Germany's DFG also prefers gold OA to green OA

The new report <> from Germany's chief funding agency (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) is like the UK's Finch report in one important respect: it prefers gold OA to green OA, and part of the reason is an uninformed and jaundiced view of green OA.

Excerpt (p. 11): "Preference should be given to the 'gold road' to open access, i.e. the quality-controlled initial publication of scientific articles in an electronic medium that uses an open-access business model. It permits open-access provision of digital objects under legally protected conditions that also enable the comprehensive reuse of publications. Legal uncertainty has been seen as a significant obstacle in following the classic 'green road'..."

Comment: I don't pretend to know German copyright law. But under US copyright law there is no "legal uncertainty" clouding green OA. Legal objections to green OA policies have been completely answered by NIH-style policies (for funders) and Harvard-style policies (for universities). For more detail, see my debate with Mark Seeley, the Senior VP and General Counsel for Elsevier <>, or the chapter on copyright in my book on OA <>.

On the insider terminology: gold OA is delivered by journals, and green OA is delivered by repositories. Both may be peer-reviewed. For more detail on the distinction without going to my book, see my see my Open Access Overview <>. 

Update: I support both gold and green, and argue (e.g. in my book) that they are complementary. But the best way to support them both is to know the advantages of each. That's where the DFG and Finch reports fall short: they don't understand the advantages of green and therefore don't attempt to make use of them.

In the case of the Finch report, the disparagement of green OA was apparently the result of demands that the government insure publishers against risk before assuring access to publicly-funded research. Does the same explanation apply to the DFG as well?

#oa   #openaccess   #dfg  
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