Tuesday, September 16. 2014
“The world's most prolific writer: Sverker Johansson has created more than three million Wikipedia articles, around one tenth of the entire content of the site. How, and why, does he do it?” -- Norwegian Inflight Magazine]The question's interesting, though the right description is not that Sverker Johansson “wrote” millions of Wikipedia articles but that he wrote an online search algorithm (a “bot") that generated them automatically (otherwise the writer of a payroll algorithm would be the “author" of gazillions of paychecks…).
How and why indeed! It’s interesting, though, that so many Wikipedia entries can be generated algorithmically. The boundary between an encyclopedia and an almanac or even a chronicle of events has long been blurred by Wikipedia.
But it is a good idea to keep in mind that what is easy to generate algorithmically (and via its close cousin, crowdsourcing) in the googlized digital era, is simple or 1st-order facts: Answers to what?/when?/where? questions: Apples are red, the sky is blue, it rained in Burma on Tuesday, Chelsea beat Burnley 4-2..
The real source of all this factual information is Google’s global digital database, and the fact that Google has reverse-indexed it all, making it searchable by Boolean (and/or/not) search algorithms as well as by more complex computational (Turing) algorithms.
The questions that are much harder to answer algorithmically, even with all of the Google database and all the Boolean/Turing tools, are the higher-order how?/why? questions. If those could all be answered algorithmically, most of theoretical (i.e., non-experimental) science would be finished by now.
And the reason for that is probably that our brains don’t find all those how/why answers just algorithmically either, but also via dynamical (analog, sensorimotor) means that may prove accessible to future Turing-Test scale sensorimotor robots, but certainly not to today's purely symbolic bots, operating on purely symbolic databases.
In other words, it’s down to the symbol grounding problem again…
Saturday, September 6. 2014
to rant about publishers
not doing right OA thing
than to do right OA thing?"
-- Master Basho (old Zen Koan)
There are two ways to provide Open Access (OA): (1) Publishing in an OA journal ("Gold OA") or (2) publishing in a subscription journal (like AAAS's Science) and self-archiving the article by depositing the final refereed draft in the author's institutional repository immediately upon acceptance for publication ("Green OA").
There are two kinds (or degrees) of OA: free online access ("Gratis OA") and free online access plus certain re-use rights ("Libre OA").
What funders and institutions are mandating is Green Gratis OA; not Gold OA. And they are only recommending, not requiring, Libre OA.
60% of journals endorse immediate, unembargoed Green Gratis OA. 40% of journals embargo OA.
The journals that do not embargo Green Gratis OA are the 60% that are advancing OA. (They are "on the side of the angels" regarding OA.)
All the AAAS journals, including Science, are on the side of the angels. They do not embargo immediate Green Gratis OA.
In contrast, Nature used to be -- but is no longer -- on the side of the angels: it embargoes Green Gratis OA for 6 months. (Many journals embargo it for 12 months; some even longer.)
It is both untrue and extremely unproductive (for OA -- both Gratis and Libre) to describe a publisher that is on the side of the angels for Green Gratis OA as one that "does not advance Open Access."
Once it is universally mandated by all research institutions and funders, Green Gratis OA will be universally provided. That is (Gratis) OA: online access to all peer-reviewed journal articles, not just for subscribers, but free for all.
Global Green Gratis OA will in turn lead to journal cancellations and a conversion of all journals to Libre Gold OA, at a fair price ("Fair Gold") paid out of the subscription cancellation windfall savings.
But Global Green Gratis OA is being held back by publisher embargoes.
To chastise AAAS as "not advancing Open Access" even though AAAS endorses immediate, unembargoed Gratis Green OA is to encourage publishers to embargo OA because they are damned if they do and damned if they don't.
Jon Tennant's field of geology (and several other fields) would benefit from Libre OA. In contrast, endorsing immediate Libre OA (which includes the right of a 3rd-party rival publisher to free-ride on and undercut the primary publisher's content, immediately, inducing immediate cancellations) is something it is quite understandable that a publisher would not want to do today: Better to wait for Global Green Gratis OA to be reached gradually via mandates, and all journals having to convert to Libre Fair-Gold, rather than having to do it pre-emptively, alone, today.
