Thursday, June 14. 2007
[Update: See new definition of "Weak" and "Strong" OA, 29/4/2008]
SUMMARY: Peter Murray-Rust is anxious to ensure that all research data should be harvestable and data-mineable, by man and machine alike. He worries that authors might instead agree to transfer copyright to their publishers for their data (as many already transfer it for their article texts) in exchange for the publisher's green light to self-archive. Not to worry. If authors don't self-archive their data at all today, when they hold all the rights, nor do 85% of them self-archive their articles (not even the 62% for which they already have their publisher's green light), then why on earth would they transfer copyright for their data in exchange for a green light to self-archive both? So first things first: Focus on ensuring OA for all article texts (postprints) by first mandating immediate deposit (in the author's Institutional Repository) of all postprints as soon as they are accepted for publication (without necessarily insisting that access to those deposits be immediately set to OA). All else will follow from that simple step, as surely as day follows night. OA is just a matter of keystrokes.
Peter Murray-Rust (P-MR) writes: "I don’t disagree... [with] Stevan’s analysis of how we should deposit papers... I’m just more interested in data at present...Make no mistake about it: Peter Murray-Rust (and Peter Suber) and I are all in total agreement about the goals, and in near-total agreement about the means.
PMR is especially concerned about research data harvesting and mining, which is not, strictly speaking, an OA matter, for two reasons:
(1) OA's primary target is research article texts. (That doesn't matter: free online access to data is extremely important too, and is part of OA's wider target.)
(2) More important, access to article texts is actually -- or, as I suspect, perceptually -- constrained by publishers' copyright-based restrictions. That is not true of data.
So, to a first approximation, authors are perfectly free to make their data OA today if they wish; all they need do is adopt the right Creative Commons License for it and then self-archive it in their Institutional repository (IR). If they don't make their data OA, it's their own fault, not the fault of publisher restrictions, actual or perceived.
PMR is worried that authors, instead of self-archiving their data, will instead transfer copyright for their data to their publishers, in exchange for their publishers adopting a Green policy. But I think PMR is misunderstanding a Green publisher policy here! Green publishers don't make their published matter OA; they merely bless the author's making it OA, if he wishes, by self-archiving it. The only publishers that make their own published matter OA are Gold OA publishers.
So what is the motivation for the copyright scenario PMR is worried about? Authors, who today cannot be bothered to self-archive their own data at all, and cannot be bothered to self-archive their articles either (and/or are too bothered by actual or perceived publisher's restrictions to do so) will henceforth, according to this scenario, adopt the brand-new practice of transferring copyright for their data (along with their articles) -- in exchange for their publishers going Green!
But why on earth would authors do that? What is the motivation? They can't be bothered self-archiving their data today, when they don't need their publisher's blessing (or greenery) to do it, just as most of them can't be bothered to self-archive their articles, even when they have their Green publishers' (62%) blessing to do so. Yet, for some unknown reason, these passive authors are to be imagined (in PMR's scenario) as being ready to transfer copyright for their undeposited data to their publishers, in exchange for their publishers' agreeing to give them the green light to self-archive their data (and articles)!
I think this fantasized scenario misses the point completely, and that point is precisely the one that PMR confesses he is less interested in, namely, that what is needed to get these passive authors to do the right thing -- in their own interests, but also in the interests of their institutions, their funders, the public that funds their funders and in whose interests the research is done, and in the interests of research progress and productivity itself -- is a Green OA self-archiving mandate, adopted by their institutions and funders! A mandate that requires them to self-archive, as a condition of employment and funding.
I would be quite happy if that self-archiving mandate applied to their data as well as to their articles. But first things first. A mandate first needs to be successfully adopted. And authors are already publishing their articles, but not yet publishing their data. Some may not wish to publish their data (preferring to keep it under wraps so that they, and not their competitors, can mine it); I make no judgment about this, except that co-bundling an article-archiving mandate with a data-archiving mandate would put the successful adoption of any mandate at all at risk, because of these potential exceptions and oppositions. (It is for similar reasons that a mandate to self-archive the refereed, accespted, published postprint is unproblematic, whereas a mandate to also self-archive the unrefereed preprint would be: Not all authors are willing to make their preprints public, nor should they be required to be. But all authors publish their postprints, by definition.)
