Tuesday, August 22. 2006
I wonder why ARL refers to 2002 when EPrints, the first and most widely used IR software, was created in 2000!
(Both EPrints and DSpace were created by the same developer, by the way: then Southampton doctoral student Rob Tansley. Rob created EPrints first, according to our specs for OA, at Southampton -- before he was poached by HP and MIT! Since then, EPrints has continued to evolve to meet the emerging needs of the worldwide OA movement, still under Southampton's specs, but now under the tender care of Rob's successor and Eprints' current award-winning developer, Southampton's Chris Gutteridge. Rob has since moved on to google.)
"The survey was distributed to the 123 ARL member libraries in January 2006. Eighty-seven libraries (71%) responded to the survey. Of those, 37 (43%) have an operational IR..."According to the Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR), there are at least 200 OAI-compliant archives in the US, 115 of them institutional or departmental IRs, 18 of them e-thesis IRs.
"By a large majority, the most frequently used local IR software was DSpace, with DigitalCommons (or the bepress software it is based on) being the system of choice for vendor-hosted systems."Out of the current ROAR total for US OAI archives (200):
What percentage of those were full texts of OA target content (peer-reviewed research)?
"The average IR start-up cost has been around $182,500 and its average ongoing operation budget is about $113,500."That would be a figure worth breaking down by software used.
For some less daunting cost estimates (for OA-focussed IRs that know their target content -- institutional peer-reviewed research output -- and know how and why to get it deposited) see here and here.
[A calculation by IR policy and content, with a quick calculation of the cost per paper (full text!) might prove revealing too.]
"Only 41% of implementers had no review of deposited documents. While review by designated departmental or unit officials was the most common method (35%), IR staff reviewed documents 21% of the time."It would be interesting to calculate the correlation between whether an IR had a review-bottleneck in depositing and the number of full-text deposits (eliminating proxy deposits). (Prediction: The unbottlenecked IRs will be much fuller.)
"60% of implementers said that IR staff entered simple metadata for authorized users and 57% said that they enhanced such data. Thirty-one percent said that they catalogued IR materials completely using local standards."Obviously library proxy depositing has to be analyzed separately from direct deposits by authors (or their assigns).
"IR and library staff use a variety of strategies to recruit content: 83% made presentations to faculty and others, 78% identified and encouraged likely depositors, 78% had library subject specialists act as advocates, 64% offered to deposit materials for authors, and 50% offered to digitize materials and deposit them."No US university yet has a self-archiving mandate. US Provosts ought to try that: They might find it trumps all other factors in recruiting content (as Arthur Sale's analyses have been showing)!
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Sunday, August 20. 2006
< jeremiad >Porter, George (2006) Let's Get it Started! Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship 47."...Stevan Harnad is into the second decade of his jeremiad on the subject of self-archiving. A number of platforms have been created to support institutional repositories [IRs]... If librarians and academicians agree on the desirability of institutional repositories, and software platforms and services are available to make repositories technically feasible, one is left to ponder a few questions. Why are there so few institutional repositories up and running? Why are the existing institutional repositories generally not well filled with the intellectual output of their respective institutions?..."
J1:1 Yes, conducting jeremiads for self-archiving is not enough.
J1:2 Yes, creating IR software is not enough.
J1:3 Yes, creating IRs is not enough.
J1:4 Yes, library activism is not enough. (See Book of Ezekiel.)
J1:5 Not even providing the evidence on how self-archiving enhances research impact is enough:
J1:6 Only (institutional and funder) self-archiving mandates are sufficient (and necessary) for achieving 100% OA self-archiving -- yet that's precisely what George Porter fails even to mention! (See Book of Ruth.)
J1:7 Nor are jeremiads to mandate self-archiving enough to generate self-archiving mandates either:
J1:8 Only the empirical example of those institutions and funders that already mandate self-archiving -- and have thus demonstrated both the feasibility and the success of mandated self-archiving -- will generate self-archiving mandates. And self-archiving. And 100% OA.
< /jeremiad >
Friday, August 11. 2006
First, the (many) points of agreement with Simeon:
(1) Yes, all things being equal, it is greatly preferable not to remove deposited documents, whether preprint or postprint, hence removal should not be encouraged.
