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Re: Going nuclear on open access

First, I think we should stop communicating by list-serve and e-mail. We
should all sit in a room, face to face, and hammer out agreements everyone
can live with. It won't be traditonal publishing, and it won't be
Varmus-style OA. Let's stop issuing declarations, and start making
progress. We all want more information available.

To the specific question of how much ADA content is available free access,
have a look at our peer-review research journal Diabetes Care. All content
is available free access back to 1999, except for the last 6 months.
However, we have now decided to lower the delay to 3 months. Moreover, the
most clinically important papers have always been available immediately.
Perhaps about 150 papers will remain under access control and about 3500
or more will be freely available (I'd do a more exact calculation but I
haven't had my coffee!). Moreover, authors can choose to make postprints
immediately available through any repository they choose.

I hope that clarifies our policy. 

Peter Banks
American Diabetes Association
1701 North Beauregard Street
Alexandria, VA 22311
FAX 703/683-2890
Email: pbanks@diabetes.org

>>> Jan Velterop <velteropvonleyden@btinternet.com> 5/19/2005 6:27:41
AM >>>

Peter:  I am convinced of the benefits of open access, not only for
science, but also for publishers. It has done well in the past, but I have
grave reservations about the sustainability of the traditional publishing
model, because it extends methods that were appropriate in the print
world, with its limited possibilities for dissemination, to the internet
world, with maximum possibilities for dissemination. In fact, in my view
it artificially limits internet dissemination to mirror the physical
limitations of print.

Science is about pushing boundaries. It might be good if science
publishing were to reflect that. My comments about complacency were a
reaction to Anthony saying that "they won't take a leap of faith".  
Thinking that offering open access is taking a leap of faith is wrong in
my view. But those who think it is are free to do so. Publishers who do
not want to offer open access are in no way compelled to do so by anything
other than market forces. And yes, changing policies on the part of
funders are market forces. What I'm trying to say is that it may be good
to anticipate changing market forces, changing demands. Not so much author
demands, and not only funders' demands, but also the demands of science,
the demands the ever growing amount of science results present us with.

You say that you already make more than 90% of your content freely
available. Good (how many peer-reviewed research papers amongst it?  
There is an enormous amount of most useful information on your excellent
site, but that's not the same as research articles, which is the focus of
open access). You already automatically grant authors permission to
deposit manuscripts on acceptance in repositories. Good (although I think
it is not yours to grant permission, since no law prevents them doing it
anyway). So what is it that stops you offering authors the choice of full
immediate open access if they so wish and if they pay for it? I'm not
talking compulsion here, but choice.

You read me wrong if you think that when I say that the industry is
conservative, I mean everybody in the industry. I don't mean that, because
there are important exceptions. Take Oxford University Press, for example.
They have one fully open access journal (because the authorship wanted
that, I gather), but they give the authors in all other journals the full
open access choice. In a very good and sophisticated way. They haven't
taken a leap of faith. They have carefully considered the options and have
firmly come out on the side of giving authors (and their funders) a
choice. Pay and your article will have full open access; don't pay and
your article won't. No risk (unlike not offering the choice, which does
carry a big risk). No sanctimoniousness. Just a very clever business
decision, that will enable them to cope with the growth that they
experience, in terms of numbers of submitted and published papers, much
more easily than sticking to the subscription model only.

That's the case I'm trying to make: *for* open access, both as as way to
improve science communication and as a way for publishers to anticipate
the emerging new scholarly communication demands. If I can help any
publisher or society on this list, work through the reasons why and
details of offering a risk-free open access choice, just let me know.

Best wishes,

Jan Velterop