So the prospects for the successful adoption of a postprint mandate are far better than the prospects for the successful adoption of a either postprint+preprint mandate or a postprint+data mandate. The Immediate-Deposit/Optional-Access (ID/OA) mandate in particular, as repeatedly noted, is the one with the best chance of successful adoption: It moots publisher restrictions, because it only requires deposit, not immediate OA-setting; yet it has the "Fair Use Button" to tide over usage needs during any embargo period. And ID/OA is not weighed down by requiring either preprint-deposit or data-deposit (or copyright-retention): It merely recommends them, just as it merely recommends setting access to the deposit as OA rather than Closed Access.
But -- if we agree that the only thing standing between us and 100% OA (not only for articles, but for data too) is those deposit keystrokes that sluggish, passive authors simply are not doing, unmandated -- then it should also be apparent why ID/OA is exactly what is needed now to get those keystrokes done. ID/OA does not go the whole way: It does not require the Nth (OA) keystroke. But unless we are all deeply deluded about the benefits of OA, OA's own rewards will see to it that those Nth keys get stroked, once the ID/OA mandate has propagated across all of research space, and human nature takes its course. The OA usage/impact advantage, which today can only be demonstrated by painstaking, post-hoc analyses (invariably discounted by the publishing lobby's "Dream Team," committed to arguing that there is no real advantage to OA!), will instead be obvious from the download and citation statistics for Open Access versus Closed Access articles in every Institutional Repository (IR); and the difference will be reinforced by the deluge of email eprint requests generated by the IR software's "Fair Use Button."
But once those Nth keystrokes fall, the token will (by the same token!) also fall for those same authors (i.e., all authors!), realizing the potential benefits of depositing their data too. OA will naturally propagate from postprints to (many) preprints and (most) underlying data too.
That is why I urge patience, and making common cause with Green OA mandates, for those whose goal is OA data-archiving: that too will come with the territory.
And there is no way in the world that authors will instead opt, for no reason at all, to transfer copyright to their publishers for their data too, along with copyright for their texts, in exchange for their publishers giving them the green light to do the self-archiving that they are not bothering to do anyway, with or without a green light!
They might agree to transfer data rights to a Gold OA publisher. But that would be no problem, because Gold OA publishers really do make their articles (and hence also their data) accessible online in every way, including for robot harvesting and data-mining. With ID/OA mandates, the next step after 100% postprint deposits (62% OA and 38% Closed Access + semi-automatic Fair-Use eprints) will be the transition to 100% Green OA for all postprints (the Nth keystroke), and then to the depositing of the accompanying data, with rights specified by the CC license the author adopts.
That's the natural scenario, and all it needs right now is worldwide propagation of the ID/OA mandate. To achieve that, we must not chafe, for the time being, at the absence of a guarantee of robotic harvesting and mining (for either text or data), because insisting on that now can only blunt the motivation and slow the momentum for the universal adoption of the ID/OA mandate.
Let us be patient, get the mandates adopted, and let them do their inexorable work; then the era of 100% OA -- for both text and data -- will not be far behind. You can (data-)bank on that!
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Wednesday, June 13. 2007
Nowhere is the gap between precept and practice more apparent than in the disparity between the number of institutions that have signed the vague and pious Berlin Declaration in support of the abstract principle of Open Access, and the number of institutions that have actually registered a concrete Open Access policy in ROARMAP.
But that gap is closing...
Tuesday, June 12. 2007
Peter Murray-Rust [PM-R] replied:The trouble with many Institutional Repositories (IRs) (besides the fact that they don't have a deposit mandate) is that they are not run by researchers but by "permissions professionals," accustomed to being mired in institutional author IP protection issues and institutional library 3rd-party usage rights rather than institutional author research give-aways.