So please have patience and encourage institutions and funders to mandate Green Gratis OA rather than encouraging publishers to embargo it, by implying that if a publisher does not allow immediate Libre OA, it is slowing progress toward OA.
What is slowing progress toward OA is just the slowness of institutions and funders to mandate it (and hence the slowness of their authors to provide it).
To deprecate publishers that endorse immediate, unembargoed Gratis Green OA is to further slow the progress of OA.
Harnad, S. (2007) The Green Road to Open Access: A Leveraged Transition. In: Anna Gacs. The Culture of Periodicals from the Perspective of the Electronic Age. L’Harmattan. 99-106.
______ (2010) No-Fault Peer Review Charges: The Price of Selectivity Need Not Be Access Denied or Delayed. D-Lib Magazine 16 (7/8).
______ (2013) The Postgutenberg Open Access Journal. In, Cope, B and Phillips, A (eds.) The Future of the Academic Journal (2nd edition). Chandos.
Wednesday, September 3. 2014
Comment on: Lemire, Daniel (2014) Though unrefereed, arXiv has a better h-index than most journals…Arxiv includes both unrefereed and refereed versions of papers.
Distinguish citation from access-date (early access) and access-locus.
Peer-reviewed publication is not the same thing as (or not only) access-provision:
Journals provide both peer review and access (to subscribers only, if journal is subscription-based).
Repositories provide access (to peer-reviewed journal articles and sometimes to earlier unrefereed drafts).
Hence repositories do not have citation counts or h-indexes: just access-locus statistics; their citation counts are parasitic on journal citation counts (and especially journal peer review).
Users access whatever version they can access, but they cite the journal article (the canonical, archival "version of record").
The only exception is unrefereed drafts -- but even there, it is the author's draft that is being cited; the repository is just the access-locus:
Unrefereed drafts used to be cited as "name, title, unpublished (or 'in prep')" and refereed, accepted drafts used to be cited as "name, title, journal, in press)."
Adding an OA access-locus to the journal citation is becoming an increasingly common (and desirable) scholarly practice, but it does not change the fact that what is being cited is the work, and the canonical version of the work is the refereed, published version-of-record, regardless of access-locus.
Hence repositories do not have citation counts; they just have access-locus (download) counts.
(Some interesting statistics can, however, be done on the citation of unrefereed vs refereed versions, i.e., early access.)
Monday, September 1. 2014
For the record: I renounce (and have long renounced) the original 2002 BOAI (and BBB) definition of Open Access (OA) (even though I was one of the original co-drafters and co-signers of BOAI) in favour of its 2008 revision (sic) as Gratis OA (free online access) and Libre OA (free online access plus certain re-use rights, e.g., CC-BY).
The original BOAI definition was improvised. Over a decade of subsequent evidence, experience and reflection have now made it clear that the first approximation in 2002 was needlessly over-reaching and (insofar as Green OA self-archiving was concerned) incoherent (except if we were prepared to declare almost all Green OA — which was and still is by far the largest and most reachable body of OA — as not being OA!). The original BOAI/BBB definition has since also become an obstacle to the growth of (Green, Gratis) OA as well as a point of counterproductive schism and formalism in the OA movement that have not been to the benefit of OA (but to the benefit of the opponents of OA, as well as the publishers that want to ensure -- via Green OA embargoes -- that the only path to OA should be one that comes on their terms, i.e. preserves their current revenue streams: Fool's Gold OA).
I would like to agree with Richard Poynder that OA needs some sort of "authoritative" organization -- but of whom should that authoritative organization consist? My inclination is that it should be the providers and users of the OA research itself, namely peer-reviewed journal article authors, their institutions and their funders. Their “definition” of OA would certainly be authoritative.
Let me close by emphasizing that I too see Libre OA as desirable and inevitable. But my belief (and it has plenty of supporting evidence) is that the only way to get to Libre OA is for all institutions and funders to mandate (and provide) Gratis Green OA first — not to quibble or squabble or dawdle about the BOAI/BBB “definition” of OA, or their favorite flavours of Libre OA licenses.
