Tripping Point: Delayed Access is not Open Access; "Chorus" is a Trojan Horse

Stevan Harnad amsciforum at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jul 20 23:56:25 EDT 2013

On Sat, Jul 20, 2013 at 9:46 PM, David Wojick <dwojick at>wrote:

> NIH uses a 12 month embargo and that is what the other Federal agencies
> are required to do, unless they can justify a longer or shorter period for
> certain disciplines. This has nothing to do with the publishers or CHORUS.
> The publishers are building CHORUS so that the agencies will use the
> publisher's websites and articles instead of a redundant repository like
> NIH uses. They are merely agreeing to the US Governments requirements,
> while trying to keep their users, so there is no Trojan horse here, just
> common sense. Immediate access is not an option in this Federal OA program.
> The OA community should be happy to get green OA.

1. The embargo length that the funding agencies allow is another matter,
not the one I was
(But of course the pressure for the embargoes comes from the publishers,
not from the funding agencies.)

2. The Trojan Horse<>would
be funding agencies foolishly accepting publishers' "CHORUS"
invitation *to outsource author self-archiving, -- and hence compliance
with the funder mandate -- to publishers*, instead of having fundees do it
themselves, in their own institutional repositories.

3. To repeat: *Delayed Access* is not *Open Acces*s -- any more than Paid
Access is Open Access. Open Access is immediate, permanent online access,
toll-free, for all.

4. Delayed (embargoed) Access is publishers' attempt to hold research
access hostage to their current revenue streams, forcibly co-bundled with
obsolete products and services, and their costs, for as long as possible.
All the research community needs from publishers in the OA era is peer
review. Researchers can and will do access-provision and archiving for
themselves, at next to no cost. And peer review alone costs only a fraction
of what institutions are paying publishers now for subscriptions.

5. Green OA is author-provided OA; Gold OA is publisher-provided OA. But OA
means *immediate access*, so Delayed Access is neither Green OA nor Gold
OA. (Speaking loosely, one can call author-self-archiving after a publisher
embargo "Delayed Green" and publisher provided free access on their website
after an embargo "Delayed Gold," but it's not really OA at all if it's not
immediate. And that's why it's so important to upgrade all funder mandates
to make them immediate-deposit mandates, even if they are not immediate-OA

Harnad: if delayed access is not open access in your view then why did you
> post the tipping point study, since it includes delayed access of up to 5
> years? Most people consider delayed (green) access to be a paradigm of open
> access. That is how the term is used. You are apparently making your own
> language.

Wojick: That is the way publishers would like to see the term OA used,
paradigmatically. But that's not what it means. And I was actually (mildly)
*criticizing* the study in question for failing to distinguish Open Access
from Delayed Access, and for declaring that Open Access had reached the
"Tipping Point" when it certainly has not -- specifically because of
publisher embargoes. [Please re-read my summary, still attached below: I
don't think there is any ambiguity at all about what I said and meant.]

But OA advocates can live with the allowable funder mandate embargoes for
the time being <> -- as long as
deposit is mandated to be done
acceptance for publication, by the author, in the author's
institutional repository, and not a year later, by the publisher, on the
publisher's own website. Access to the author's deposit can be set as OA
during the allowable embargo period, but meanwhile authors can provide
Almost-OA via their repository's facilitated Eprint Request