The solution is to adopt a sensible institutional (or departmental) deposit mandate and then to automatize the deposit procedure so as to take Repository Managers out of the decision loop, completely. That is what we have done in the Southampton ECS Departmental Repository, and the result is an IR that researchers fill daily, as they complete their papers, without any mediation or meddling by permissions professionals. The author (or the author's designee) does the deposit and sets the access (Open Access or Closed Access) and the EPrints software takes care of the rest.
Institutions that have no deposit mandate have simply ceded the whole procedure to IP people who are not qualified even to understand the research access/impact problem, let alone solve it. All they are accustomed to thinking about is restrictions on incoming content, whereas the purpose of an OA IR is to allow researchers to make their own findings -- outgoing content -- accessible to other researchers webwide.
The optimal deposit mandate is of course to require Open Access deposit of the refereed final draft, immediately upon acceptance for publication. But there is a compromise for the faint-hearted, and that is the Immediate-Deposit/Optional-Access (ID/OA) Mandate:
This is the policy that will remove IP-obsessives from the loop: The full-text and metadata of all articles must be deposited immediately, but access to the full-text is set as Open Access if the publisher is Green (i.e., endorses postprint self-archiving: 62%) and to Closed Access if the publisher is not Green (38%).
For the articles published in the non-Green journals, the IR has the semi-automatic "Email Eprint Request" Button (or "Fair Use Button"), which allows any user who has been led by the metadata to a Closed Access article to cut/paste his email address in a box and click to send an automatic email to the author to request a single eprint for research use; the author then need merely click on a URL to authorize the semi-automatic emailing of the eprint.
Now, Peter, I counsel patience! You will immediately reply: "But my robots cannot crunch Closed Access texts: I need to intervene manually!" True, but that problem will only be temporary, and you must not forget the far larger problem that precedes it, which is that 85% of papers are not yet being deposited at all, either as Open Access or Closed Access. That is the inertial practice that needs to be changed, globally, once and for all.
The only thing standing between us and 100% OA is keystrokes. It is in order to get those keystrokes done, at long last, that we need OA mandates, and ID/OA is a viable interim compromise: It gets all N keystrokes done for 62% of current research, and N-1 of the keystrokes done for the remaining 38%. For that 38%, the "Fair Use Button" will take care of all immediate researcher usage needs for the time being. The robots will have their day once 100% deposit mandates prevail and the research community tastes what it is like to have 62% OA and 38% almost-OA world, at long last. For then those Nth keys will inevitably get stroked, setting everything to Open Access, as it should (and could) have been all along.
It is in that keystoke endgame that all publisher resistance will disintegrate (and they know it, which is why they are lobbying so aggressively against keystroke mandates!). But right now, publishers have unwitting accomplices in institutional IP specialists, reflexively locking in the status quo, blithely ignorant or insouciant about what OA is actually about, and for. That is why ID/OA must be allowed to take them out of the loop.
Just as I have urged that Gold OA (publishing) advocates should not over-reach ("Gold Fever") -- by pushing directly for the conversion of all publishers and authors to Gold OA, and criticizing and even opposing Green OA and Green OA mandates as "not enough" -- I urge the advocates of automatized robotic data-mining to be patient and help rather than hinder Green OA and Green OA (and ID/OA) mandates.
In both cases, it is Green OA that is the most powerful and promising means to the end they seek: 100% ID/OA will eventually drive a transition to 100% Green OA and 100% Green OA will eventually drive a transition to Gold OA. Short-sightedly opposing the Green OA measures now in the name of holding out for "greater functionality" is tantamount to joining forces with IP specialists who have no sense of researchers' daily access needs and impact losses, and are simply holding out for what they think is the perfect formal solution, which is all authors successfully negotiating a copyright agreement that retains their right to make their article OA.