My only difference with Paul Royster is that the primary target for OA is peer-reviewed journal articles, and for that it is not just repositories that are needed, but Green OA mandates from authors’ institutions and funders.
P.S. To forestall yet another round of definitional wrangling: Even an effective Gratis Green OA mandate requires some compromises, namely, if authors elect to comply with a publisher embargo on Green OA, they need merely deposit the final, refereed, revised draft in their institutional repository immediately upon acceptance for publication -- and set the access as "restricted access" instead of OA during the (allowable) embargo. The repository's automated email copy-request Button will allow any user to request and any author to provide a single copy for research purposes during the embargo with just one click each. (We call this compromise "Almost-OA." It is a workaround for the 40% of journals that embargo Gratis Green OA; and this too is a necessary first step on the road to 100% immediate Green Gratis OA and onward. I hope no one will now call for a formal definition of "Almost-OA" before we can take action on mandating OA...)
Monday, August 25. 2014
A Kanadai Magyar Demokratikus Charta üdvözli Kanada kormányának a történelmi igazságtétel irányába tett lépéseit
Montreál, Kanada – 2014. augusztus 25 -- A Kanadai Magyar Demokratikus Charta üdvözli a kanadai kormány nyilatkozatát, melyet az 1914 és 1920 közötti internálások századik évfordulóján tett. Az I. Világháború alatt és az azt követő másfél évben, összesen 8.600 ártatlan nőt, gyereket és férfit internáltak mint "idegent és ellenséget" 24 lágerben, csupán azért, mert az Osztrák-Magyar Monarchia területeiről származtak.
A kanadai Miniszterelnöki Hivatal által kiadott közlemény szerint:
"a kormányok kötelessége, hogy védelmet nyújtsanak háborúk idején, ezért sajnálattal tekintünk vissza egy olyan kormányzati politikára, amely ahelyett, hogy védelmet nyújtott volna, a kollektív bűnösség elve alapján cselekedett, és nem vette figyelembe az „ártalmatlanság vélelmét”. Ezzel a közleménnyel Kanada beismeri a múlt bűneit és deklarálja, hogy tanult a múlt hibáiból. Egyben kijelenti: „kötelességünknek tartjuk, hogy megemlékezzünk az áldozatokról”.Bár a legtöbb internált ukrán származású volt, magyar nemzetiségű áldozatai is voltak az internálásnak; így értelemszerűen magyarok is kerültek az elszigetelő lágerekbe. Ezen kívül a kanadai települések rendőrségei több magyar származású személyt is nyilvántartottak a többi 80 ezer szintén "idegennek és ellenségnek" titulált kelet-európaival együtt.
A Kanadai Magyar Demokratikus Charta elismeri a kanadai ukrán közösség erőfeszítését és munkáját, melyet annak érdekében végzett, hogy végre ismertté válhasson Kanada történelmének ez a szomorú fejezete. Többek között a Shevchenko (Sevcsenko) Alapítvány, a Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (Ukrán-Kanadai Polgári Jogok Egyesülete) és Ukrainian Canadian Congress (Ukrán Kanadai Kongresszus) dolgozott a történelmi igazságtétel érdekében hosszú éveken keresztül. Ennek a munkának köszönhetően született meg a C-311-es törvény, mely egy 10 millió dolláros alap létrehozását tette lehetővé. Az alap támogatásának és projektjeinek köszönhetően ismerhetik meg a kanadaiak – származásuktól függetlenül – ezt a sokáig elfeledett történelmi tragédiát.
A Kanadai Magyar Demokratikus Charta sajnálattal veszi tudomásul, hogy odahaza, a magyar politikai vezetés a mai napig sem tud hasonló példamutatással járni e téren. A KMDH sajnálatosnak tartja, hogy a jelenlegi kormány képtelen őszinte és félreérthetetlen irányt mutatni a huszadik század első felében elkövetett kormányzati igazságtalanságok feldolgozásának érdekében, és ma is inkább másokra keni a felelőséget szomorú múltunk több esetében. A kanadai aktivisták, tudósok, múzeumok és kormányzati tisztviselők együttműködése az ukrán diaszpórával annak ékes bizonyítéka, hogy lehetséges őszintén és nyiltan megemlékezni a történelem sötét és tragikus korszakaira.
