Scholarly Open Access
Critical Analysis of Jeffrey Beall's Blog - Open Access Publishing

 

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  Jeffrey Beall
Predatory Blogger, 
Academic criminal

February 11, 2015

 Beall's List of Howlers: Cameo Responds

Beall, Jeffrey (2013) The Open-Access Movement is Not Really about Open Access. TripleC Communication, Capitalism & Critique Journal. 11(2): 589-597 

This wacky article is easy to debunk. It reveals, however, that Jeff is driven by some sort of fanciful conspiracy theory! 'OA is all an anti-capitalist plot.' (Even on a quick skim it is evident that his article is rife with half-truths, errors and downright nonsense. Pity. It will diminish the credibility of his valid exposés. Maybe this is a good thing, if the judgment and motivation behind Beall's list is as kooky as this article, but it will now also give the genuine "predatory" junk-journals some specious arguments for discrediting Jeff's work altogether. It will also furnish the publishing lobby with some good sound-bites -- but they use them at their peril, because of all the patent nonsense in which they are inseparably embedded!) 


Now a few deadpan rejoinders to just the most egregious howlers:

"ABSTRACT: While the open-access (OA) movement purports to be about making scholarly content open-access, its true motives are much different. The OA movement is an anti-corporatist movement that wants to deny the freedom of the press to companies it disagrees with. The movement is also actively imposing onerous mandates on researchers, mandates that restrict individual freedom. To boost the open-access movement, its leaders sacrifice the academic futures of young scholars and those from developing countries, pressuring them to publish in lower-quality open-access journals. The open-access movement has fostered the creation of numerous predatory publishers and standalone journals, increasing the amount of research misconduct in scholarly publications and the amount of pseudo-science that is published as if it were authentic science."

There are two ways to provide OA: Publish your article in an OA journal (Gold OA) - or -
Publish in any journal you freely choose, and self-archive your final peer-reviewed draft in your institution's OA repository (Green OA).

"The open-access movement isn't really about open access. Instead, it is about collectivizing production and denying the freedom of the press from those who prefer the subscription model of scholarly publishing. It is an anti-corporatist, oppressive and negative movement, one that uses young researchers and researchers from developing countries as pawns to artificially force the make-believe gold and green open-access models to work. The movement relies on unnatural mandates that take free choice away from individual researchers, mandates set and enforced by an onerous cadre of Soros-funded European autocrats…"

Green OA provides online access to peer-reviewed research for all potential users, not just those at subscribing institutions. 

With Green OA mandated, those who wish to continue paying subscriptions (and can afford to) are free to keep on paying them for as long as they like.

Publish in any journal you freely choose, and self-archive your final peer-reviewed draft in your institution's OA repository (Green OA).

"The open-access movement is a failed social movement and a false messiah, but its promoters refuse to admit this. The emergence of numerous predatory publishers – a product of the open-access movement – has poisoned scholarly communication, fostering research misconduct and the publishing of pseudo-science, but OA advocates refuse to recognize the growing problem. By instituting a policy of exchanging funds between researchers and publishers, the movement has fostered corruption on a grand scale. Instead of arguing for openaccess, we must determine and settle on the best model for the distribution of scholarly research, and it's clear that neither green nor gold open-access is that model…"

There are two ways to provide OA: Publish your article in an OA journal (Gold OA) - or -
Publish in any journal you freely choose, and self-archive your final peer-reviewed draft in your institution's OA repository (Green OA).

"Open access advocates think they know better than everyone else and want to impose their policies on others. Thus, the open access movement has the serious side-effect of taking away other's freedom from them. We observe this tendency in institutional mandates. Harnad (2013) goes so far as to propose [an]…Orwellian system of mandates… documented [in a] table of mandate strength, with the most restrictive pegged at level 12, with the designation "immediate deposit + performance evaluation (no waiver option)".

Publish in any journal you freely choose, and self-archive your final peer-reviewed draft in your institution's OA repository (Green OA).

"A social movement that needs mandates to work is doomed to fail. A social movement that uses mandates is abusive and tantamount to academic slavery. Researchers need more freedom in their decisions not less. How can we expect and demand academic freedom from our universities when we impose oppressive mandates upon ourselves?…"

Publish in any journal you freely choose, and self-archive your final peer-reviewed draft in your institution's OA repository (Green OA).

(Perhaps a publish-or-perish mandate, too, is academic slavery? Or a "show-up-for-your-lectures-or-you're-fired" mandate? Or a mandate to submit CVs digitally instead of in print? Or not smoke on the premises?)

"[F]rom their high-salaried comfortable positions…OA advocates... demand that for-profit, scholarly journal publishers not be involved in scholarly publishing and devise ways (such as green open-access) to defeat and eliminate them…"

Green OA provides online access to peer-reviewed research for all potential users, not just those at subscribing institutions. 

With Green OA mandated, those who wish to continue paying subscriptions (and can afford to) are free to keep on paying them for as long as they like.

If and when globally mandated Green OA makes subscriptions unsustainable, journals will cut out inessential products and services (such as print edition, online edition, access-provision and archiving) and their costs, and downsize to providing peer review alone, paid for, per outgoing institutional article, out of the institution's incoming journal subscription cancellation savings.

"OA advocates use specious arguments to lobby for mandates, focusing only on the supposed economic benefits of open access and ignoring the value additions provided by professional publishers. The arguments imply that publishers are not really needed; all researchers need to do is upload their work, an action that constitutes publishing, and that this act results in a product that is somehow similar to the products that professional publishers produce…."

Green OA is the peer-reviewed draft. Subscriptions pay for peer review today. If cancelled, the savings will pay for peer review (and any other publisher product or service for which there is still a demand left, once Green OA repositories are doing all the access-provision and archiving). Peer-reviewed publishing is peer-reviewed publishing, not public uploading.

Stevan Harnad

Article initially published on http://openaccess.eprints.org/index.php?/archives/1087-Cameo-Replies-to-Bealls-List-of-Howlers.html

Posted by Friends of Open Access