First things first. We are HERE now (85% deprived of research content even for non-robotic use). In order to get THERE (100% of research content OA to researchers and robots alike) we first have to get those keystrokes done. Please help, rather than just hope!
PM-R: "Some publishers allow posting on green open access on web sites but debar it from repositories."This is the sort abject and arbitrary nonsense that takes one's breath away! Can these publishers define the difference between a website and a repository? They are just ways that disk sectors are labelled. To block such incoherent stipulations Southampton ECS has formally baptized its researchers' repository disk sector as their "personal website." (This is also why I object so vigorously to SHERPA-Romeo's slavish and solemn canonizing of every announced publisher "condition" on deposit, no matter how absurd. I stand ready to hear that there is a new SHERPA-Romeo permissions category, colour-coded "chestnut" for those publishers who do not allow deposit of articles by authors who have maternal uncles with chestnut-coloured irises... Here too we detect the familiar mark of the IP gurus...)
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Peter Murray-Rust's worries about OA are groundless. Peter worries he can't be be sure that:
"I can save my own copy (the MIT [site] suggests you cannot print it and may not be allowed to save it)"Pay no attention. Download, print, save and crunch (just as you could have done if you had keyed in the text from reading the pages of a paper book)! [Free Access vs. Open Access (Dec 2003)]
"that it will be available next week"It will. The University OA IRs all see to that. That's why they're making it OA. [Proposed update of BOAI definition of OA: Immediate and Permanent (Mar 2005)]
"that it will be unaltered in the future or that versions will be tracked"Versions are tracked by the IR software, and updated versions are tagged as such. Versions can even be DIFFed.
"that I can create derivative works"You may not create derivative works. We are talking about someone's own writing, not an audio for remix, And that is as it should be. The contents (meaning) are yours to data-mine and reuse, with attribution. The words, however, are the author's (apart from attributed fair-use quotes). Link to them if you need to re-use them verbatim (or ask for permission).
"that I can use machines to text- or data-mine it"Yes, you can. Download and crunch away.
This is all common sense, and all comes with the OA territory when the author makes his full-text freely accessible for all, online. The rest seems to be based on some conflation between (1) the text of research articles and (2a) the raw research data on which the text is based, and with (2b) software, and with (2c) multimedia -- all the wrong stuff and irrelevant to OA).
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Monday, June 11. 2007
Here are some notes on Richard Akerman's notes on Rudiger Voss's keynote talk at IATUL 2007 today:
One of the two IATUL keynotes was by Rudiger Voss of CERN.
The other keynote was by Tom Cochrane, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Queensland University of Technology.
Voss spoke for Gold OA, Cochrane spoke for Green OA and for Green OA Mandates.
Voss based his conclusions on what has been happening in physics since 1991. Certain areas of physics reached near-100% Green OA self-archiving, spontaneously, unmandated, years ago.
The rest of the world's disciplines, however, have not shown the slightest inclination to follow the spontaneous pattern of those areas of physics, and it's been over a decade and a half now.
Hence I would like to suggest that this is neither the right time, nor is there a rational basis, for holding up this latest (unfollowed) example -- of (certain areas of) physics that have already gone Green without the need of a mandate, and are now considering converting their journals to Gold -- as an example for the rest of the disciplines to follow:
Physics's earlier step (Green self-archiving) has not been followed, unmandated, and that is why Green OA Mandates are being strongly promoted now for all the other disciplines.
And physics's next step -- converting from Green to Gold -- is not even relevant to the rest of the disciplines. It's rather like recommending conversion from representative democracy to participatory democracy to a populace that has not yet even shaken off feudalism.
Some comments (based only on Richard Akerman's notes):
IATUL 2007 - June 11 - Dr. Rüdiger Voss - Open Access - SCOAP3, Dr. Rüdiger Voss, Physics Dept, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland Open Access Publishing in Particle PhysicsNot really the whole discipline of physics, just particle physics. But that field already spontaneously converted itself to about 100% Green OA self-archiving years ago.
approximately 10,000 scientists worldwideCompare that with countless scientists and scholars, publishing about 2.5 million
articles a year in about 25,000 peer-reviewed journals, with less than 15% of
their articles being spontaneously made Green OA through self-archiving.
