In a reply to my exposition of Green, Gold, Gratis and Libre, Steve Hitchcock comments:
Steve Hitchcock says:
Peter, In this blog post you say “Modern e-science requires documents over which the reader/user has rights of re-use, which is why Green self-archiving is of little value to high-volume information analysts.” In your next post on the Aaron Swartz/JSTOR case you arrive at a concluding point: “I am concerned that academic institutions will continue to develop their role as “police for publishers” rather than pressuring for democratic and legal change in the system.” What institutional change do you have in mind? In this context one is to provide, and mandate the use of, ‘green’ open access institutional repositories, but you appear to rule this out. Institutions can influence what their researchers and authors do more directly than they can act for ‘democratic and legal change’. I know from reading your posts and mails over many years that you prefer the libre OA approach above others, but you seem unsure who should take the lead on this, publishers or institutions. The one you choose will determine the starting point: green gratis OA (which institutions can provide), or libre OA (which institutions cannot provide for journal published content).
Steve is from Southampton, which is one of the shining examples of how to manage scholarship on a University-wide scale – with deposition mandates, clear IT infrastructure, etc. Researchers probably get more implicit and explicit support for self-archiving than almost anywhere else.
Green OA has the following advantages over Gold OA (I am assuming we compare gratis with gratis and libre with libre). (I am not including hybrid Gold in this – operationally it has almost no benefit over Green)
- It costs no cash and the effort (particularly with a system like Soton’s Eprints with Chris Gutteridge to help) is fairly small
I cannot immediate think of any other universal advantages – I will add them as I go along and as they are pointed out
The following advantage(s) are common to both Gold and Green
- They get indexed by search engines such as Google and Bing. I am not aware of any independent academic archive of Green OA or Gold OA. In fact I have a suggestion for doing exactly that which I will put in a later blog. I do not regard deposition in an IR as making Open content more discoverable than on a publisher’s web site – I suspect they are roughly equivalent – Bingle will index both.
The following are the advantages of Gold:
- The licence is clear, both on the document itself and in the context. (Green OA almost never confers any rights explicitly, and the context may well not include rights
- The documents may be systematically discovered by iterating through the publisher’s tables of contents. This is VERY important, perhaps the most striking advantage of Gold (whether gratis or libre). I can for example download all BMC content whenever I wish , subject only to the courtesy of agreeing a robot-friendly protocol when I want. Can I systematically download all Green material from the 100 UK repositories? I doubt it (a) how do I discover it? (b) when I have discovered it how does my machine know the rights?
- With Gold It is almost always possible to know whether the content is libre. It is almost impossible to determine the gratis/libre on Green. I am therefore assuming that there are very few Green documents where I can trivially determine that they are libre
The advantages of libre are enormous. I am assuming a high correlation between Gold = libre and Green = gratis. Effectively only Gold gives me a significant amount of libre. The advantages:
- I can copy and reproduce some or all of the content
- I can rework the text into book chapters
- I can include the diagrams as slides
- I can compute the tables in R or other statistic programs
- I can extract the chemistry (yes we can extract the chemistry automatically).
- I can use the material as a corpus for developing textmining
- I can use the corpus to extract information
- I can use the corpus to compare documents, including detection of plagiarism
- I can make my own overlay journal (and we are doing exactly that with Acta Crystallographica E)
- I can create resources on the web of Linked Open Data
- I can create Open Research Reports for diseases (OKF/JISC hackathon in December)
And much more.
A caution. Some Greenophiles such as Stevan Harnad have told me I can do all this with Green material. I believe that in every case I would be breaking contract and/or copyright law. If anyone can convince me that almost all Green carries implicit rights to do this I would change my view. But I am very sceptical.
Gold Open Access has one major limitation:
- It normally costs a considerable amount of money.
green gratis OA (which institutions can provide),
This is not correct. The providers of the permission for Green gratis are the publishers. Some publishers such as the American ******** Society have been solidly set against Green Open Access of any sort. The instituions cannot provide Green. They can help authors find out WHETHER they have a right to self-archive as Green and they can – perhaps – lobby publishers to persuade them to allow Green SA. They can provide the technology to do it and they can provide implicit and explicit support. But they cannot provide it absolutely.
I need tens of thousands of articles. I need to know I am legally and contractually able to obtain and re-use them. If SteveH or anyone else can show how this can be done with Green articles in Repositories I’d be grateful.
As a touchstone it is impossible even to get all the UK theses published last year. Impossible to determine their rights. Impossible to know how to write a universal downloader. That’s much the same with Green, which need n ot even be in IRs.
Please – anyone – adjust this analysis.