Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Compact for open access publishing equity

Scott Jaschik reports in the September 15, 2009 edition of Inside Higher Ed that five major research universities, MIT, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University and the University of California at Berkeley, pledge to set up system of payments for work their professors publish in free, online journals -- aiming to shift economic model of scholarly communication, the "Compact for Open Access Publishing Equity".

Specifically, the universities have each committed to "the timely establishment of durable mechanisms for underwriting reasonable publication charges for articles written by its faculty and published in open access journals and for which other institutions would not be expected to provide funds."

Here's the same story from the Chronicle of Higher Education's Wired Campus blog posted by Ben Terris on September 14, 2009.

1 comment:

Stevan Harnad said...


I've said this so often now, unheeded, that all I can do is echo it yet again:

Regardless of the size of the asking price ("reasonable" or unreasonable), it is an enormous strategic mistake for a university or research funder to commit to pre-emptive payment of Open Access Journal Publishing fees (Gold OA) until and unless the university or funder has first mandated Green OA self-archiving for all of its own published journal article output (regardless of whether published in OA or non-OA journals).

There are so far five signatories to the "Compact for Open-Access Equity." Two of them have mandated Green OA (Harvard and MIT) and three have not (Cornell, Dartmouth, Berkeley). Many non-mandating universities have also been committing to the the pre-emptive SCOAP3 consortium.

If Harvard's and MIT's example is followed, and Green OA mandates grow globally ahead of Gold OA commitments, then there's no harm done.

But if it is instead pre-emptive commitments to fund Gold OA that grow, at the expense of mandates to provide Green OA, then the worldwide research community will yet again have shot itself in the foot insofar as universal OA -- so long within its reach, yet still not grasped -- is concerned.

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