Open Access (the book)
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- Suggested short URL for this page = http://bit.ly/oa-book
About the book
- Peter Suber, Open Access, MIT Press, June 2012.
- The paperback and several digital editions are now available.
- I hope the book is available at your favorite academic bookstore. But at least it's available from MIT Press, Amazon (paperback and Kindle editions), Barnes and Noble (paperback and Nook editions), Google Play (mobile ePub, PDF, Adobe eBook, and other formats), and the sources listed here and here.
- MIT Press is already providing OA to the Table of Contents, Series Forward, Preface, Chapter 1 ("What Is Open Access?"), and the Index.
- For a review copy, send your request directly to MIT Press, and indicate the publication or site for which the review is intended.
Updates and supplements
- Some of these notes were too late to put in the book. The publications or developments they describe hadn't occurred by the time my text was final in the spring of 2011. Some just didn't fit into the book. The book is deliberately short and I was already over my wordcount.
- I have many supplements to add and will add them as I find time. If you want to nudge me on a certain point, please do.
- The first print edition uses an "all rights reserved" statement and a CC-BY license icon. The digital editions clarify the book's copyright status, and the clarification will appear in future print editions. Basically, the book incorporates some material I previously published in the SPARC Open Access Newsletter under a CC-BY license and a copyright owned by SPARC. That material remains CC-BY. The all-rights-reserved copyright owned by MIT applies only to new parts of the book, and even those parts will shift to a CC-BY-NC license on June 15, 2013, one year from the date of publication.
- Note that MIT Press already provides OA to the Preface.
Chapter 1: What is Open Access?
- Note that MIT Press already provides OA to Chapter 1.
- At p. 7, I introduce the Budapest Open Access Initiative and its definition of OA. Add this note.
- At p. 21, I say, "OA would benefit from the right kinds of copyright reforms...." Add this note.
Chapter 2: Motivation
- Note 5 (note call at p. 30, note text at p. 182). Here I'm documenting the assertion that "cumulative price increases...forced the Harvard Library to undertake 'serious cancellation efforts' for budgetary reasons." In the current note, I cite two sources. Here are seven, including the original two, in chronological order.
- At p. 40, I say, "[L]arge commercial publishers charge higher prices and raise their prices faster than small, nonprofit [TA] publishers. Yet, the scholarly consensus is that quality, impact, and prestige are generally higher at the nonprofit society journals." Endnote 15 (note text at pp. 184-185) documents the claims about quality, impact, and prestige. Here I want to elaborate in a slightly different direction.
- At pp. 40-41, I describe the sense in which librarians are more attuned to the journal pricing crisis than faculty. Add this note.
- As a class, librarians are not only more knowledgeable about the issues but more active in strategizing the change the system. In a July 2011 interview with Richard Poynder, I put it this way: "Librarians lobby for OA mandates. They write to their representatives in the legislature. They make phone calls and visit. They network and organize. They communicate with one another, with their patrons, and with the public. They launch, maintain, and fill repositories. They write up their experiences, case studies, surveys, and best practices. They pay attention. On average, they understand the issues better than any other stakeholder group, including researchers, administrators, publishers, funders, and policymakers...."
Chapter 3: Varieties
- At p. 50, I say, "Also like conventional journals, most [OA journals] are honest and some are scams." Add these notes.
- At p. 50, I say, "Like conventional publishers, there are a few large OA publishers and a long tail of small ones...." Add these notes.
- At p. 52-53: For clarity, read the terminology box on p. 53 before starting Section 3.1 on p. 52.
- At pp. 54-55, I say, "One of the early victories of the OA movement was to get a majority of toll-access publishers and journals to give blanket permission for author-initiated green OA. But this victory remains one of the best-kept secrets of scholarly publishing, and widespread ignorance of it is the single most harmful consequence of green OA's invisibility." Add this note.
- At p. 58, I refer to the fear that self-archiving is time-consuming. But there is evidence to answer these fears. Add these notes.
- At p. 65, I conclude my argument that we should pursue green and gold OA simultaneously. Add these notes.
