Gold or green: the debate on Open Access policies
Keywords:open access, scientific communication, scientific journals, repositories, open access policies
The movement for open access to science seeks to achieve unrestricted and free access to academic publications on the Internet. To this end, two mechanisms have been established: the gold road, in which scientific journals are openly accessible, and the green road, in which publications are self-archived in repositories. The publication of the Finch Report in 2012, advocating exclusively the adoption of the gold road, generated a debate as to whether either of the two options should be prioritized. The recommendations of the Finch Report stirred controversy among academicians specialized in open access issues, who felt that the role played by repositories was not adequately considered and because the green road places the burden of publishing costs basically on authors. The Finch Report’s conclusions are compatible with the characteristics of science communication in the UK and they could surely also be applied to the (few) countries with a powerful publishing industry
and substantial research funding. In Spain, both the current national legislation and the existing rules at universities largely advocate the green road. This is directly related to the structure of scientific communication in Spain, where many journals have little commercial significance, the system of charging a fee to authors has not been adopted, and there is a good repository infrastructure. As for open access policies, the performance of the scientific communication system in each country should be carefully analyzed to determine the most suitable open access strategy. [Int Microbiol 2013; 16(3):199-203]
Keywords: open access · scientific communication ∙ scientific journals ∙ repositories ∙ open access policies
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