I want to highlight an interesting discussion around moral arguments used (or abused?) in relation to Gold OA, which diverged to the matter of having a good logo for OA (obviously not of the “gold” kind).
Being an admirer of the point of view expressed by Mike Taylor that “Hiding your research behind a paywall is immoral“, my take is that even the logo and name of Gold OA betray an outdated state of mind. Indeed, the logo is a lock, which is open, true, but nevertheless a lock. To be clear, in the publishing business there are two locks, one of them being opened in the case of Gold OA. One lock concerns the reader, who has to pay for having access to the research article. The other lock concerns the author, who is forced to give her/his copyright to the publisher. Why? The publisher says that it is in return for the service of the dissemination of the research. This is blatantly false these days. The other reason has to do with the vanity based system of promotion in the academic world. Here, the publisher wins at both ends: gets the research (usually publicly funded, anyway almost always not funded by the publisher) and re-sells it to the (other) researchers. The researchers have to prove they have a number of papers published in certain journals, in order to get promotion and funds (in order to pay (the Gold OA, for example) publisher to take her/his creation). Because the number and place of publication are valued over the content, this is purely vanity based, an almost exact analoguous of the system of ranking 19th century academic painters according to the place and height where their paintings were exposed in the Salon (analogy mentioned in this post).
The lock as a logo for OA is something to be laughed about. The name “gold” as well betrays that the promoters of Gold OA still think in the terms of scarcity of goods. The Gold OA removes the lock for the reader and enforces the lock on the researcher, well done!
What about another logo for OA? I just start thinking about this, I image that there should be hundreds of proposals, until one or several of them become viral enough.
My idea is revolving around a dandelion seed:
The idea is that dandelion seeds are smaller replicas of the whole ripe dandelion, which spread in the freedom of the wind.
What do you think about a good logo for OA? Share your proposals, here or elsewhere.