(There might be an order of magnitude problem here. 5016 articles would be about the annual research output of one medium-sized university. There are about 1000 major universities, and about another 9000 minor ones, worldwide. We are talking here about less than 0.01% of the planet's research output --or 1% if there was a missing zero or two somewhere.)
CERN Convention (1953) is an early OA manifestoBut it was not till 1991 and the creation of the Web that that convention became acted on in earnest. And no other field or institution had such a convention at all.
What the other fields need now is a Green OA mandate, so they can catch up with what the physicists have been doing since 1991, unmandated.
embrace OA movement (arXiv.org)Arxiv has been there to be embraced since 1991; the rest of the disciplines (and some other fields of physics) have been given plenty of time to embrace Green, but have not done so. So it's time to mandate it, not the time to convert (nonexistent) Green to Gold.
today particle physics is almost entirely greenAnd that's the point! Today, the rest of the disciplines are not yet Green. So first things first.
peer-reviewed journals remain important as version-of-record archives and as key instruments of merit recognition and career promotionWell, that makes it unclear what the motivation for the conversion to Gold is, even in these areas of physics: It can't be the need for OA, because they already have OA.
The rest of the research world does not.
OA landscape in 2007So what? The pressing thing today is not the reluctance of authors or publishers to change economic models. The pressing thing is needless research access and impact loss. That is something these areas of physics have already fixed, and the rest of the disciplines do not. Why not help them achieve Green OA, instead of recommending they take the Nth step when they have not yet taken the prerequisite N-1 steps? And why stress that physicists took those N-1 steps without a mandate? That's the point: The other disciplines have not taken them. So the steps need to be mandated.
gold OA to journals is there, but variety of options bewilderingTime is ripe for a full transition for whom? And from what? And why?
Outside particle physics, it looks very much as if the badly-needed transition is from non-OA to 100% Green OA, which Green OA mandates will provide.
A direct transition from non-OA to 100% Gold OA is not even on the radar in other disciplines yet. And it is not even obvious (if OA is the goal) why it is so urgent in the areas of physics that already have 100% Green OA.
OA issuesGreen OA mandates do that.
in a green environment authors benefit for peer review and journal prestigeThat's right. And it is that Green environment that physicists are already enjoying. It is not obvious why (or even whether) they are so eager to convert to Gold. But if they do, and can, that's fine. That's not the problem. The non-OA world is the problem. It needs to be converted to Green.
bring subscription costs under controlOA itself does not do that. But so what? The reason the out-of-control journal prices are a problem is that those who can't afford them are denied access. Green OA remedies that. Prices are still out of control, but it matters far less:
Let those who can afford it and want to, keep paying. And let those who can't or don't use the Green OA versions instead.
Then, if/when subscriptions ever do become unsustainable, there can be a conversion to Gold (paid for out of the subscription savings).
But why now, when (1) particle physics no longer has an OA problem, whereas (2) the rest of the disciplines do?
raise researcher awareness of economics of scientific publishingWhich researchers? Physicists, who already have (Green) OA? Why?
Researchers in other fields, who do not yet have Green OA? But why should they worry about economic problems when they don't even realize they have an access/impact problem, or what to do about it? Why not just solve their access/impact problem, by mandating that they do what the physicists had the good sense to do spontaneously, years ago?
inject competition into scientific publishing by linking price to qualityWhy is this an issue for researchers? First, why is it an issue for researchers who already have (Green) OA? And then why is it an issue for researchers who don't even have (Green) OA? Is their problem not access/impact-loss, rather than "journal price competitiveness"?
stabilize the diversity and future of journals which have served particle physics well - but leave room for new playersNot clear why/how this is an issue at all, let alone an OA issue.
SCOAP3 modelWhy, since particle physicists already have Green OA?