- Also see Yassine Gargouri et al., Green and Gold Open Access Percentages and Growth, by Discipline, Working Paper, University of Southampton, June 16, 2012. "We compared the percent and growth rate of Green and Gold OA for 14 disciplines in two random samples of 1300 articles per discipline out of the 12,500 journals indexed by Thomson-Reuters-ISI using a robot that trawled the web for OA full-texts. We sampled in 2009 and 2011 for publication year ranges 1998-2006 and 2005-2010, respectively. Green OA (21.4%) exceeds Gold OA (2.4%) in proportion and growth rate in all but the biomedical disciplines....The spontaneous overall OA growth rate is still very slow (about 1% per year). If institutions make Green OA self-archiving mandatory, however, it triples percent Green OA as well as accelerating its growth rate."
- At p. 69, I recommend CC-BY licenses for OA research, and mention some other organizations and initiatives that do so as well. Add this note.
- At pp. 72-73, I point out that most OA journals fail to offer libre OA. Add these notes.
Chapter 4: Policies
- At p. 78, I start discussing OA policies at universities and funding agencies. Add this note.
- At p. 78, I say that about one-quarter of peer-reviewed journals are OA. Here add an update and a note.
- At p. 79, I say that there are no gold OA mandates. But several have been proposed.
- At p. 84, line 13. Correction. "...journal are..." should be "...journals are...."
- Note 12 (note call at p. 86, note text at pp. 195-196).
- Note 16 (note call at p. 89, note text at pp. 196-197). Here I'm documenting the claim that "Alma Swan's empirical studies of researcher attitudes show that an overwhelming majority of researchers would 'willingly' comply with a mandatory OA policy from their funder or employer." Add a note.
- Note 20 (note call at p. 93, note text at pp. 197-199). Here I list some examples of libre green OA. I list and discuss many more in "The rise of libre open access," SPARC Open Access Newsletter, June 2, 2012.
- At pp. 94-95, I argue that policy-makers should watch for the moment when they could strengthen green gratis OA policies into green libre policies. Add this note.
Chapter 5: Scope
Chapter 6: Copyright
- At p. 128, I argue that the OA policy at the NIH does not violate copyright. Add this note.
- At p. 128, line 22. Correction. "One of practical..." should be "One of the practical...."
Chapter 7: Economics
- Note 2 (note call at p. 133, note text at pp. 207-208). Here I'm citing research showing that the economic benefits of OA far exceed the costs. Add this note.
- At p. 143, line 11. Correction. "...alone is has..." should be "...alone has...."
Chapter 8: Casualties
- Note 2 (note call at p. 151, note text at p. 215). For "Alma Swan's interview with the APS and IOP in which 'both societies said they could not identify any losses of subscriptions' due to OA archiving", please replace http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/11006/, which is no longer valid, with http://cogprints.org/4406/.
- Note 4 (note call at p. 152, note text at pp. 215-216). Here I'm documenting the assertion that, "At Congressional hearings in 2008 and 2010, legislators asked publishers directly whether green OA was triggering cancellations. In both cases publishers pointed to decreased downloads but not to increased cancellations."
- At p. 157, I start a subsection called "Some studies bear on the question of whether increased OA archiving [green OA] will increase journal cancellations." Here's a new study for that section.
- At pp. 160-161, I say, "If publishers acknowledge that gold OA can be sustainable, and even profitable, and merely wish to avoid making lower margins than they make today, then their objection takes on a very different color. They're not at risk of insolvency, just reduced profits, and they're not asserting a need for self-protection, just an entitlement to current levels of profit. There's no reason for public funding agencies acting in the public interest, or private funders acting for charitable purposes, to compromise their missions in order to satisfy this sense of publisher entitlement." Add this note:
Chapter 9: Future
Chapter 10: Self-Help
- At p. 170, I say, "[A]bout 30 percent of OA journals charge author-side fees and about half the articles published in OA journals appear in those fee-based journals." Add this note.
- Note that MIT Press already provides OA to the Index.
- Add new entry: Students, 73, 174. See also Theses and dissertations.
- Toll-access (or conventional) journals and publishers.
- Add new sub-entry: Right to refuse to publish any work for any reason, 126-128.
- Add new entry: Translation, 27, 74