I apologise for going ‘Green’

I published a paper earlier this month, all about peatlands in tropical latitudes. (Surprising, eh!) It proved an unexpectedly great opportunity to work with a new and interdisciplinary bunch of co-authors….

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And I created my first ‘thread‘! It seems to be what one does now to spread the word about new published research. My main incentive for tweeting, however, was to share the ‘personalised’ link I had been sent by the publisher, Elsevier, as corresponding author. Anyone interested can download the paper, for free, for the first 50 days post-publication. After that, the outcome of two years of information gathering by 10 people and many 1,000s of hours of publicly-funded research before that, will only be accessible to people from universities or other institutions that can afford the annual subscription to the journal, Anthropocene. Because this review paper had been unplanned when applications for research and dissemination funding were written, and was completed outside of one single research project, pooling time and resources from multiple people funded by multiple sources, we didn’t have the £2,000+ Article Publishing Charge to publish it via the Gold Open Access route. Instead, we opted for the shady back-alley route: Green Open Access. This means making the peer-reviewed, accepted version of our manuscript (the version accepted after the final review) available on our institutional website (e.g., here). I am certainly pleased that this is an option (after a 12-month embargo, it seems!*), but it does make finding the article an online adventure that time-poor academics and (often) under-resourced practitioners might opt out of. So for now, I apologise for not going for ‘gold’…

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And soon, perhaps we won’t all have to find pots of gold at the end of the rainbow to make new knowledge available (atleast in principle) to everyone.

*There’s an unhelpful loop-hole I just found out about, so here, legally, is the Author Accepted Version of the manuscript:

Cole, L.E.S., Åkesson, C.M., Hapsari, A.K., Hawthorne, D., Roucoux, K.H., Girkin, N.T., Cooper, H.V., Ledger, M.J., O’Reilly, P. & Thornton, S.A. (2022) Tropical peatlands in the anthropocene: Lessons from the past. Anthropocene. Author accepted manuscript.

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