A Kanadai Magyar Demokratikus Charta - egy, az akadémikusokat és aktivistákat összefogó országos szervezet – fejet hajt az igazságtalanul meghurcolt embertársaink emléke előtt, tiszteleg az internálás magyar és más nemzetiségű áldozatai előtt. Továbbá, kötelességének tekinti, hogy felszólaljon minden olyan jelenlegi kormányzati lépéssel szemben, amely igazságtalanul érinti az embereket.
Dr. Göllner András, alapító és nemzetközi szóvívő
A Concordia University politológia tanszékének emeritus professzora. Montreál, Québec.
Dr. Ádám Christopher, társalapító és szóvívő
A Carleton University történelem tanszékének oktatója. Ottawa, Ontario.
Dr. Balogh Éva, társalapító és szóvívő
A Yale Egyetem korábbi történész professzora és a Morse College egykori dékánja. New Haven, Connecticut.
Dr. Hernád István, társalapító és szóvívő
A Magyar Tudományos Akadémia külső tagja / Université du Québec ŕ Montréal (UQAM) Kanadai kiemelt kutatási katedra kognitív tudományokban. Montreál, Québec.
Dr. Szeman Imre, társalapító és szóvívő
A University of Alberta kiemelt professzora angol irodalomban, szociológiában és filmművészetben.
Canadian-Hungarian Democratic Charter Welcomes Canadian Government's Decision to Acknowledge Historical Injustice
MONTREAL, CANADA - August 25th, 2014 -- The Canadian Hungarian Democratic Charter welcomes the Government of Canada's statement on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the country's first national internment operations between 1914 and 1920, in which more than 8,600 innocent men, women and children from the lands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and elsewhere in Eastern Europe were unjustly interned as "enemy aliens" in 24 internment camps across Canada.
A statement from the Prime Minister's office notes that:
"governments have a solemn duty to defend against legitimate threats in wartime, but we look back with deep regret on an unjust policy that was implemented indiscriminately as a form of collective punishment and in violation of fundamental principles of natural justice, including the presumption of innocence. In Canada we acknowledge the mistakes of the past, and we learn from them. We are also steadfast in our commitment to remembering those who suffered."While most of those interned were Ukrainians, Hungarian immigrants to Canada were also considered to be enemy aliens, and they were not only among those deported to remote camps, but were also among more than 80,000 residents required to register with local authorities, simply as a result of their ethnic background.
The Canadian Hungarian Democratic Charter also acknowledges the Ukrainian community groups and activists that for decades fought for this sad chapter in Canada's wartime history to be recognized. We think especially of the Shevchenko Foundation, the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress--all of which persevered in their calls for justice, even as they faced widespread denial and indifference on the part of Canadian authorities. Their persistence is what led to Bill C-331, which opened the way for the creation of the $10 million Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund, thus allowing for Canadians of all backgrounds and generations to explore this previously neglected chapter in our country's history.
The cooperation amongst community activists, the Ukrainian Canadian diaspora, historians and other academics, artists, local museum curators and government officials demonstrates that it is possible to reflect openly on the most painful chapters of a nation's history. This can serve as a positive example for Hungarian society as well.
The Canadian Hungarian Democratic Charter -- a national organization of academics and community activists -- remembers the Hungarians and other Europeans who fell victim to wartime xenophobia and prejudice in Canada, and will continue to raise its voice against injustice and oppression in our contemporary world.
Dr. András B. Göllner. Founder and International Spokesperson
Emeritus Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Concordia University, Montreal, Que.
Dr. Christopher Adam. Co-Founder and Spokesperson
Sessional Lecturer, Department of History, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ont.
