Global Research Council: Counting Gold OA Chicks Before the Green OA Eggs Are Laid - Open Access Archivangelism
"The Global Research Council’s Open Access Action Plan is, overall, timely and welcome, but it is far too focused on OA as ('Gold') OA publishing, rather than on OA itself (online access to peer-reviewed research free for all). And although GRC does also discuss OA self-archiving in repositories ('Green' OA), it does not seem to understand Green OA’s causal role in OA itself, nor does it assign it its proper priority. There is also no mention at all of the most important, effective and rapidly growing OA plan of action, which is for both funders and institutions to mandate (require) Green OA self-archiving. Hence neither does the action plan give any thought to the all-important task of designing Green OA mandates and ensuring that they have an effective mechanism for monitoring and ensuring compliance. The plan says: 'The major principles and aims of the Action Plan are simple: they are (a) encouragement and support for publishing in open access journals, (b) encouragement and support for author self-deposit into open access repositories, and (c) the creation and inter-connection of repositories.' Sounds like it covers everything -- (a) Gold, (b) Green, and (c) Gold+Green – but the devil is in the details, the causal contingencies, and hence the priorities and sequence of action. 'In transitioning to open access, efficient mechanisms to shift money from subscription budgets into open access publication funds need to be developed.' But the above statement is of course not about transitioning to OA itself, but just about transitioning to OA publishing (Gold OA). And the GRC’s action plans for this transition are putting the cart before the horse. There are very strong, explicit reasons why Green OA needs to come first -- rather than double-paying for Gold pre-emptively (subscriptions plus Gold) without first having effectively mandated Green, since it is Green OA that will drive the transition to Gold OA at a fair, affordable, sustainable price ..."
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