See, this is why publishers irritate me so much
May 17, 2012
Graham Taylor, director of academic publishing at the Publishers Association, said … that publishers would be content with a “leveraged acceleration” of moves towards author-pays open access (the “gold” model) – provided that funding to pay the associated article fees was in place.
What publishers would not accept, Mr Taylor made clear, was Research Councils UK’s suggestion, in its draft new open-access policy, that authors could choose instead to deposit their papers in open-access repositories within an “overly short” embargo period of six months after publication.
Oh, so publishers “will not accept” Green OA?
Where the hell do they get the arrogance to assume that a funding body needs their permission to say how their money is going to be spent? If the government gives me £300 to build a shed and stipulates that it has to be made from renewable wood, the timber yard does not get to say say it “will not accept” that condition.
It’s none of the publishers’ damned business what conditions funding bodies impose on recipients. None. None of their business. At all. Until the publishers start being funders they have no say in the funder-recipient relationship. None.
Am I repeating myself? Very well; I contain multitudes.
Here’s how it works, publishers. The funding body supplies the money, which means it lays down the rules. If the funder says “author must deposit final accepted manuscript in public repository six months after publication” (or indeed “immediately on acceptance”), then those are the rules; in accepting a grant, recipients are agreeing to abide by them. You, the publishers, then have a simple choice. You may accept authors’ articles on that basis; or you may decline to publish them. That’s your prerogative: when I submit my manuscript to your journal, you are at liberty to tell me “the conditions imposed by your funding body make it unattractive for us to publish your work, so we decline your submission”. And then I will go and find another publisher — one that’s not stuck in 1970s.
But that is the only say you have. Funders set the rules. Take it or leave it.
Just because you’ve been living on funding bodies’ money for decades does not mean you get a say in their policy. Tapeworms don’t get to dictate their host’s actions, either. You either provide a service that is acceptable to funders, or you will be bypassed.
That is all.