(2) Yes, depositing a pre-refereeing preprint is a good way to establish priority, even before formal publication.
(3) Yes, depositing pre-refereeing preprints is in any case a good practice, beneficial to research progress, especially in fast-moving, early-uptake fields, and is to be encouraged.
(4) Yes, a scholarly record of pre-publication stages of research reports is of interest and value in and of itself.
But now the disagreements:
(i) An Institutional Repository (IR) is not the same thing as a Central (uni-disciplinary or multidisciplinary) Repository (CR) like arXiv or PubMed Central.
(ii) A pre-refereeing preprint is not the same as a refereed postprint.
(iii) The first and most fundamental goal of the Open Access movement is to provide Open Access to the published, peer-reviewed research literature.
(iv) Open Access to pre-refereeing preprints is and must remain an optional bonus that the author may or may not provide, temporarily or permanently, over and above access to the refereed postprint.
(v) Open Access to the peer-reviewed postprint is a necessity, across all disciplines, to supplement Toll Access (via journal subscription/license/pay-per-view).
(vi) Open Access to the unrefereed preprint is not a necessity, not necessarily discipline-universal, and should not be portrayed as such.
(vii) Central Repositories (CRs) evolved on the basis of spontaneous, voluntary self-archiving, of both preprints and postprints.
(viii) Institutional self-archiving is a matter of systematic institutional policy, and pertains specifically to refereed, published postprints.
(ix) Institutional self-archiving is (largely) restricted to the institution's own authors self-archiving their own work: preprints and postprints.
(x) Institutions can and should control the content of their own IRs (mainly by restricting it to their own researchers' output and by ensuring that it includes all of the institution's published postprint output).
(xi) The fact that institutional employees are the self-archivers gives IRs a level of control and answerability that superordinate CRs like arxiv -- in which anyone in the world can deposit -- do not and cannot have (although research-funder CRs are a partial exception).
(xii) But for neither IRs or CRs should access-provision (self-archiving), be conflated with publication, nor, preprints (provisional) with postprints (peer-reviewed, published, and permanent).
No. The reasonable way to establish priority is to deposit the unrefereed preprint in your IR (or CR) to establish priority and then to get it refereed and published in a refereed journal. If the author of the published version is no longer interested in asserting or preserving pre-publication priority (for some unfathomable reason), he can remove the unrefereed preprint (although downloaded, cached and harvested residues may still perdure). The canonical version is, always was, and will continue for the foreseeable future to be the published, peer-reviewed, "certified" version: the postprint.SW: "For a thought experiment to help with this, imagine [depositing] multiple solutions to some problem to an archive and then removing all but the correct one at some later date. Is that a reasonable way to establish priority?"
Corrections are another matter. In principle, any version could turn out to contain an error, detected later: the unrefereed preprint or the refereed postprint. The difference is that the unrefereed preprint can (in principle) be deleted (not necessarily in practice, as ghostly remnants, downloaded or cached elsewhere, can return to haunt the author). The published version can only be formally "retracted," but it cannot be "unpublished." It cannot be withdrawn from the bookshelves and the hard-disks of the world, nor from the annals of the journal in which it was published. Corrected post-publication updates, however, can be disseminated too.
So please don't conflate preprint self-archiving, which is a (possibly temporary and ephemeral) way of providing early (risky) access to unrefereed research, with postprint self-archiving, which is a way of supplementing access to refereed, published research.
Again, unrefereed, unpublished preprints and refereed, published postprints are being conflated here, as is preservation-archiving and access-archiving:SW: "I think the option to allow authors to remove e-prints is simply an unpleasant compromise that may be necessary to help populate repositories."
Self-archived drafts can be disinterred from the archive: "un-archived." I agree that this should be discouraged, wherever it is unnecessary, but I don't find it at all unpleasant to allow authors the permanent option of withdrawing unpublished work from public view if they so wish (and not merely as a sop for enticing reluctant self-archivers to go ahead and self-archive!). That's the difference between publishing something and merely providing access to it. Publishing is archival, permanent and irreversible. Access-provision is not.
