Open Access – Green is not enough!

As today is part of “Open Access Week” (April 7 was when the NIH mandate took effect), I’m trying to write a post a day on the topic…

For newcomers, there are loosely two forms of Open Access – Green (which allows humans to read an article without charge – priceFree) and Gold (which allows anyone to do more or less whatever they like (datamine, mashup, republish, annotate, etc.) as long as they acknowledge the original author in any derivative works.

The heroic and immensely important BBB declarations (Berlin, Budapest, Bethesda) all unequivocally declared that the phrase “Open Access” meant Gold access. One of the heroes was Stevan Harnad and last week at Southampton I paid tribute to his tireless campaigning..

Recently, however, Stevan has said that he regrets having included the Gold-like clauses in BBB and wants to see the declarations revised to emphasize Green. Many others, including Peter Suber and myself, do not agree. I’ll expand my position later as to why Green Open Access is of very limited value to scientists. Here Klaus Graf shows why he has the same position. No apologies for giving it in full.

There is no need to update the BBB definition!

[Quoting ]

PMR: [the extension to data is:
PMR: Klaus gives excellent arguments and the German copyright law is particularly compelling. No “green” label can override this whereas a CC-BY can. The idea of local datamining is – as Klaus says – nonsense (sorry Stevan). I have legitimate scientific reasons for downloading every chemistry paper ever published – I want to use OSCAR to check which published results are valid. I want to extract NMR spectra and asses their consistency. I want to plot the use of hazarous solvents against a timeline. etc. We can easily analyse 100,000 papers a day for this sort of thing – the only barrier is Closed access. Science is impoverished

As Peter Suber (see above) and others have made clear it is not a question of Green or Gold. They can be pursued at the same time. Many publishers do not yet realise the value of Gold publishing and when explained they become positive about it (I answered a question on this yesyterday – more later).

In haste

Comment: It was not a good but confusing Harnadian idea to choose the same colors as in the road metaphor, see my comment at PMR’s weblog (awaiting moderation).

Autor: Klaus Graf

Historiker und Archivar, Blogger

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