And if there is a reason for the Green-to-Gold conversion, why hold it up as an example for other disciplines that have not yet even reached Green OA?
- funded through redirect of subscription budgetsThat's fine when driven by subscription cancellation pressure from Green OA, but it's a different story when there is no Green OA yet.
OA implemented through contracts between SCOAP3 and publishersIt's obvious how an institution like CERN, which only subscribes to physics journals, and already enjoys 100% Green OA, can contemplate doing this. But what about universities, with many disciplines, all but (part of) one of them not yet anywhere near 100% Green OA? And journals in all those fields? How is the "redirection" supposed to scale, if done preemptively, in all those fields?
And most of all: Why? Isn't OA the problem, rather than publishing economics? Green OA mandates solve the OA problem, as it has already been solved in particle physics. What has this conversion exercise, for a field already enjoying OA, to do with all the other fields whose problem is that they don't yet have OA?
estimated annual budget: 10 million eurosI have no idea if this Big Deal can be worked out in particle physics, but that's not where the real need is: The need is in all the non-OA fields, for which this exercise is a completely irrelevant distraction from what will solve their problems, namely, Green OA mandates.
BenefitsGreen OA already provided that.
preserve high-quality peer review processGreen OA already provided that.
free to read and to publish for developing countriesGreen OA already provided that.
generate medium and long-term savings for libraries and funding agenciesIs that the real purpose of all of this? But what about the OA for the non-OA fields?
SCOAP3 StatusMy hunch is that this is something of a Trojan Horse even for Particle Physics, and even for the goal of saving money, because it will lock in prices in an artificial way, instead of letting Green OA drive cancellations and cost-cutting, if and when it is ever destined to do so.
But who cares. That's just money.
But what about all the non-OA fields that this leaves high and dry (especially if touted as an alternative to mandating Green OA) instead of helping them at least to reach the Green OA that Particle Physics already has luxury (and the good sense that needed to precede it) to enjoy?
To see the way for the 99% of disciplines that are not Particle Physics, I suggest reading the recommendations of the other IATUL Keynote speaker, Tom Cochrane, the DVC of the university with one of the first Green OA mandates:
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Sunday, June 10. 2007
A Canadian PubMed Central is not what is needed for Canadian biomedical research article output (any more than a US or UK PubMed Central is what is needed for US and UK biomedical research output). What is needed is that Canadian (and American and British) biomedical research output (and all the output of all the other scientific and scholarly disciplines, worldwide) should be made Open Access for all users, webwide. And the way to do that is for the institutions and funders of the researchers who produce that research to mandate that they make their research articles Open Access for all users, webwide, by depositing each article, immediately upon acceptance for publication, in each author's own Open Access Institutional Repository (IR). That is the solution that will systematically scale up to cover all of research, from all institutions, across all fields, across all countries. Not the creation, willy-nilly, of central repositories like PubMed Central to deposit research into directly.
Then PubMed Central (and its counterparts in the UK, Canada, and elsewhere) can harvest the biomedical content of their own country's IRs (if they wish: but then why just their own countries? why not, google-scholar-style, all biomedical research articles, from all the world's IRs?).
There are two worldwide movements afoot in the area of Open Access ("Green") self-archiving: (1) an Institutional Repository (IR) movement, to create and fill each research institution's own IRs, and (2) a Central Repository movement, to create and fill multiple, national, discipline-based central repositories along the lines of PubMed Central (with vague affinities to the multiple-mirrored central Physics Repository, Arxiv). The two movements -- distributed institutional self-archiving and central disciplinary self-archiving -- are not coordinating their agendas, indeed they are hardly taking cognizance of one another. If they did, they would realize that their two agendas are incoherent, if not at odds:
Researchers' own institutions (universities and research institutes) are the primary providers of all research output. Those researchers, their own institutions, and their funders, are the ones with the joint stake in maximizing the visibility, uptake, usage and impact of their joint research output. That is what the IRs are created for. The IRs are interoperable with one another, because they are all compliant with the OAI metadata-harvesting protocol. That means that their contents -- which it would make no sense to search individually, IR by IR -- can be harvested centrally, by search engines and meta-archives that cover part or all of the distributed IRs' contents (i.e., the world's refereed research journal article output).
