[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Self-Archiving and Journal Subscriptions: Critique of PRC Study

On 5/13/07 9:50 AM, "Stevan Harnad" <harnad@ecs.soton.ac.uk> wrote:

> (1) If/when mandated Green OA self-archiving ever makes 
> subscriptions unsustainable, journals will switch to Gold OA 
> publishing (which is another desirable outcome, over and above 
> 100% Green OA, though not nearly as urgent):

The possibility approaches zero that journals threatened by Green 
OA will convert to Gold OA--nor would it be "desirable" if they 
did. The future of publishing requires true innovation, and 
innovation requires some return on investment, something Gold OA 
has yet to show it can produce.

Moreover, for society journals, to convert to Gold OA would often 
be to betray their missions. Medical and scientific societies 
exist to find cures for diseases, to improve treatments, and to 
increase public awareness and understanding. Journals are one, 
but only one, strategy for achieving these aims. Societies also 
further their aims through the training of scientists and 
clinicians, the awarding of research grants, the creation of 
public awareness and education programs, and many other 
activities. To the extent that societies fund such programs 
through net income from publications, as long as subscriptions 
are not unduly expensive nor embargoes excessively long, they are 
serving their constituents and the public optimally.

It is really past time for OA advocates talk to someone other 
their fellow travelers and to stop talking about "the" shift to 
OA or "a" shift to OA. Yes, publishing is undergoing rapid 
transformation....but not in any significant sense toward Gold 
OA. The fact that no major U.S. society publication has moved to 
OA or is even considering such a move suggests that the community 
of volunteer scientists, researchers, and clinicians who govern 
societies and direct journals has largely rejected the Gold OA 

Peter Banks
Banks Publishing
Publications Consulting and Services
(703) 591-6544
CELL (703) 254-8862
FAX (703) 383-0765