Scientists: support a self-archiving mandate to free the peer-reviewed journal literature
"Universal free online access of scienti c journal articles is within reach if universities and funders mandate their authors to self-archive their refereed manuscripts in an institutional archive (IR), upon acceptance in the (subscription) journals of their choice. is form of open access (OA), known as Green, can be implemented unilaterally by the universities and funders at little cost. It should not be confused with Gold OA, meaning OA through publishing directly in an OA journal.
I claim that the Dutch government and the association of universities (VSNU), by focussing on Gold prematurely, have made deals that will needlessly slow down the provision of access and maintain or even increase the publishers’ pro t margins. Sustainable Gold access (including copyright and re-use rights reform) plausibly follows once universal Green has been reached and publishers only provide the organisation of peer-review and luxury services like enhanced PDFs and paper versions.
Change must be effected by institutions and funders, but they have to be persuaded by sci- entists to install the optimal self-archiving mandate. Grassroots publishing initiatives, such as SciPost in physics, politicize the community by o ering a glimpse of a possible future. In order to speed up the transition to a fair publishing industry, they should, in addition to their innova- tive activities, put their full weight behind Green."