On Not Putting The Gold OA Payment Cart Before The Green OA Provision Horse
Green OA self-archiving needs to be mandated by universities before they commit any of their scarce resources to pay for Gold OA publishing. Most of the university's potential funds to pay Gold OA publishing fees are currently committed to paying their annual journal subscription fees, which are thereby covering the costs of publication already. Pre-emptively committing to pay Gold OA publication fees over and above paying subscription fees will provide OA for only a small fraction of a university's total research article output. Journal subscriptions cannot be cancelled unless the journals' contents are otherwise accessible to a university's users. In addition, the very same scarcity of funds that makes pre-emptive Gold OA payment for journal articles today premature and ineffectual also makes Gold OA payment for monographs unaffordable, for the university funds already committed to journal subscriptions today are making even the purchase of a single print copy of incoming monographs for the library prohibitive, let alone making Gold OA publication fees for outgoing monographs affordable. Universal Green OA mandates will make the final peer-reviewed drafts of all journal articles freely accessible to all would-be users online, thereby not only providing universal OA, but opening the doors to a transition to universal Gold OA if and when universities then go on to cancel subscriptions, releasing those funds to pay for the Gold OA.