With all due respect, I think arxiv was an important milestone in the evolution of self-archiving, Open Access, and Institutional Repositories, but it is neither the optimal model nor (I believe) the wave of the future for research self-archiving. The wave of the future (thanks to OAI-interoperability) is (I believe) distributed local-institutional self-archiving of each institution's own research output in its own IR, not central, arxiv-style self-archiving. Central harvesting -- Oaister-, citebase-, citeseer-, scirus- and google-scholar-style -- will take care of the rest, harvesting the distributed OA IR contents seamlessly into searchable central "virtual archives ("VRs")."SW: "One could hope that the option might later be removed in a bait-and-switch move. This was how it played out in arXiv though it was not thought of in that way. Versions have been stored since 1997 but before that a revision overwrote the previous version."
Research institutions (universities, mostly) have an interest in two things: (1) maximising the usage and impact of their research output, by maximising access to it, and (2) preserving a permanent record of their research output.
Self-archiving institutional research output (preprint and postprint) serves the purposes of both (1) and (2), but only (1) requires that the output be made Open Access; (2) would be equally well-served by Closed Access self-archiving. And the only thing an institution can insist upon being deposited in its permanent archive is the author's final, refereed, published drafts; authors are well within their rights and reason to reserve the prerogative to decide for themselves what pre-refereeing drafts they wish to grant access to, and which of them, if any, they wish to retain in the permanent record.
This being the online, networked age, however, the following unprecedented sequence can happen (and no doubt has and will): An unrefereed preprint is posted publicly only, read, used and cited, and then withdrawn without being published, orphaning links and citations (unless the users/citers preserved a draft). This is not good for scholarly progress, and a solution will evolve. The most likely solution is that institutions will make their authors answerable for what they post publicly in their IR at least insofar as concerns requiring them to leave at least a Closed Access version of it in the archive permanently -- with a URL or DOI that permanently identifies it, but does not necessarily provide public access to the full text itself. Under special circumstances, referees, official auditors, etc., should be able to apply to the institutions for access to the full text, in cases of scholarly dispute about what it had contained.
Why leave the option to allow the publicly posted preprint to revert to Closed Access status? Because if it did contain an error, leaving it publicly accessible -- even if there are links and pointers to corrected versions and updates -- leaves open the possibility that an unwitting user will access the erroneous version. The probability is low; and even withdrawal does not reduce that probability to zero (because of likely downloaded and harvested residues persisting here and there); but the sensible, scholarly policy for an IR is to support the withdrawal of unrefereed, unpublished work, while formally discouraging its withdrawal.
That is the long and short of it. It has nothing whatsoever to do with "unpublishing" published work. And, yes, the difference between peer-reviewed publications and unrefereed self-postings is a profound and important one, even in the OA age. The official scholarly record is the published record, not the "posted" record.
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Technically speaking, the GNU EPrints software allows deposited papers to be removed instantly by the author/depositor. But whether it is the author/depositor who can remove the paper or a mediator/moderator/approver is a matter of individual IR (Institutional Repository) policy, not of software capability. It is merely a permissions parameter-setting on the software.
Given that IRs' principal problem today is not withdrawal but deposit (IRs are still mostly empty), I strongly recommend that departments and institutions drop the foolish and unnecessary mediator/moderator/approver phase, and set the parameter so that authorised institutional users (i.e., all employed researcher/authors) can deposit/approve and delete/approve their own papers, instantaneously.
There is no need to make the simple deposit process seem complicated or threatening by interposing a moderator into either the deposit or the withdrawal procedure.
(If it is felt that there is a need for vetting deposits, let the deposits be monitored subsequently, not moderated antecedently, and let the deposits [not the removals] be over-ruled by the monitor, as and when needed (plagiarism, libel, quackery), after the deposit by the authorised institutional researcher/author or proxy has been made, not before [when it would needlessly hold up the deposit and frustrate authors, who need encouragement today -- not the opposite, with foolish, arbitrary rules and delays].)
