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

David Wojick dwojick at CRAIGELLACHIE.US
Sun Jul 21 15:01:49 EDT 2013

There is no funder mandate on authors at this point, so you are assuming a 
burdensome model that need not be implemented. The only mandate is on the 
Federal funding agencies to provide public access to funder-related 
articles 12 months after publication. CHORUS does this in a highly 
efficient manner, rendering an author mandate unnecessary.

Search is no problem as there are already many ways to search the journals. 
DOE PAGES, described in the first article I listed in my original post, is 
a model of an agency portal that is being designed to use CHORUS. It will 
provide agency-based search as well. CHORUS as well will provide 
bibliographic search capability. We simply do not need a new bunch of 
expensive redundant repositories like PMC.

I am also beginning to wonder about your Trojan horse metaphor. The Trojan 
horse is a form of deception, but there is no deception here, just a 
logical response to a Federal requirement, one that keeps a journal's users 
using the journal. The publishers are highly motivated to make CHORUS work.

David Wojick

At 02:09 PM 7/21/2013, you wrote:
>Adminstrative info for SIGMETRICS (for example unsubscribe): 
> On Sun, Jul 21, 2013 at 12:13 
>PM, David Wojick 
><<mailto:dwojick at>dwojick at> wrote:
>This is not about author self archiving, which is a separate issue, so I 
>see no Trojan horse.
>1. The "This" is US federal funding agency Open Access mandates.
>2. The "self" is the author, who is also the fundee, the one who is bound 
>to comply with the conditions of the funder mandate.
>3. The "archiving" is making the fundee's paper accessible free for all 
>all on the Web
>4. The "Trojan Horse" is the attempt by publishers to take this out of the 
>hands of the author/fundee/mandatee and put it into the hands of the 
>publisher, who is not the fundee, not bound by the mandate, and indeed has 
>a conflict of interest with making papers free for all all on the Web.
>5. On no account should the compliance with the funder mandate be 
>outsourced and entrusted to a 3rd party that is not only not bound by the 
>mandate, but in a conflict of interest with it.
>It is about the design of the Federal program, where I see no reason for 
>redundant Federal archiving.
>The web is full of "redundant archiving": the same document may be stored 
>and hosted on multiple sites. That's good for back-up and reliability and 
>preservation, and part of the way the Web works. And it costs next to 
>nothing -- and certainly not to publishers. (If publishers wish to save 
>federal research money, let them charge less for journal subscriptions; 
>don't fret about "redundant archiving.")
>PubMed Central (PMC) is a very valuable and widely used central search 
>tool. Its usefulness is based on both its scope of coverage (thanks to 
>mandates) and on its metadata quality. It borders on absurdity for 
>publishers to criticize this highly useful and widely used resource as 
>"redundant." It provides access where publishers do not.
>Nor does PMC's usefulness reside in the fact that it hosts the full-texts 
>of the papers it indexes. It's the metadata and search capacity that makes 
>PMC so useful. It would be equally useful if the URL for each full-text to 
>which PMC pointed were in each fundee's own institutional repository, and 
>PMC hosted only the metadata and search tools. (Indeed, it would increase 
>PMC's coverage and make it even more economical; many of us are hoping PMC 
>and other central repositories like Arxiv will evolve in that direction.)
>There is nothing in the CHORUS approach to the Federal program design that 
>precludes author self archiving in institutional repositories as a 
>separate activity.
>1. "This" is about US federal funding agency Open Access mandates.
>2. The "self" is the author, who is also the fundee, the one who is bound 
>to comply the with conditions of the funder mandate.
>3. The "archiving" is making the fundee's paper accessible free for all 
>all on the Web. If authors self-archived of their own accord, "as a 
>separate activity," there would have been no need for federal Open Access 
>4. The "Trojan Horse" is the attempt by publishers to take this out of the 
>hands of the author/fundee/mandatee and put it into the hand of the 
>publisher, who is not the fundee, not bound by the mandate, and indeed has 
>a conflict of interest with making papers free for all all on the Web.
>5. On no account should the compliance with the funder mandate be 
>outsourced and entrusted to a 3rd party that is not only not bound by the 
>mandate, but in a conflict of interest with it.
>The federal mandates do not require fundees to provide toll-free access 
>only after a year after publication: They require them to provide 
>toll-free access within a year at the latest. Publishers have every 
>incentive to make (and keep) this the latest, by taking self-archiving out 
