Stanford - Promoting open access while selling access to "closed" journals

Some people may have seen the press Stanford got a few weeks ago regarding the Open Access initiative of their School of Education. For some more information on this see
  • Stanford's Education School Requires Open Access

  • Stanford University School of Education's Open Access Mandate—Harvard Medical School Next?

  • Science Commons » Blog Archive » A new open access mandate at Stanford


  • Certainly sounds like a good move on their part. And then I got an interesting thing in the mail from the Stanford Alumni Association (I earned my PhD from Stanford) trying to get me to join the association (see letter below). What was the selling point? If I joined I would get access to newspapers, periodicals and even scientific journals, through their library. So Stanford is all for OA in some places. But while they have access to closed journals, they will use that as a recruitment tool to join the Alumni Association. Seems to me like a better way to push for Open Access would be for all of Stanford to take the School of Education's position and for the university to immediately cancel all subscriptions to completely closed access journals.

    4 comments:

    1. Seems to me like a better way to push for Open Access would be for all of Stanford to take the School of Education's position and for the university to immediately cancel all subscriptions to completely closed access journals.

      But the motive of the alumni association is to get you to join (and then make for feel guilty for not giving even more money -- I know these alumni associations...).

      Not only would going all Open Access deprive the association of a benefit to entice people to join (since they could access the journals anyway), going open access would save Stanford so much money that alumni wouldn't feel as guilty about not giving money.

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    2. Giving Stanford the Wrong Advice

      First things first! Stanford canceling its journal subscriptions today would be absolutely absurd. It would immediately cut off access of Stanford researchers and students to most peer-reviewed research. That is the worst possible advice we could give anyone, in the name of open access!

      Stanford is doing exactly the right thing in mandating open access for its own research output, by mandating that it be self-archived. The only advice to be given Stanford is (1) that they should extend the mandate from the School of Education to the entire university and (2) they should correct the small but crucial bug in the Harvard mandate model that they have adopted (rights-retention with opt-out) by adding an immediate deposit clause, without opt-out (and the option to make the deposit Closed Access during the embargo):

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    3. Stevan

      I was, by the way, being tongue in cheek when I suggested the cancel all their subscriptions. Although if 1000 universities did it it might move OA forward.

      ReplyDelete
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