As to the worry about withdrawal in general: We are talking here about (i) unrefereed preprints and (ii) refereed postprints of published articles. This distinction needs to be borne clearly in mind, in setting IR policy:
UNREFEREED PREPRINTS: If you want authors to be willing to deposit their unrefereed preprints at all, you must allow them to remove them at will, instantaneously. (Discourage removal, by all means, but don't disallow it.)Stevan Harnad
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Thursday, August 10. 2006
In a recent preprint, Houghton & Sheehan (2006), using estimates from economic modeling, have confirmed the substantial potential enhancement of the return on resource investment in research if the resulting articles are made Open Access:
These estimates agree substantially with prior estimates that have been made (e.g., for the UK, Canada and Australia, see references below: Harnad 2005a,b,c).The Economic Impact of Enhanced Access to Research Findings
Research Funding Councils and Universities worldwide are at last beginning to realise that it is high time (indeed well overdue) to maximise the returns on their research investment by mandating Open Access self-archiving (see references below: Harnad et al. 2003; Sale 2006a,b,c,d; Swan 2006).
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 (April 2003).
Harnad, S. (2005a) Making the case for web-based self-archiving. Research Money 19 (16).
Harnad, S. (2005b) Maximising the Return on UK's Public Investment in Research.
Harnad, Stevan (2005c) Australia Is Not Maximising the Return on its Research Investment. In Steele, Prof Colin, Eds. Proceedings National Scholarly Communications Forum 2005, Sydney, Australia.
Harnad, S. (2006) Opening Access by Overcoming Zeno's Paralysis, in Jacobs, N., Eds. Open Access: Key Strategic, Technical and Economic Aspects, chapter 8. Chandos.
Sale, Arthur (2006a) Researchers and institutional repositories, in Jacobs, Neil, Eds. Open Access: Key Strategic, Technical and Economic Aspects, chapter 9, pages 87-100. Chandos Publishing (Oxford) Limited.
Sale, Arthur (2006b) Comparison of IR content policies in Australia. First Monday 11(4).
Sale, Arthur (2006c) The impact of mandatory policies on ETD acquisition. D-Lib Magazine 12(4).
Sale, Arthur (2006d) Generic Risk Analysis - Open Access for your institution. Technical Report, School of Computing, University of Tasmania.
Sale, Arthur (2006e) Maximizing the research impact of your publications. Technical Report, School of Computing, University of Tasmania.
Sale, Arthur (2006f) The acquisition of open access research articles. First Monday 11(10) October
Shadbolt, N., Brody, T., Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2006) The Open Research Web: A Preview of the Optimal and the Inevitable, in Jacobs, N., Eds. Open Access: Key Strategic, Technical and Economic Aspects, chapter 20. Chandos.
Swan, A. (2006) The culture of Open Access: researchers' views and responses, in Jacobs, N., Eds. Open Access: Key Strategic, Technical and Economic Aspects, chapter 7. Chandos.
Prior American Scientist Open Access Forum Topic Threads:
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Thursday, August 3. 2006
More US university provosts (22) have now joined the prior pride of provosts (25) to register their support for the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA). But having now expressed their support for a federal self-archiving mandate, there is absolutely no need for the provosts to wait for the Act's adoption in order to act! This would be an excellent time for the provosts to put their principled support for the FRPAA into practice by each adopting an institutional self-archiving mandate of their own, at their own respective universities, and by registering and describing their mandates, for other universities to see and emulate, at ROARMAP.
Some Pertinent Prior AmSci Topic Threads:
"Chron. High. Ed. 18 September on Cal Tech & Copyright" (Sep 1998)
"Scholars' Forum: A New Model For Scholarly Communication" (Mar 1999)
"The Need To Re-Activate the Provosts' Initiative" (Feb 2001)
"Written evidence for UK Select Committee's Inquiry into Scientific Publications" (Dec 2003)
"What Provosts Need to Mandate" (Dec 2003)
"A Simple Way to Optimize the NIH Public Access Policy" (Oct 2004)
"Please Don't Copy-Cat Clone NIH-12 Non-OA Policy!" (Jan 2005)
"Maximising the Return on UK's Public Investment in Research" (Sep 2005)
"Generic Rationale and Model for University Open Access Self-Archiving Mandate" (Mar 2006)
"How to Counter All Opposition to the FRPAA Self-Archiving Mandate" (Sep 2006)
American Scientist Open Access Forum
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