Rebuttal of STM Response to RCUK Self-Archiving Policy Proposal.
The STM have written a response to the RCUK proposal in which they too, like the ALPSP, adduce reasons for delaying and modifying the implementation of the RCUK self-archiving policy. The principal substantive misunderstanding about the RCUK policy itself is that the STM is arguing as if RCUK were proposing to mandate a different publishing business model (Open Access [OA] Publishing) whereas RCUK is proposing to mandate no such thing: It is merely proposing to mandate that RCUK fundees self-archive the final author’s drafts of journal articles resulting from RCUK-funded research in order to make their findings accessible to all potential users whose institutions cannot afford access to the published journal version – in order to maximise the uptake, usage and impact of British research output. As such, the author’s free self-archived version is a supplement to, not a substitute for, the journal’s paid version. STM (like ALPSP) express concern that self-archiving may diminish their revenues. It is pointed out by way of reply (as was pointed out in the reply to ALPSP) that all evidence to date is in fact to the contrary. STM express concern that self-archiving will compromise peer review. It is pointed out that it is the author's peer-reviewed draft that is being self-archived. STM express concern that self-archiving the author's version will create confusion about versions: It is pointed out that for those would-be users who cannot afford the paid journal version, the author's version is incomparably better than no version at all, and indeed has been demonstrated to enhance citation impact by 50-250%. STM express concern about the costs of Institutional Repositories (IRs): It is pointed out that IRs are neither expensive nor intended as substitutes for journal publishing, so their costs are irrelevant to STM. STM then express concern that the OA publishing business model would cost more than the current subscription-based model: It is pointed out that the OA model is not what is being mandated by RCUK.
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