[PET] Open Access?

Paul Syverson syverson at itd.nrl.navy.mil
Thu Jun 14 14:07:13 BST 2012

On Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 11:35:34AM +0100, Ben Laurie wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 9:48 PM, Nikita Borisov <nikitab at cs.berkeley.edu> wrote:
> > Also, wouldn't it mean that even the CFP for PETS would be forbidden, under
> > the current agreements?
> AIUI, PETS is, in practice, open access, despite the publisher's
> attempts to prevent it.

This flags the biggest difficulty with the policy: as Hannes
also observed, there is not a good, generally accepted definition
of "open access". I totally agree with the intent, but am not
satisfied that anybody has done much better than point at the clear
cases on one side or the other. What about Hindawi, which is
completely open access for all papers. Oh you didn't mean to
include the case where authors pay up front for archiving as
a condition of publication? What if it's an
option not a requirement as Springer does? What if the costs are
folded into the registration fees of a relevant conference,
and your paper can't be published in the proceedings unless
at least one author has a paid registration (as almost every
conference does)? Is that open access?
http://www.researchwithoutwalls.org/ sort of works, because
each signatory can decide for him/herself what that means.
But this is setting a public posting policy for everyone using
this list based in each case on Ben's AIUI for each venue. 
(Or we'll have to come up with an acceptable, implementable definition
that "the community" agrees on. Won't that be fun.)

Plus what about CFPs that are not completely explicit or
distinguishable about their open access policy (such as PETS vs. some
other LNCS published venue that has not negotiated a different
copyright agreement). Are you just going to reject those without a
clear Ben-approved statement or do you intend to have a back-and-forth
between yourself, the publicity guy in charge of pushing out CFPs for
the venue, the venue's steering committee, and the publisher, and...?

I think this is too problematic to implement at least for now.


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