>of authors' hands and doing it instead of them, as late as possible.
>Moreover, funder OA mandates are increasingly being complemented by 
>institutional OA mandates, which cover both funded and unfunded research. 
>This is also why institutions have institutional repositories (archives), 
>in which their researchers can deposit, and from which central 
>repositories can harvest. This is also the way to tide over research needs 
>during OA embargoes, with the help of institutional repositories' 
>immediate Almost-OA Button.
>And again, no need here for advice from publishers, with their conflicts 
>of interest, on how institutions can save money on their "redundant 
>archives" by letting publishers provide the OA in place of their 
>researchers (safely out of the reach of institutional repositories' 
>immediate Almost-OA Button).
>The journals are part of the research community and they have always been 
>the principal archive.
>Journals consist of authors, referees, editors and publishers. Publishers 
>are not part of the research community (not even university or 
>learned-society publishers); they earn their revenues from it.
>Until the online era, the "principal archive" has been the university 
>library. In the online era it's the web. The publisher's sector of the web 
>is proprietary and toll-based. The research community's sector is Open Access.
>And that's another reason CHORUS is a Trojan Horse.
>With CHORUS they will be again.
>What on earth does this mean? That articles in the publishers' proprietary 
>sector will be opened up after a year?
>That sounds like an excellent way to ensure that they won't ever be opened 
>up any earlier, and that mandates will be powerless to make them open up 
>any earlier.
>After all the entire process is based on the article being published in 
>the journal.
>Yes, but what is at issue now is not publishing but access: when, where 
>and how?
>It is true that this is all future tense including the Federal program, 
>but the design principles are here and now.
>And what is at issue here is the need to alert the Federal program that it 
>should on no account be taken in by CHORUS's offer to "let us do the 
>self-archiving for you."
>I repeat, immediate access is not a design alternative. The OSTP guidance 
>is clear about that. So most of your points are simply irrelevant to the 
>present situation.
>The federal mandates do not require fundees to provide toll-free access 
>only after a year after publication: They require them to provide 
>toll-free access within a year at the latest.
>Immediate OA (as well as immediate-deposit plus immediate Almost-OA via 
>the Button) is definitely an alternative -- as well as a design alternative.
>But not if OSTP heeds the siren call of CHORUS.
>Stevan Harnad
>At 09:50 AM 7/21/2013, you wrote:
>>Adminstrative info for SIGMETRICS (for example unsubscribe): 
>>On Sun, Jul 21, 2013 at 7:57 AM, David Wojick 
>><<mailto:dwojick at>dwojick at > wrote:
>>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 being).
>>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 
>><<mailto:amsciforum at GMAIL.COM>amsciforum at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>>>Adminstrative info for SIGMETRICS (for example unsubscribe): 
>>><mailto:dwojick at>On Sat, Jul 20, 2013 at 9:46 PM, David 
>>>Wojick <<mailto: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, 
>>>one I was discussing. (But of course the pressure for the embargoes 
>>>comes from the publishers, not from the funding agencies.)
>>>2. The 
>>>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 Access -- 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 
>>>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.
>>>Immediate-Deposit/Optional-Access (ID/OA) Mandate: Rationale and Model
>>>Access to Federally Funded Research (Response to US OSTP RFI)
>>><>Comments on 
>>>Proposed HEFCE/REF Green Open Access Mandate
>><mailto:amsciforum at GMAIL.COM>On Jul 20, 2013, at 4:30 PM, Stevan Harnad 
>><<mailto:amsciforum at GMAIL.COM>amsciforum at GMAIL.COM > wrote:
>>><mailto:dwojick at>On Sat, Jul 20, 2013 at 3:56 PM, David 
>>>Wojick <<mailto: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 
>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 
>CHORUS is just the latest successor organisation for self-serving 
>Access (OA) lobbying by the publishing industry. Previous incarnations 
>have been the 
>PRISM coalition" and the 
>Research Works Act."
>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 
>4. Publishers are already trying to delay the potential benefits of OA to 
>research progress by imposing 
>of 6-12 months or more on research access that can and should be 
>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 
>Eisen, M. (2013) <>A CHORUS of 
>boos: publishers offer their "solution" to public access
>Giles, J. (2007) 
>'pit bull' takes on open access. Nature 5 January 2007.
>Harnad, S. (2012) 
>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.
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