Eight Questions and an Answer for RCUK/Finch at Imperial College 27 September

25/09/2012 – 8:58 am
Tony McCall

These questions are for the Imperial College Science Communication Forum
Open access: Going for Gold?
Thursday, 27 September 2012
18:30 to 21:00 (BST)
London, United Kingdom

QUESTION 1: For hybrid subscription journals that offer both Gold OA (CC-BY) for a fee and Green OA (6-12) for free, why does RCUK require authors to pick and pay for Gold? Why not leave the choice to the author?

RCUK Policy:

“…papers must be published in journals which are [RCUK]-compliant… journal [is RCUK-]compliant… if…(1)… journal offers [Gold OA, CC-BY].. Or (2) where a publisher does not offer option 1… journal must allow… [Green OA, 6-12]”

QUESTION 2: If the RCUK official policy really means “RCUK authors may choose Green or Gold” rather than “RCUK authors may choose Green where Gold is not offered”, then why does it not say “RCUK authors may choose Green or Gold” rather than “RCUK authors may choose Green where Gold is not offered”? All that’s needed to make this perfectly clear is is to drop the words “where a publisher does not offer option 1”.

(It is not clear why the clause “Where a publisher does not offer option 1” was ever inserted in the first place, as the logic of what is intended is perfectly clear without it, and is only obscured by inserting it. The only two conceivable reasons I can think of for that gratuitous and misleading clause’s having been inserted in the first place are that either (a) the drafters half-forgot about the hybrid GREEN+GOLD possibility, or (b) they were indeed trying to push authors (and publishers!) toward the GOLD option in both choices: the between-journal choice of GOLD versus GREEN journal and the within-journal choice of the GOLD versus GREEN option — possibly because of Gold Fever induced by BIS’s Finch Folly.)

More at:-


author: Steven Harnad
source: Open Access Archivangelism (21/9/12) – from Self-Archiving Mandates

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