For TA publishers, allowing author self-archiving is all we can ask

Stevan Harnad, Elsevier Again Confirms Its Position on the Side of the Green OA Angels, Open Access Archivangelism, November 29, 2008.

Summary:  A publisher that has a Green policy on OA self-archiving (by the author) is removing the single biggest obstacle to Green OA (hence to OA), as well as to Green OA Mandates by authors’ institutions and funders, namely, the author’s worry that to self-archive would be to violate copyright and/or to risk not being published by his journal of choice. No one is asking non-OA publishers to support OA — just not to oppose it. What will ensure that not only a small fraction of authors but all authors provide Green OA is Green OA mandates. Green OA mandates are facilitated by publishers with Green policies on OA self-archiving. That does not, however, require that publishers agree to allow 3rd parties to download their proprietary files automatically (simply because authors themselves cannot be bothered to do the requisite keystrokes), for that would be tantamount to asking publishers to become Gold OA publishers.

PS:  Stevan’s support for Elsevier’s green OA policy encountered some opposition in the AmSci OA Forum.  In his full post (of which this is just the summary) he reprints the opposing arguments and replies to them.