That is what PubMed Central should be, and should be doing: A central OAI harvester, harvesting the biomedical research output of all IRs (or of all IRs in their own country -- though, again, that exercise has doubtful search value for users worldwide, who would no more want to have access to the biomedical output of only one country than to that of only one institution). (National central harvesting might have other uses, however, such as in inventorying and evaluating one country's own research output, and perhaps in comparing national productivity and impact -- although even that is best done via metadata, gathered by global harvesters, rather than national ones.)
The incoherent, competing agendas of (1) institutional vs. (2) central self-archiving are slowing down the progress and diffusing the focus of the world OA movement because they are further confusing researchers -- who are already greatly under-informed and confused about OA -- about where and why to deposit their articles. Only 15% of researchers self-archive spontaneously today. That is why the OA movement has turned to self-archiving mandates, requiring researchers to self-archive. But the OA mandate movement is needlessly split and diffuse because some mandators are mandating central deposit (mostly in the national PubMed Centrals), other mandators are mandating local deposit in the researcher's institutional IR, and still other mandators are mandating deposit, indifferently, in either one or the other.
That is not a coherent or systematic way to ensure that the mandate is clear, complete, and covers all research output, funded and unfunded, in all fields, from all institutions, across all countries. The coherent, systematic way to achieve that is for researchers' institutions and funders to mandate deposit in the researcher's own IR, and to relegate central archiving to harvesting from those distributed institutional IRs.
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) should sit and reflect on this for just a few moments, and then take a rational decision, setting a clear-headed example for the rest of the world, rather than reflexively following the unthinking trends that are still keeping OA progress so diffuse and slow. CIHR can thereby help to fast-forward us all to the optimal and inevitable, where we should already long have been by now.
"Central versus institutional self-archiving" (began Nov 2003)Stevan Harnad
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Saturday, June 9. 2007
Open Research: 3rd London Conference on Opening Access to Research Publications
Excerpts from a summary of the JISC Conference on Digital Repositories (Manchester 6 June 2007):
'A major conference on digital repositories took place this week in Manchester, attracting nearly 200 delegates from around the UK...
Friday, June 8. 2007
The Leicester Research Archive was actually set up a year ago, in June 2006, but since then it has only 320 deposits. That is less than one deposit per day, and, I am sure, far less than Leicester's annual research output, even if those deposits were all just 2006-7 output (which is unlikely).
The answers to the questions you raise may help remedy this shortfall, for Leicester, and other Institutional Repositories in the same condition.
Prof Colman:There are three important points to be made here:"But when I submitted my journal articles to it, the librarians told me that none of them was eligible, because of publisher's restrictions, and that I should archive the manuscripts instead.
(1) U. Leicester's only omission in all of this is not yet having mandated deposit; once it does that, all will go well.
(2) Apart from that, Leicester's deposit policy itself is
(3) Leicester's OAI-compliant institutional repository is only "minor" in one respect: It only has 320 deposits. Once deposit is mandated, however, and hence 100% of Leicester's current research output is being systematically deposited, it will be a major archive, and all of its contents will be picked up by all of the relevant harvesters and search engines, especially OAIster, ROAR, and Google (Scholar). (See also the comment, at the end of this message, from Dr. Norbert Lossau, Technical and Scientific Coordinator of the European DRIVER Project, about the BASE search engine.)
In our new era of distributed, OAI-interoperable Institutional Repositories (IRs), all archives (IRs) are equal and there is no need for, nor any added added benefit whatsoever from depositing in a central archive like the physics Arxiv (which is now merely one of the web's many distributed, interoperable OAI archives, all being harvested by central harvesters). Central harvesting and search is the key, not central depositing and archiving.