Dr. Éva Balogh. Co-Founder and Spokesperson
Former Professor of History and Dean of Morse College at Yale University (Retired) New Haven, Conn.
Dr. Stevan Harnad. Co-fondateur et porte-parole, langue française
Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Science, Université du Québec ŕ Montréal and External Member, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Imre Szeman. Co-Founder and Spokesperson
Canada Research Chair in Cultural Studies and Professor of English, Film Studies, and Sociology, University of Alberta.
Thursday, August 21. 2014
If, as rumoured, google builds a platform for depositing unrefereed research papers for “peer-reviewing” via crowd-sourcing, can this create a substitute for classical peer-review or will it merely supplement classical peer review with crowd-sourcing?
In classical peer review, an expert (presumably qualified, and definitely answerable), an "action editor," chooses experts (presumably qualified, and definitely answerable), "referees," to evaluate a submitted research paper in terms of correctness, quality, reliability, validity, originality, importance and relevance in order to determine whether it meets the standards of a journal with an established track-record for correctness, reliability, originality, quality, novelty, importance and relevance in a certain field.
In each field there is usually a well-known hierarchy of journals, hence a hierarchy of peer-review standards, from the most rigorous and selective journals at the top all the way down to what is sometimes close to a vanity press at the bottom. Researchers use the journals' public track-records for quality standards as a hierarchical filter for deciding in what papers to invest their limited reading time to read, and in what findings to risk investing their even more limited and precious research time to try to use and build upon.
Authors' papers are (privately) answerable to the peer-reviewers, the peer-reviewers are (privately) answerable to the editor, and the editor is publicly answerable to users and authors via the journal's name and track-record.
Both private and public answerability are fundamental to classical peer review. So is their timing. For the sake of their reputations, many (though not all) authors don't want to make their papers public before they have been vetted and certified for quality by qualified experts. And many (though not all) users do not have the time to read unvetted, uncertified papers, let alone to risk trying to build on unvalidated findings. Nor are researchers eager to self-appoint themselves to peer-review arbitrary papers in their fields, especially when the author is not answerable to anyone for following the freely given crowd-sourced advice (and there is no more assurance that the advice is expert advice rather than idle or ignorant advice than there is any assurance that a paper is worth taking the time to read and review).
The problem with classical peer review today is that there is so much research being produced that there are not enough experts with enough time to peer-review it all. So there are huge publication lags (because of delays in finding qualified, willing referees, and getting them to submit their reviews in time) and the quality of peer-review is uneven at the top of the journal hierarchy and minimal lower down, because referees do not take the time to review rigorously.
The solution would be obvious if each unrefereed, submitted paper had a reliable tag marking its quality level: Then the scarce expertise and time for rigorous peer review could be reserved for, say, the top 10% or 30% and the rest of the vetting could be left to crowd-sourcing. But the trouble is that papers do not come with a-priori quality tags: Peer review determines the tag.
The benchmark today is hence the quality hierarchy of the current, classically peer-reviewed research literature. And the question is whether crowd-sourced peer review could match, exceed, or even come close enough to this benchmark to continue to guide researchers on what is worth reading and safe to trust and use at least as well as they are being guided by classical peer review today.
And of course no one knows whether crowd-sourced peer-review, even if it could work, would be scaleable or sustainable.
The key questions are hence:
1. Would all (most? many?) authors be willing to post their unrefereed papers publicly (and in place of submitting them to journals!)?My own prediction (based on nearly a quarter century of umpiring both classical peer review and open peer commentary) is that crowdsourcing will provide an excellent supplement to classical peer review but not a substitute for it. Radical implementations will simply end up re-inventing classical peer review, but on a much faster and more efficient PostGutenberg platform. We will not realize this, however, until all of the peer-reviewed literature has first been made open access. And for that it is not sufficient for Google merely to provide a platform for authors to post their unrefereed papers, because most authors don’t even post their refereed papers in their institutional repositories until it is mandated by their institutions and funders.
Harnad, S. (1998/2000/2004) The invisible hand of peer review. Nature [online] (1998), Exploit Interactive 5 (2000): and in Shatz, B. (2004) (ed.) Peer Review: A Critical Inquiry. Rowland & Littlefield. Pp. 235-242.
