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

Stevan Harnad amsciforum at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jul 21 09:50:24 EDT 2013

On Sun, Jul 21, 2013 at 7:57 AM, David Wojick <dwojick at>

I think what the US Government is actually doing is far more important as
> an OA tipping point.

We are clearly not understanding one another:

Yes, the US funder mandates are extremely important, even if  they
still need a tweak (as noted).

Yes, OA has not yet reached a tipping point. (That was my point.)

But no, *Delayed Access is not OA*, let alone *Green OA*, although that is
how publishers would dearly love to define OA, and especially Green OA.

As for your Trojan horse point (#2) there is no author archiving with

Yes, that's the point: *CHORUS is trying to take author self-archiving out
of the hands  and off the sites of the research community, to put it in the
hands and on the site of publishers*. That is abundantly clear.

And my point was about how *bad* that was, and why: a Trojan Horse for the
research  community and the future of OA.

But the verb should be CHORUS "*would be*," not CHORUS "*is*" -- because,
thankfully, it is not yet true that this 4th publishers' Trojan Horse has
been allowed in at all.

(The 1st Trojan Horse was Prism: routed at the gates. The 2nd was the
"Research Works Act; likewise routed at the gates. The 3rd was the Finch
Report: It slipped in, but concerted resistance from OA Advocates and the
research community has been steadily disarming it. The 4th publisher Trojan
Horse is CHORUS, and, as noted, OA Advocates and the research community are
working hard to keep it out!)

The author merely specifies the funder from a menu during the journal
> submission process and the publisher does the rest. Thus there is no burden
> on the authors and no redundant repository. The article is openly available
> from the publisher after the Federally specified embargo period. This is
> extremely efficient compared to the old NIH repository model.

Indeed it would be, and would put publishers back in full control of the
future of OA.

Fortunately, the CHORUS deal is far from a *fait accompli*, and the hope
(of OA advocates and the concerned research community) is that it never
will be.

The only thing the "old NH repository model" (PubMed Central, PMC) needs is
an upgrade to immediate institutional deposit, followed by automatic
harvesting and import (after the allowable embargo has elapsed) by PMC or
any other institution-external subject based
harvester. With that, the OSTP mandate model would be optimal (for the time

David, it is not clear why the very simple meaning of my first posting has
since had to be explained to you twice. I regret that I will have to take
any further failures to understand it as willful, and SIGMETRICS readers
will be relieved to hear that I will make no further attempt to correct it.

Stevan Harnad

On Jul 20, 2013, at 11:56 PM, Stevan Harnad <amsciforum at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> Adminstrative info for SIGMETRICS (for example unsubscribe):
> On Sat, Jul 20, 2013 at 9:46
> PM, David Wojick < <dwojick at>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 discussing<>.
> (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 mandates.)
> 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 immediately<>upon 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 Button<>
> .
> The Immediate-Deposit/Optional-Access (ID/OA) Mandate: Rationale and Model<>
> Public Access to Federally Funded Research (Response to US OSTP RFI)<>
> Comments on Proposed HEFCE/REF Green Open Access Mandate<>
>> On Jul 20, 2013, at 4:30 PM, Stevan Harnad < <amsciforum at GMAIL.COM>
>> amsciforum at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>> On Sat, Jul 20, 2013 at 3:56 PM, David Wojick <<dwojick at><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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