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Faulty Open Access FAQ from Allianz der deutschen Wissenschaftsorganisationen Stevan Harnad 17 Jul 2011 15:04 UTC

          [Apologies for Cross-Posting. Hyperlinked version: ]

A FAQ should inform rather than misinform, but unfortunately the
"Frequently asked Questions zu Open Access und
Zweitveröffentlichungsrecht (FAQ)" --
--  of Germany's Allianz der deutschen Wissenschaftsorganisationen
(ADW) perpetuates several widespread and longstanding
misunderstandings about Open Access.

The misunderstandings are mostly in the form of two unreflective
reversals of practical and strategic priorities, insisting,
prematurely, on far less urgent and important and much less reachable
OA goals, while neglecting or even rejecting far more urgent and
important OA goals that are already fully within reach.

(1) Gratis OA vs Libre OA: Gratis OA is (1a) free online access to
refereed journal articles. Libre OA is (1a) free online access to
refereed journal articles (1b) plus certain further re-use and
re-publication rights.

We do not yet even have Gratis OA (1a), but it is already fully within
reach; yet the ADW FAQ insists on Libre OA (1b), rejecting Gratis OA
(1a) as not good enough.

(2) Green OA vs Gold OA: Green OA is (2a) Gratis OA to the author's
final refereed drafts of all refereed journal articles, provided
through author self-archiving of all refereed journal articles. Gold
OA OA is (2b) Gratis or Libre OA to articles published in OA journals.

We do not yet even have Green OA (2a), but it is already fully within
reach; yet the ADW FAQ insists on Gold OA (1b), rejecting Green OA
(1a) as not good enough.
This kind of counterproductive over-reaching is a formula for yet
another decade of attaining minimal OA of any kind.

For correctives, see the longstanding BOAI Self-Archiving FAQ -- -- and especially #23
("Version Control"), #31 ("Waiting for Gold"), #36 ("Re-Use") and #37

What the ADW FAQ should be explaining and advocating is that the
worldwide research community should first grasp what is already within
its immediate reach, namely, Green Gratis OA self-archiving -- through
institutional and funders Green Gratis OA self-archiving mandates
(requirements). Only after the immensely beneficial immediate benefit
for research that is already within reach (universal Green Gratis OA)
has been grasped should we be thinking of going on to Gold OA
publishing and Libre OA re-use/republication rights.

Stevan Harnad