[Oa-italia] scenario Open access

Elena Giglia elena.giglia a unito.it
Gio 3 Set 2009 09:32:00 CEST

Buongiorno, giro alla lista il commento di Stevan Harnad
sul mercato inelastico delle pubblcazioni scientifiche,
molto attuale in periodo di rinnovi di contratto e tagli
di bilancio...
saluti cari e buon rientro a tutti (quant'e' difficile...)

Date:    Wed, 2 Sep 2009 05:43:38 -0400
From:    Stevan Harnad <amsciforum a GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Universal University Open Access Mandates Moot
The Problem of
         Uncontrolled Journal Price Inflation Caused By
Inelastic Demand

** Apologies for Cross-Posting **

Stuart Shieber, architect of Harvard's OA Mandate, asks:
"Do we
continue the status quo, which involves only supporting a
model known to be subject to uncontrolled inflationary
spirals, or do
we experiment with new mechanisms that have the potential
to be
economically sound and far more open to boot?"

The answer is simple: The only reason the uncontrolled
inflation of
journal subscription costs is a problem at all (and also
the reason
the upward spiral continues uncontrolled) is the planet's
universities' inelastic demand and need for access to the

Hence the solution is for universities -- the universal
providers of
all those journal articles -- to provide Open Access (free
access) to them by mandating that their peer-reviewed
final drafts be
deposited in their institutional repositories immediately
acceptance for publication.

Universal OA self-archiving moots the problem of uncontrolled
subscription-cost inflation by putting an end to the
inelasticity of
the demand: If your university cannot afford the
subscription price
for journal X, your users will still have access to the OA

There is no need for universities to try to reform journal
directly now. What is urgently needed, universally
reachable, and
already long overdue is universal OA self-archiving
mandates from
universities. Focusing instead on reforming journal
business models is
simply distracting from and hence delaying the fulfillment
of this
pressing need.

Harvard should focus all its energy and prestige on
universalizing OA
self-archiving mandates rather than dissipating it
superfluously on
journal economics and OA funds.

Once OA self-archiving is universal, journal economics
will take care of itself.

Harnad, S. (2007) The Green Road to Open Access: A Leveraged
Transition</a>. In: The Culture of Periodicals from the
Perspective of
the Electronic Age, pp. 99-105, L'Harmattan.
ABSTRACT: What the research community needs, urgently, is
free online
access (Open Access, OA) to its own peer-reviewed research
Researchers can provide that in two ways: by publishing
their articles
in OA journals (Gold OA) or by continuing to publish in
journals and self-archiving their final peer-reviewed
drafts in their
own OA Institutional Repositories (Green OA). OA
self-archiving, once
it is mandated by research institutions and funders, can
generate 100% Green OA. Gold OA requires journals to
convert to OA
publishing (which is not in the hands of the research
community) and
it also requires the funds to cover the Gold OA
publication costs.
With 100% Green OA, the research community's access and
problems are already solved. If and when 100% Green OA
should cause
significant cancellation pressure (no one knows whether or
when that
will happen, because OA Green grows anarchically, article
by article,
not journal by journal) then the cancellation pressure
will cause
cost-cutting, downsizing and eventually a leveraged
transition to OA
(Gold) publishing on the part of journals. As subscription
shrink, institutional windfall savings from cancellations
grow. If and
when journal subscriptions become unsustainable, per-article
publishing costs will be low enough, and institutional
savings will be
high enough to cover them, because publishing will have
downsized to
just peer-review service provision alone, offloading
onto authors and access-provision and archiving onto the
network of OA Institutional Repositories. Green OA will
have leveraged
a transition to Gold OA.

dott.ssa Elena Giglia
Universitą degli Studi di Torino
Sistema Bibliotecario di Ateneo
Coordinatrice Ambito 6 «Scienze storiche e  filosofiche,
pedagogiche e psicologiche»
via Sant'Ottavio, 20
10124 Torino
elena.giglia a unito.it

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