The Immediate-Deposit/Optional-Access (ID/OA) Mandate: Rationale and

Public Access to Federally Funded Research (Response to US OSTP

Comments on Proposed HEFCE/REF Green Open Access

> On Jul 20, 2013, at 4:30 PM, Stevan Harnad <amsciforum at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> On Sat, Jul 20, 2013 at 3:56 PM, David Wojick < <dwojick at>
> dwojick at> wrote:
>>  The US Government is developing a green OA system for all articles based
>> even in part on Federal funding, with a default embargo period of 12
>> months. The publishers have responded with a proposal called CHORUS that
>> meets that requirement by taking users to the publisher's website. Many of
>> the journals involved presently have no OA aspect so this will
>> significantly increase the percentage of OA articles when it is implemented
>> over the next few years.
>> *[David Wojick * works part time as the Senior Consultant for Innovation
>> at OSTI, the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, in the Office
>> of Science of the US Department of Energy. He has a PhD in logic and
>> philosophy of science, an MA in mathematical logic, and a BS in civil
>> engineering.]
> Let us fervently hope that the US Government/OSTP will *not* be taken in
> by this publisher Trojan Horse called "CHORUS<>
> ."  It is tripping point, not a tipping point.
> If not, we can all tip our hats goodbye to Open Access -- which means free
> online access immediately upon publication, not access after a one-year
> embargo.
> CHORUS is just the latest successor organisation for self-serving anti-Open
> Access (OA) lobbying<,or.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=41411a1f1a5d3b02&biw=1260&bih=674> by
> the publishing industry. Previous incarnations have been the "PRISM
> coalition<,or.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=41411a1f1a5d3b02&biw=1260&bih=674>"
> and the "Research Works Act<,or.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=41411a1f1a5d3b02&biw=1260&bih=674>
> ."
> 1. It is by now evident to everyone that OA is inevitable, because it is
> optimal for research, researchers, research institutions, the vast R&D
> industry, students, teachers, journalists and the tax-paying public that
> funds the research.
> 2. Research is funded by the public and conducted by researchers and their
> institutions for the sake of research progress, productivity and
> applications -- not in order to guarantee publishers' current revenue
> streams and modus operandi: Research publishing is a service industry and
> must adapt to the revolutionary new potential that the online era has
> opened up for research,* not vice versa*!
> 3. That is why both research funders (like NIH) and research institutions
> (like Harvard) -- in the US as well as in the rest of the world -- are
> increasingly mandating (requiring) OA: See ROARMAP<>
> .
> 4. Publishers are already trying to delay the potential benefits of OA to
> research progress by imposing embargoes<,or.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.47534661,d.aWc&fp=41411a1f1a5d3b02&biw=1260&bih=672> of
> 6-12 months or more on research access that can and should be immediate<> in
> the online era.
> 5. The strategy of CHORUS is to try to take the power to provide OA out of
> the hands of researchers so that publishers gain control over both the
> timetable and the insfrastructure for providing OA.
> 6. And, without any sense of the irony, the publisher lobby (which already
> consumes so much of the scarce funds available for research) is attempting
> to do this under the pretext of *saving "precious research funds" for
> research*!
> 7. It is for researchers to provide OA, and for their funders and
> institutions to mandate and monitor OA provision by requiring deposit in
> their institutional repositories -- which already exist, for multiple
> purposes.
> 8. Depositing in repositories entails no extra research expense for
> research, just a few extra keystrokes, from researchers.
> 9. Institutional and subject repositories keep both the timetable and the
> insfrastructure for providing OA where it belongs: in the hands of the
> research community, in whose interests it is to provide OA.
> 10. The publishing industry's previous ploys -- PRISM and the Research
> Works Act -- were obviously self-serving Trojan Horses, promoting the
> publishing industry's interests disguised as the interests of research.
> Let the the US Government not be taken in this time either.
> [And why does the US Government not hire consultants who represent the
> interests of the research community rather than those of the
> publishing industry?]
> Eisen, M. (2013) A CHORUS of boos: publishers offer their “solution” to
> public access <>
> Giles, J. (2007) PR's 'pit bull' takes on open access<>.
> Nature 5 January 2007.
> Harnad, S. (2012) Research Works Act H.R.3699: The Private Publishing
> Tail Trying To Wag The Public Research Dog, Yet Again<>
> . *Open Access Archivangelism* 287 January 7. 2012
> At 01:39 PM 7/20/2013, Stevan Harnad wrote:
>> *Summary:* The findings of Eric Archambault’s (2013) pilot study “ The
>> Tipping Point - Open Access Comes of Age<>”
>> on the percentage of OA that is currently available are very timely,
>> welcome and promising. The study finds that the percentage of articles
>> published in 2008 that are OA in 2013 is between 42-48%. It does not
>> estimate, however, *when in that 5-year interval the articles were made
>> OA*. Hence the study cannot indicate what percentage of articles being
>> published in 2013 is being made OA in 2013. Nor can it indicate what
>> percentage of articles published before 2013 is OA in 2013. The only way to
>> find that out is through a separate analysis of immediate Gold OA, delayed
>> Gold OA, immediate Green OA, and delayed Green OA, by discipline.
>> See: <>
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