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Re: Just who is on the defensive?

On Fri, 26 Jan 2007, JOHANNES VELTEROP wrote:

> The issue shouldn't be -- and for most clear-thinking 
> publishers isn't -- about OA yea or nay. It is about the 
> fundamentally problematic idea of mandating access to the 
> formally published literature without willing to provide in any 
> way for payment...

But, dear Jan, need I remind you that Payment *in full* is being 
made -- via subscriptions and licenses -- for that vast majority 
of journals that are not OA journals!

The rest is just pre-emptive speculation: If those subscriptions 
are ever cancelled, the resultant savings can then be used to pay 
for Gold OA publication charges But until and unless they are 
cancelled, why do we -- the research community, I mean, because, 
frankly, the publishing community has not much say in this, one 
way or the other -- keep wasting time on this pre-emptive 
bargaining, instead of doing the keystrokes to provide the OA, 
now? (*That's* what the self-archiving mandates are for, at long 

> Given the benefits of open access, an argument might even be 
> made that its increased utility would justify a higher price. 
> The mandates that are being considered, however, aim to remove 
> (perhaps not by intention, but as an unintended consequence) 
> any economic basis. That's the issue. Not OA or NOA.

Jan, as a publisher, you are to be excused for being so 
preoccupied with prices and your bottom line.  But I hope you 
will in turn excuse the research community for being more 
concerned with *access* -- for which there is no need to pay a 
penny more or less at the moment! All that's needed is 
keystrokes. And that is what OA, today, is about.

Stevan Harnad