OA journals discussion
In the last days there has been a discussion about OA journals on the PHILOS-L mailing list. Many interesting observations and links appeared, so I’ll just copy and paste some excerpts of it here, for those who are not subscribers of the list.
From Prof. Daniel von Wachter
As we are at it, let me say one more thing about open access. “Gold Open
Access” (i.e. open access journals) is ideal (as I said, we launched one
yesterday: http://fzwp.de ), but the most important and most efficient
thing to do now is that we all „self-archive“ all our articles in
repositories (i.e. internet archives) (not just on our web page!). Two
notes on this:
1. This must be repositories which use the “OAI protocol for metadata
harvesting”. Only in those, articles can be found not only by Google
but, much more efficiently, with OA search engines like
http://oaister.org or http://base-search.net . We do not need one
central philosophy repository. The OAI protocol unites all repositories
in a network. Very helpful is also http://philpapers.org . So our
infrastructure is now at least as good as what the physicists have with
ArXiv. We just need to use it! However, as http://philpapers.org does
not use the OAI protocol yet, we should list your articles there but for
self-archiving use some other repository. There are plenty of them.
(Open to all philosophers is http://sammelpunkt.philo.at .)
2. WHEN should we post our articles? As
http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo.php shows, nearly all journals (I know of
no exception) allows the posting of „preprints“, i.e. the version which
is submitted. Like physicists we should post our articles IMMEDIATELY
WHEN THEY ARE FINISHED, BEFORE WE SUBMIT THEM. The postprint, i.e. the
final version with the corrections after refereeing and proof reading,
may usually be posted 12 months after publication.
For example, Oxford UP (e.g. MIND)</a> is more restrictive with OA than
most others in that it allows archiving postprints for some journals
only after 24 months. It allows archiving preprints ONLY before
acceptance, but it does allow this! „Pre-print can only be posted prior
to acceptance.“ Therefore, we should self-archive preprints before
submission! And of course, we should all self-archive all postprints of
our articles which have been published more than a year ago.
The best introduction to OA is:
Discussion about OA in philosophy:
Yours, Daniel von Wachter
From Aaron Sloman
I have a few more points that I think have not yet been made:
(a) There are many people who believe that publishing in relatively
new journals that provide open access may harm their job
applications because employers ignore content of papers and and look
at publication outlets.
This may be true in some departments but I hope this intellectually
lazy practice will be abandoned:
(1) because it is as unethical as selecting people on the basis of
the school they attended, or the country they come from,
(2) because it carries the risk of missing out on candidates who
have a fresh and creative approach with high potential, that simply
happens to have displeased referees of better known journals, or who
are very bright but too young and inexperienced to have done what is
required to get papers into the best known journals
(3) because it tends to perpetuate the dominance of the high-profit
publishers and makes things difficult for new publishers who can
provide the research community with much better value for money,
including vastly increasing the amount of reading that can happen
across disciplines since people are far less likely to read things
in journals they don’t subscribe to if payment is required.
(b) Following advice of a colleague in the USA, for many years I
have been crossing out portions of copyright forms that prevent me
from posting papers online. Not one publisher has ever objected. I
think that is because all they really want and need is the
unfettered right to publish. I have doubts as to whether they would
dare to take legal action since they are getting something for
nothing (unless they pay royalties, which I have never known a
Some publishers explicitly permit online posting, provided that the
online paper includes a reference to the journal and the full
publication details. That way they get free advertising.
Closed publication harms us in two ways: we don’t have easy access
to the research results of other researchers (e.g. in neighbouring
disciplines — which may, in part, account for the excessive
narrowness of many academics) and we don’t have our own papers read
by all the people who might have been interested and who might have
benefitted or been able to give useful criticism or other feedback.
I think it is completely daft for academics to stick with such a
system. The fear that change will lead to lower standards is
misguided, since there are excellent well known high quality open
access journals in several research fields
In any case, the existence of more publications of lower quality
could be a price worth paying in return for reduced risk of
rejection of outstanding new work that few referees can evaluate.
One benefit of the internet is that it supports ongoing
post-publication evaluation by a wider range of readers, including
reviews that are freely accessible, unlike many published now.
Von Wachter’s reply
You probably cross out the transfer of copyright or an “exclusive”
license. I recently did this too. However, EVEN IF you transfer the
copyright or give an exclusive license (which I think unwise),
self-archiving preprints as well as postprints is usually allowed! This
can be verified on http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/ .
Self-archiving preprints before submission is allowed because at that
point you it is just your text. Journals could refuse to consider them,
but that would be silly, and I know no philosophy journal which does this.
OUP allows self-archiving of preprints ONLY BEFORE acceptance and 24
months after publication. (But I cannot imagine that they take action
against someone who archived a preprint after acceptance.) Others allow
self-archiving of preprints at all times. Some more examples:
Blackwell asks authors to sign an “Exclusive License Form”,
http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/pdf/DLTC_ELF.pdf . It allows preprint
archiving, and after 12 months postprint. (Besides that the ELF is very
bad. We recently wanted to translate an article, which appeared in 1995
in a Blackwell journal, for our OA journal into German. They want 504
USD for this. As always, they want a lot of money for work which
somebody else did for free. That is how publishers serve the cause of
science. Therefore I say that we should never sign an ELF.)
Palgrave-Macmillan: allows self-archiving of preprints, and after 18
months for postprints.
CUP: allows self-archiving preprints, and immediately after publication
postprints. Even the publishers PDF may be put immediately on the
author’s homepage and after 12 months in a repository.
Some publishers also offer that the authors pay for open access. We
should not do this, but instead self-archive preprints and postprints.
Yours, Daniel von Wachter