Publication date ( Print ): September 2017
Journal: Learned Publishing
[paraphrased from earlier discussion on Twitter]
In my opinion, this proposal will do more harm than good.
First, the proposed 'baseline' (free-to-read only) is *not* Open Access (as defined by the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI)* and Berlin Declaration on Open Access**). Second, having essential infrastructure elements (e.g. good metadata) as optional-for-pay creates inequality.Basically, this keeps all power with publishers, rather than opening up research output for anyone to modify/build (services) on.
(oh, and as a librarian, I wonder about the reasoning that Gold OA requires no change on the part of libraries....)
*free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.
**free, irrevocable, worldwide, right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display the work publicly and to make and distribute derivative works, in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship
I agree that this proposal is not perfect. But I would argue that two decades of trying to reach perfection with Green and Gold demonstrates that these models are flawed. At least with my proposal all scholarly research would be accessible for reading by anyone, researchers and lay audiences alike, a huge step forward from today's situation. Many would benefit simply from being able to read what is behind paywalls today. Perfection can be the enemy of the good.
(I'm aware that Gold can involve librarians but it doesn't have to, there's no reason why authors can't pay publishers directly. But that's another story.)