Harnad, S., Carr, L., Brody, T. & Oppenheim, C. (2003) Mandated online RAE CVs Linked to University Eprint Archives: Improving the UK Research Assessment Exercise whilst making it cheaper and easier. Ariadne 35.
Harnad, S. (2010) No-Fault Peer Review Charges: The Price of Selectivity Need Not Be Access Denied or Delayed. D-Lib Magazine 16 (7/8).
Harnad, S. (2011) Open Access to Research: Changing Researcher Behavior Through University and Funder Mandates. JEDEM Journal of Democracy and Open Government 3 (1): 33-41.
Harnad, Stevan (2013) The Postgutenberg Open Access Journal. In, Cope, B and Phillips, A (eds.) The Future of the Academic Journal (2nd edition). Chandos.
Tuesday, August 5. 2014
DOE: The Importance of Requiring Institutional Repository Deposit Immediately Upon Acceptance for Publication
A peer-reviewed journal article is either accessible to all of its potential users or it is not accessible to all of its potential users (but only to those at subscribing institutions).
Open Access (OA) is intended to make articles accessible (online) to all their potential users, not just to subscribers, sothat all potential users can read, use, apply and build upon the findings, not just subscribers.
OA comes in two forms:
Gratis OA means an article is accessible online to all its potential users.
Libre OA means an article is accessible online to all its potential users and all users also have certain re-use rights, such as text-mining by machine, and re-publication.
For individual researchers and for the general public the most important and urgent form of OA is Gratis OA.
The reason Gratis OA is so important is that otherwise the research is inaccessible except to subscribers: OA maximizes research uptake, usage, applications, impact and progress.
The reason Gratis OA is so urgent is that lost research access means lost research impact and progress. The downloads and citations of papers made OA later never catch up with those of papers made OA immediately:
Gentil-Beccot, A., Mele, S., & Brooks, T. C. (2010). Citing and reading behaviours in high-energy physics: Scientometrics, 84(2), 345-355.
The date when a peer-reviewed paper is ready to be made OA is the date when the final, peer-reviewed draft is accepted for pubication.
Sometimes there can be delays of months between the date of acceptance and the date of publication of the pubisher’s version of record (VOR).
And some (a minority) of publishers have imposed embargoes of up to 12 months from the date of publication before authors can make their articles OA.
The delay from acceptance to publication, and the delay from publication till the end of any OA embargo all add up tp lost research access, uptake, usage, applications and progress.
DOE and OSTI have been directed by OSTP to adopt a policy that ensures that OA is provided to federally funded research — by 12 months after the date of publication at the very latest.
This is not a mandate to adopt a policy that ensures that OA is provided "at the very latest possible date."
Yet that is what DOE has done — no doubt under the influence of the publishing industry lobby.
The interests of research and researchers -- and hence of the public that funds the research -- are that the research should be made OA as soon as possible.
The interests of (some of) the publishing industry are that it should be made OA as late as possible.
The DOE has adopted a policy that serves the interests of the publishing industry rather than those of research, researchers and the tax-paying public.
This is why DOE policy has been so warmly welcomed by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) as well as CHORUS (a publisher consortium expressly created to try to keep access-provision and the timing of compliance with open access mandates under the control of publishers rather than fundees and their institutions).
The simplest remedy for this is not necessarily that the permissible OA embargo length needs to be reduced (though that would be extremely welcome and beneficial too!).
Even within the constraints of a permissible OA embargo of 12 months at the very latest, there is a simple way to make the DOE policy much more powerful and effective, guaranteeing much more and earlier access.
All that has to be done is to make immediate deposit of the author’s final, peer-reviewed draft, in the author’s institutional repository, mandatory immediately upon acceptance.
Not just the metadata: the full final draft.
If the author wishes to comply with a publisher OA embargo, the deposit need not be made OA immediately.
Institutional repositories have an automated copy-request Button with which a user can request a single copy for research purposes, and the author can comply with the request, with just one click each.
