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Scholarly Communication in High Energy Physics (HEP)

Green Open Access Advantages

1. There is an immense advantage for individual authors, and for the discipline as a whole, in free and immediate circulation of ideas, resulting in a faster scientific discourse.

2. The advantages of Open Access in HEP come without mandates and without debates. Universal adoption of Open Access follows from the immediate benefits for authors.

3. Peer-reviewed journals have lost their role as a means of scientific discourse, which has effectively moved to the discipline repository.

(Gentil-Beccot et al. 2009, p.10)

Electronic Communication & Preprint Culture

Physicists and astronomers are leaders in the use of electronic communication for the dissemination of their research findings.

Because these fields generate vast amounts of data that require specialized resources for storage and analysis, these fields are highly collaborative and rely heavily on informal scientific communication via preprint/e-print. Rapid scientific progress as a result of highly specialized technology and the subsequent production of new data has resulted in the need for increased accessibility of scientific results, particularly in the field of High Energy Physics. Therefore, preprints/e-prints have been the main vehicle for information dissemination in HEP since the 1960’s. As a result, over 90% of HEP scientists use arXiv or SPIRES for their information needs.

Thanks its decade-old preprint culture, HEP is today an almost entirely “green” Open Access discipline, which means a discipline where authors self-archive their research results on repositories which guarantee their unlimited circulation. Posting an article on arXiv, even before submitting it to a journal, is common practice. Even revised versions incorporating the changes due to the peer-review process are routinely uploaded. (Aymar 2009, p.5)


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