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

> Then if Green ever does make subscriptions unsustainable, 
> titles will simply migrate to publishers who *are* willing to 
> convert to Gold. But the point is that we will already have 
> 100% OA -- Green OA.

That's one way of putting it.  Here's another way: publishers of 
mandated-OA content will go out of business, and the work that 
had been subsidized by the selling of that content will not get 
done.  (Again: will the trade-off be worth it?  In some cases, 
perhaps.  But it would be foolish to assume that this trade-off 
will _always_ be worth it simply because the result of the 
trade-off can be called open access.)

> Now ask the authors of those articles whether they wish to 
> subsidise Societies' good works with their own lost research 
> usage and impact (or let them the good works find other ways to 
> subsidise themselves).

Stevan, you already know the answer to that question -- that's 
why you're crusading for legal mandates.  If you believed that 
authors themselves really preferred your brand of OA to 
traditional publication, you wouldn't be so desperate to force 
authors into your brand of OA. This has nothing to do with what 
authors want; OA mandates are about forcing them into compliance 
with what you want.

> Subscriptions can continue for as long as they are sustainable, 
> but not at the price of blocking or embargoing research usage 
> and impact. That's what Green OA mandates are meant to remedy.

And if it weren't for that pesky law of unintended consequences, 
then we could happily discuss what mandates are "meant to do" and 
leave it at that.  Unfortunately, if we wish to come up with a 
system that actually functions well in the real world, then we 
have to take into account not just what OA mandates are "meant to 
do" but also what they can reasonably be expected to do.

Rick Anderson
Dir. of Resource Acquisition
University of Nevada, Reno Libraries