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Faulty Open Access FAQ

[Apologies for Cross-Posting. Hyperlinked version:
http://openaccess.eprints.org/index.php?/archives/825-guid.html ]

A FAQ should inform rather than misinform, but unfortunately the 
"Frequently asked Questions zu Open Access und 
Zweitveroeffentlichungsrecht (FAQ)" -- 
--  of Germany's Allianz der deutschen 
Wissenschaftsorganisationen (ADW) perpetuates several widespread 
and longstanding misunderstandings about Open Access.

The misunderstandings are mostly in the form of two unreflective 
reversals of practical and strategic priorities, insisting, 
prematurely, on far less urgent and important and much less 
reachable OA goals, while neglecting or even rejecting far more 
urgent and important OA goals that are already fully within 

(1) Gratis OA vs Libre OA: Gratis OA is (1a) free online access 
to refereed journal articles. Libre OA is (1a) free online access 
to refereed journal articles (1b) plus certain further re-use and 
re-publication rights.

We do not yet even have Gratis OA (1a), but it is already fully 
within reach; yet the ADW FAQ insists on Libre OA (1b), rejecting 
Gratis OA (1a) as not good enough.

(2) Green OA vs Gold OA: Green OA is (2a) Gratis OA to the 
author's final refereed drafts of all refereed journal articles, 
provided through author self-archiving of all refereed journal 
articles. Gold OA OA is (2b) Gratis or Libre OA to articles 
published in OA journals.

We do not yet even have Green OA (2a), but it is already fully 
within reach; yet the ADW FAQ insists on Gold OA (1b), rejecting 
Green OA (1a) as not good enough. This kind of counterproductive 
over-reaching is a formula for yet another decade of attaining 
minimal OA of any kind.

For correctives, see the longstanding BOAI Self-Archiving FAQ -- 
http://www.eprints.org/openaccess/self-faq/ -- and especially #23 
("Version Control"), #31 ("Waiting for Gold"), #36 ("Re-Use") and 
#37 ("Permissions").

What the ADW FAQ should be explaining and advocating is that the 
worldwide research community should first grasp what is already 
within its immediate reach, namely, Green Gratis OA 
self-archiving -- through institutional and funders Green Gratis 
OA self-archiving mandates (requirements). Only after the 
immensely beneficial immediate benefit for research that is 
already within reach (universal Green Gratis OA) has been grasped 
should we be thinking of going on to Gold OA publishing and Libre 
OA re-use/republication rights.

Stevan Harnad