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Unhelpful coverage

A new article in the U of North Carolina student paper says that UNC is considering a policy requiring faculty to submit new work to OA journals. (Call that a gold OA mandate.)

I'd bet that the article is wrong, and that UNC is really considering a policy requiring faculty to deposit new work in OA repositories. (Call that a green OA mandate.)

Gold OA mandates limit faculty freedom to submit work to the journals of their choice. Green OA mandates don't. That's the very good reason why all OA mandates are green.

Gold OA mandates will be compatible with academic freedom when virtually all OA journals are OA. But we're not there today and we're not even close.

If UNC is really considering a gold OA mandate, it should rethink. But if the article is wrong and UNC is really considering a green OA mandate, then the newspaper should print a correction. This kind of mistake does damage. When faculty think a policy is about gold OA rather than green OA (journals rather than repositories), they vote against the policy <>. When faculty understand a green OA policy properly, they often vote unanimously to adopt it <>.

#oa #openaccess
Patricia Marino's profile photoPaul Jones's profile photoPeter Suber's profile photo
I've now posted a version of this to the comment section of the UNC article.
I'll be very interested to know whether it was a mistake and whether there's a correction. Confusion about these concepts is so widespread! Keep us posted.
@Peter Suber
I think you are particularly objecting to “Members of the committee are debating whether UNC should move to a policy that requires faculty to only publish in free journals.”
You are correct in saying that this sentence is incorrect.
Open Access is, indeed as you point out, about access which is often achieved by institutional repositories or the like.
Thanks, Paul. Is there a good way to spread this correction to the UNC faculty?
Done as a comment on the article online, on Twitter and on Facebook -- also as you may have seen included links about other schools doing Open Access:

A great local resource is from the folks at Health Sciences Library that have worked in this area at UNC for some years includes concise definitions and great links

Association of Research Libraries has strong Open Access positions

For a peer public institution’s approach to Open Access see Kansas

Information on Princeton (and the other 6 Ivies and other institutions) doing open access are summarized in this news article

Duke’s version is here
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