Is the future of scientific production and scholarly publishing going to be "gold" or "green"? The choice is between the gold of money, and growth, or the green of environment and sustainability. In the case of scientific and scholarly publishing, the choice is both about mechanisms and about values.
Last year's Finch report endorsed the move towards much more openness in scientific and scholarly publishing, and away from the current regime of hugely expensive journals that ration access. Almost everyone, including most enlightened academic publishers, agreed. After all, the freest possible circulation of research findings is how science makes progress – through critique and interrogation. The freest possible circulation of ideas is also the foundation of an open society.
But how best to achieve this universally desired goal? The gold route would shift the financial burden (because academic publishing has to be paid for somehow) from journal subscribers to the authors of articles. The green route would require all universities to deposit an open-source version of articles in their institutional repositories.