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Re: Open Choice is a Trojan Horse for Open Access Mandates

On Fri, 9 Mar 2007, Leslie Chan wrote:

> I see the HHMI-Elsevier deal as a major set back for 
> institutional self-archiving as it muddies the green landscape, 
> which I am sure is one of the underlying intents of Elsevier 
> and other publishers in the STM group. I suspect more 
> publishers may follow suit and reverse their stand on green if 
> they think there is money to be made. Something needs to happen 
> quickly. The Trojan Horse has proved to work, unfortunately. 
> What should we do???

I know *exactly* what needs to be done, and it has been obvious 
all along: The mandates have to be taken completely out of the 
hands of publishers and out of the reach of embargoes, and there 
is a sure-fire way to do it:

The mandates must be Immediate-Deposit/Optional-Access (ID/OA) 

Let the *access* to the deposit be provisionally set as Closed 
Access wherever there is the slightest doubt. Just so publishers 
have no say whatsoever in whether or when the deposit itself is 
done. And let the EMAIL EPRINT REQUEST button -- and human 
nature, and the optimality of OA -- take care of the rest of its 
own accord, as it will. If only we have the sense to rally behind 

It is as simple as that. But *we* have to unite behind ID/OA, and 
give a clear consistent message (and for that we have to first 
clearly understand ID/OA!)

If we keep flirting with embargoes and Gold and publishing reform 
and funding instead of univocally rallying behind the ID/OA 
mandate that will immunise us from publisher policies and further 
embargoes, we will get nowhere, and indeed we will lose ground.

It is as simple as that.

Stevan Harnad