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Re: The Nature of things - Dr Philip Campbell - Challenges of Openness in Science Communication and Publishing

Re: http://www.library.yale.edu/~llicense/ListArchives/0611/msg00119.html

The view of OA developments from Philip Campbell, the Editor of 
Nature, may seem rather one-sided. The most important OA 
developments today, by far, and OA's best hope -- namely, 
institutional and funder self-archiving mandates -- are passed 
over in silence by the Editor of Nature, who discusses OA as if 
it were only or mainly a publishing reform model (Gold OA).

Publishing reform is indeed a possible, eventual, but so far 
largely hypothetical matter. The immediate reality of OA is the 
growing presence and prospects of OA self-archiving mandates 
(Green OA). It is quite appropriate, however, that publishers 
should refrain from expressing their opinions on the subject of 
OA self-archiving mandates, as OA self-archiving mandates are 
*entirely* a research community matter and not a publishing 
matter at all.

Let us hope that publishers are equally circumspect in their 
lobbying efforts, not attempting to treat the sluggish but 
sensible stirrings in the research community toward maximising 
the usage and impact of their own research findings -- by 
requiring them to be deposited, free for all users, in their own 
Institutional Repositories -- as if this optimal and inevitable 
practice were somehow conditional on whether or not it might put 
publishers' current revenue streams at risk.

Research is not funded, conducted, and published in order to 
provide or protect publishers' revenues but to benefit the 
tax-paying public that funds research and research institutions. 
The views of publishers (and their employees) are hence quite 
welcome and natural on the subject of publishing developments, 
and their silence is equally welcome on the subject of research's 
quite natural efforts to widen its reach in the online era. 
Publishers can and will adapt to whatever is best for research, 
if need ever be. Till then, a tactful tacet is indeed the best 
policy, and the one that will be most mercifully judged by 

(That goes for Learned Societies too, who seem to have got their 
wires crossed, and need to sort out whether they represent 
research interests or publishing interests! If there is a 
conflict of interest, they need to lay that bare and sort it out 
too, not keep it wrapped in a sanctimonious and self-serving 

     Pertinent Prior AmSci Topic Thread:
     "Open Letter to Philip Campbell, Editor, Nature" (began Jan 2003)

     Berners-Lee, T., De Roure, D., Harnad, S. and Shadbolt, N. (2005)
     Journal publishing and author self-archiving: Peaceful Co-Existence
     and Fruitful Collaboration

Stevan Harnad