Gavia Libraria

So now we know

Big-pig publishers have historically talked out of both sides of their mouths about open access. It’s very easy to know which way they’ll jump on any given strategy, however: if it won’t work, they love it; if it’ll actually be effective—if it bids fair to make more research articles open-access—they hate it.

Thus it is that the same publishers who funded the PRISM Coalition (which the Loon won’t sully her pages with a link to) are almost to a one SHERPA green with respect to institutional repositories. IRs don’t accomplish much for open access, you see, because researchers are too lazy preoccupied to put papers in them. Even as these same publishers went green, many of them forbade deposit in disciplinary repositories, because several of those are actually effective aggregators.

Ah, but in 2008 the landscape changed again, as Harvard started the institutional mandate wave. What did the big-pigs do, at least some of them? Try to throw sand in the gears, because mandates (when properly implemented, as at Harvard) do in fact work.

But it was quite difficult to get publishers to admit outright, with their names behind the admission, that they were anti-mandate.

Well, that’s changed too. So now we know. Roads to open access that actually work are unacceptable to Elsevier.

If that ruffles your feathers as much as it does the Loon’s, sign up for the Elsevier boycott at thecostofknowledge.com. The Loon especially encourages librarians to do so, now that we can identify ourselves as such.