This is not OA, but it is almost-OA, and it is all that is needed to maximize research access, usage and progress during any permissible OA embargo.
And besides maximizing access during any permissible OA embargo, requiring immediate institutional deposit also mobilizes institutions to monitor and ensure timely compliance with the funding agency’s requirement.
The metadata for the deposit can be exported from each institutional repository to the DOE PAGES portal immediately, and then the portal, too (like google and google scholar), can immediately begin referring users back to the Button at the institution so the author can provide almost-OA with a single click until the end of any embargo.
There is no need whatsoever to wait either for the publisher’s VOR, or for the end of the publisher’s embargo, or for Libre OA re-use rights: those can come when they come.
But immediate institutional deposit needs to be mandated immediately.
Otherwise the DOE is needlessly squandering months and months of potential research uptake, usage and progress for federally funded research.
Please harmonize the DOE OA policy with the corresponding EU OA policy, as well as the HEFCE OA policy in the UK, the FRS OA policy in Belgium, and a growing number of institutional OA policies the world over.
Monday, June 30. 2014
Richard Poynder: "If you were composing the Subversive Proposal today how different would it be? Would it be different? If so, would you care to rephrase it to fit today’s environment? In other words, how would the Subversive Proposal look if written for a 2014 audience (in less than 500 words)?"SH: Knowing now, in 2014, that researchers won’t do it of their own accord, I would have addressed the proposal instead to their institutions and funders, and in less than 200 words:And this is how I should have written the original Proposal in 1994:"To maximize the access, uptake, usage, progress, productivity, applications and impact of your publicly funded research output, mandate (require) that the refereed, revised, accepted final draft of all articles must be deposited in the author’s institutional repository immediately upon acceptance for publication as a condition for research evaluation and funding. If you allow a publisher embargo on making the deposit OA (freely accessible to all online), implement the automated almost-OA Button (and don’t let the embargo exceed 6-12 months at most). This is called “Gratis Green OA.” Do not pay for Gold OA journal publication fees (“Fool’s Gold”) until global Green OA has made subscriptions unsustainable; then you can pay for Fair-Gold out of your subscription cancellation savings. Fair-Gold will also be Libre OA (with re-use rights such as data-mining, re-mixing and re-publishing). Ignore publishers’ lobbying to the effect that Green OA will destroy peer-reviewed journal publishing: it will re-vitalize it and save the research community a lot of money while maximizing the access, uptake, usage, progress, productivity, applications and impact of their research."FREE ONLINE ACCESS TO REFEREED RESEARCH: A SUBVERSIVE PROPOSAL
Wednesday, June 18. 2014
Important Addendum and Correction from Eloy Rodrigues (June 19):
The two Chinese OA Mandates (NSFC and CAS) came fast (2014), but the possibility of complying with them is coming slowly (no repository till 2016).
In addition, articles need not be deposited until 12 months after publication.
In most fields, especially the fast-moving sciences, the benefits of Open Access (maximised uptake, usage, impact and progress) are biggest and most important within the first year of publication. That is the growth tip of research. Access losses in the first year are never fully caught up in later years. The iron needs to be struck when it is hot.
There are two very simple steps that China can take to minimise the needless loss of research uptake, usage and impact because of lost time:
(1) China should set up the repositories immediately, using the available free softwares such as EPrints and DSpace. It requires only a server and a few hours worth of set-up time and the repository is ready for deposits. There is no reason whatsoever to wait two years. It would also be sensible to have distributed local repositories — at universities and research institutions — rather than just one central one. Each institution can easily set up its own repository. All repositories are interoperable and if and when desired, their contents can be automatically exported to or harvested by central repositories.
(2) Although an OA embargo of 12 months is allowed, China should mandate that deposit itself must be immediate (immediately upon acceptance for publication). Access to the deposit can be set as closed access instead of OA during the embargo if desired, but EPrints and DSpace repositories have the “Request-Copy” Button for closed-access deposits so that individual users can request and authors can provide an individual copy for research purposes with one click each. The repository automatically emails the copy if the author clicks Yes.
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