Stevan Harnad (one of the creators of the current terms strongOA and weakOA – Peter Suber is the other) now makes it clear (this blog May 3rd, 2008 at 2:00 pm e) that an objective operational definition of strongOA is impossible, so I shall stop trying:
Permission-Barrier-Free OA is a continuum of CC-license levels
You can’t define Permission-Barrier-Free OA absolutely any more than you can define “hot ” absolutely, because both are a matter of degree.
PMR: I am glad that this is now clear. This means that for one person a document or journal can be strongOA (your term) while for another it is merely weakOA (your term). “strong” and “weak” are thus subjective and cannot therefore be used to determine (say) whether a journal article can legally be used in any particular way or whether a publisher is charging a reasonable fee for a funder-pays article.
Price-Barrier-Free is not a matter of degree: It means accessible free online (immediately, permanently).
PMR: I think I agree, but I will explore this and see if we concur.
Green OA means whatever OA means (whether price OA or permission OA), but provided by author self-archiving.
Gold OA means whatever OA means (whether price OA or permission OA), but provided by publishing in an OA journal.
Virtually all Green OA today is just Price-Barrier-Free OA (a necessary but not sufficient condition for permission OA(s))
Most Gold OA today is just Price-Barrier-Free OA.
PMR: I would find life much easier if the colour labels disappeared. Self-archiving OA is easy to understand, “Green” is confusing. It may not be confusing to you, but it confuses a lot of people.
What you call just a matter of “sociopolitical observations and beliefs” is what I call working to actually generate OA.
PMR: I don’t believe I ever said “just”. I tried to use a descriptive, non-emotive phrase that would distinguish it from the technical descriptions that I favour.
The preoccupation with definitional details (while time’s a’passing and research access and impact continue to be lost, daily, needlessly and cumulatively, while we dither) is what I would call just a matter of “sociopolitical observations and beliefs”.
PMR: I think it’s now very clear where we both stand – we have common objectives within the area of Open Access. We differ on how we talk about them, how we want to achieve them. I like well defined situations and algorithmic rules; you like grand visions and rhetoric (not a pejorative term). I thought that this week we had common ground in “strongOA” and felt that was a major achievement. Since however anyone can redefine it to mean what they like we have world views that seem unlikely to merge without friction.