itself that is systematically gathering all disparate 
papers together, wherever they happen to be hosted, using their metadata tags: 
author, title, journal, date, URL. The rest is all just software functionality. 
And if the full-text is out there, somewhere, anywhere, and it is OA, then 
there is no way to stop the rest of this very welcome and useful 
functionality.)

 
The Arxiv exception. In prior iterations of the policy, Elsevier tried 
(foolishly) to outlaw central deposit. They essentially tried to tell authors 
who had been making their papers OA in Arxiv since 1991 that they may no longer 
do that. Well, that did not go down very well, so those "legal" 
restrictions have now been replaced by the "Arxiv exception": Authors 
making their papers OA there (or in RePeC) are now officially exempt from the 
Elsevier OA embargo.

 
Well here we are again: an arbitrary Elsevier restriction on immediate-OA, 
based on locus of deposit. The Pandora's box that this immediately opens is 
that all a mandating institution need do in order to detoxify Elsevier's OA 
embargo completely is to mandate immediate (dark) deposit of all institutional 
output in the institutional repository alongside remote deposit in Arxiv (which 
is already automated through the SWORD software 
<http://arxiv.org/help/submit_sword>). That completely moots all Elsevier 
OA embargoes. Yet another example of Elsevier's ineffectual nuisance 
stipulations consisting of ad-hoc, pseudo-legal epicycles, all having one sole 
objective: to try to scare authors of doing anything that might possibly pose a 
risk to Elsevier's current revenue streams, using any words that will do the 
trick, even if only for a while, and even if they make no sense.

 
What's next, Elsevier? "You may use this software but not this 
software"?

 
The Share Button. Although it never defines what it means by "Share 
Button" (nor why it is trying to outlaw it), if what Elsevier means is the 
Institutional Repository's copy-request Button 
<https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/DSPACE/RequestCopy>, intended to 
provide individual copies to individual copy-requestors, then this too is just 
a software-facilitated eprint request.

 
Whenever a user seeks an embargoed deposit, they can click the Button to send 
an email to the author to request a copy. The author need merely click a link 
in the email to authorize the software to send the copy.

 
So does Elsevier now want to make yet another nuisance stipulation, so the 
Button cannot be called a "Share Button," so instead the name of the 
author of the embargoed paper has to be made into an email link that notifies 
the author that the requestor seeks a copy, with the requestor's email alive, 
and clickable, so that inserting the embargoed paper's URL will attach one copy 
to the email?

 
Elsevier is not going to make many friends by trying to force its authors to do 
jump through gratuitous hoops in order to accommodate Elsevier's ever more 
arbitrary and absurd attempts to contain the virtual ether with arbitrary 
verbal hacks.

 
There are more. There are further nuisance tactics in the current iteration of 
Elsevier's charm initiative, in which self-serving restrictions keep being 
portrayed as Elsevier's honest attempts to facilitate rather than hamper 
sharing. One particularly interesting one that I have not yet deconstructed 
(but that the attentive reader of the latest Elsevier documentation will have 
detected) likewise moots all Elsevier OA embargoes even more conveniently than 
depositing all papers in Arxiv -- but I leave that as an exercise to the 
reader.

 
So Alicia, if Elsevier "admires [my] vision," let me invite you to 
consult with me about present and future OA policy conditions. I'll be happy to 
share with you which ones are logically incoherent and technically empty in 
today's virtual world. It could save Elsevier a lot of futile effort and save 
Elsevier authors from a lot of useless and increasingly arbitrary and annoying 
nuisance-rules.

 
Best wishes,

 
Stevan Harnad



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