On the contrary, having to found and maintain a different central archive for every field and every combination of fields would not only be arbitrary and wasteful in the era of central harvesting and search, but it would also be an impediment rather than a help in getting all the distributed universities (and research institutions) to get all their researchers to fill all their own IRs, in all disciplines, by mandating and managing it, locally. (University Research Institute output covers all of research space, in all disciplines, and all combinations of disciplines.)
The right strategy in your situation is hence to deposit your refereed final drafts in the Leicester IR (except where the publisher endorses depositing their PDF) and if you wish, you can also deposit the PDF on your website, as you already do. The IR will list that as an alternative location for your paper.
The purpose of an Open Access (OA) IR is to provide free access to an institution's and individual's research output for those would-be users web-wide who cannot afford paid access to the publisher's PDF version.
It would be totally wrong-headed and counterproductive to deprive one's potential users of access altogether if one's publisher does not happen to endorse self-archiving the PDF! Far fewer publisher object to self-archiving the refereed postprint in place of their proprietary PDF.
To find out which journals are Green on immediate self-archiving of the postprint (62%) see Eprints Romeo.
To find out which subset of those specifically endorse self-archiving the publisher's PDF, see SHERPA Romeo.
If you want to self-archive the publisher's PDF too, over the publisher's objections, that's up to you: you can do it on your own website, as a supplement. No visibility or access is lost that way, and the difference is a difference that makes no difference (to the access-denied would-be user):
I strongly urge you to deposit your postprints in Leicester's IR, as the IR manager has requested. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. (For earlier publications, for which you no longer have the digital final draft, scan/OCR the published text and reformat it, or reformat the publisher's PDF, if you have it.)
I also strongly urge U. Leicester to mandate deposit.
Dr. Norbert Lossau:""...at a time when we are building trans-national networks of repositories there will be no "minor" archive.
Pertinent Prior American Scientist Open Access Forum Topic Threads:
Central vs. Distributed Archives" (began Jun 1999)
"Central versus institutional self-archiving" (began Nov 2003)
"France's HAL, OAI interoperability, and Central vs Institutional Repositories" (started Oct 2006)
"Self-Archive the Refereed Draft: Not the Publisher's PDF!" (Feb 2005)
"Self-archiving: Author's files versus publisher's pdf" (Apr 2005)
"What Provosts Need to Mandate" (began Dec 2003)
Optimizing OA Self-Archiving Mandates: What? Where? When? Why? How?
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Thursday, June 7. 2007
British Classification Society Meeting , "Analysis Methodologies for Post-RAE Scientometrics", Friday 6 July 2007, International Building room IN244 Royal Holloway, University of London, EghamThe selection of appropriate and/or best data analysis methodologies is a result of a number of issues: the overriding goals of course, but also the availability of well formatted, and ease of access to such, data. The meeting will focus on the early stages of the analysis pipeline. An aim of this meeting is to discuss data analysis methodologies in the context of what can be considered as open, objective and universal in a metrics context of scholarly and applied research.
Les Carr and Tim Brody (Intelligence, Agents, Media group, Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton): "Open Access Scientometrics and the UK Research Assessment Exercise"Harnad, S. (2007) Open Access Scientometrics and the UK Research Assessment Exercise. In Proceedings of 11th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics (in press), Madrid, Spain.
Brody, T., Harnad, S. and Carr, L. (2006) Earlier Web Usage Statistics as Predictors of Later Citation Impact. Journal of the American Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST) 57(8) pp. 1060-1072.
Carr, L., Hitchcock, S., Oppenheim, C., McDonald, J. W., Champion, T. and Harnad, S. (2006) Extending journal-based research impact assessment to book-based disciplines.
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The American Scientist Open Access Forum has been chronicling and often directing the course of progress in providing Open Access to Universities' Peer-Reviewed Research Articles since its inception in the US in 1998 by the American Scientist, published by the Sigma Xi Society.
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