Sunday, November 30. 2008
The JISC/SIRIS "Report of the Subject and Institutional Repositories Interactions Study" (November 2008) "was commissioned by JISC to produce a set of practical recommendations for steps that can be taken to improve the interactions between institutional and subject repositories in the UK" but it fails to make clear the single most important reason why Institutional Repositories' "desired ‘critical mass’ of content is far from having been achieved."
The following has been repeatedly demonstrated (1) in cross-national, cross-disciplinary surveys (by Alma Swan, uncited in the report) on what authors state that they will and won't do and (2) in outcome studies (by Arthur Sale, likewise uncited in the report) that confirm the survey findings, reporting what authors actually do:
Most authors will not deposit until and unless their universities and/or their funders make deposit mandatory. But if and when deposit is made mandatory, over 80% will deposit, and deposit willingly. (A further 15% will deposit reluctantly, and 5% will not comply with the mandate at all.) In contrast, the spontaneous (unmandated) deposit rate is and remains at about 15%, for years now (and adding incentives and assistance but no mandate only raises this deposit rate to about 30%).The JISC/SIRIS report merely states: "Whether deposit of content is mandatory is a decision that will be made by each institution," but it does not even list the necessity of mandating deposit as one of its recommendations, even though it is the crucial determinant of whether or not the institutional repository ever manages to attract its target content.
Nor does the JISC/SIRIS report indicate how institutional and funder mandates reinforce one another, nor how to make both mandates and locus of deposit systematically convergent and complementary (deposit institutionally, harvest centrally) rather than divergent and competitive -- though surely that is the essence of "Subject and Institutional Repositories Interactions."
There are now 58 deposit mandates already adopted worldwide (28 from universties/faculties, including Southampton, Glasgow, Liège, Harvard and Stanford, and 30 from funders, including 6/7 Research Councils UK, European Research Council and the US National Institutes of Health) plus at least 11 known mandate proposals pending (including a unanimous recommendation from the European Universities Association council, for its 791 member universities in 46 countries, plus a recommendation to the European Commission from the European Heads of Research Councils).
It is clear now that mandated OA self-archiving is the way that the world will reach universal OA at long last. Who will lead and who will follow will depend on who grasps this, at long last, and takes the initiative. Otherwise, there's not much point in giving or taking advice on the interactions of empty repositories...
Swan, A., Needham, P., Probets, S., Muir, A., Oppenheim, C., O’Brien, A., Hardy, R., Rowland, F. and Brown, S. (2005) Developing a model for e-prints and open access journal content in UK further and higher education. Learned Publishing, 18 (1). pp. 25-40.Hi Neil,
I was referring to the JISC report's recommendations, which mention a number of things, but not how to get the repositories filled (despite noting the problem that they are empty).
It seems to me that the practical problems of what to do with -- and how to work together with -- empty repositories are trumped by the practical problem of how to get the repositories filled.
Moreover, the solution to the practical problem of how the repositories (both institutional and subject/funder) can work together is by no means independent of the practical problem of how to get them filled -- including the all-important question of the locus of direct deposit:
The crucial question (for both policy and practice) is whether direct deposit is to be divergent and competitive (as it is now, being sometimes institutional and sometimes central) or convergent and synergistic (as it can and ought to be), by systematically mandating convergent institutional deposit, mutually reinforced by both institutional and funder mandates, followed by central harvesting -- rather than divergent, competing mandates requiring deposits willy-nilly, resulting in confusion, understandable resistance to divergent or double deposit, and, most important, the failure to capitalize on funder mandates so as to reinforce institutional mandates.
Institutions, after all, are the producers of all refereed research output, in all subjects, and whether funded or unfunded. Get all those institutions to provide OA to all their own refereed research output, and you have 100% OA (and all the central harvests from it that you like).
As it stands, however, funder and institutional mandates are pulling researchers needlessly in divergent directions. And (many) funder mandates in particular, instead of adding their full weight behind the drive to get all refereed research to be made OA, are thinking, parochially, only of their own funded fiefdom, by arbitrarily insisting on direct deposit in central repositories that could easily harvest instead from the institutional repositories, if convergent institutional deposit were mandated by all -- with the bonus that all research, and all institutions, would be targeted by all mandates.
It is not too late to fix this. It is still early days. There is no need to take the status quo for granted, especially given that most repositories are still empty.
I hope the reply will not be the usual (1) "What about researchers whose institutions still don't have IRs?": Let those author's deposit provisionally in DEPOT for now, from which they can be automatically exported to their IRs as soon as they are created, using the SWORD protocol. With all mandates converging systematically on IRs, you can be sure that this will greatly facilitate and accelerate both IR creation and IR deposit mandate adoption. But with just unfocussed attempts to accommodate to the recent, random, and unreflecting status quo, all that is guaranteed is to perpetuate it.
Nor is the right reply (2) "Since all repositories, institutional and subject/funder, are OAI-interoperable, it doesn't matter where authors deposit!" Yes, they are interoperable, and yes, it would not matter where authors deposited -- if they were indeed all depositing in one or the other. But most authors are not depositing, and that is the point. Moreover, most institutions are not mandating deposit at all yet and that is the other point. Funder mandates can help induce institutions -- the universal research providers -- to create IRs and to adopt institutional deposit mandates if the funder mandates are convergent on IR deposit. But funder mandates have the opposite effect if they instead insist on central deposit. So the fact that both types of repository are interoperable is beside the point.
Une puce à l'oreille (not to be confused with a gadfly),
The Immediate-Deposit/Optional Access (ID/OA) Mandate: Rationale and Model
Optimizing OA Self-Archiving Mandates: What? Where? When? Why? How?
How To Integrate University and Funder Open Access Mandates
Ian Stuart (IS) and Charles Oppenheim (CO) added, in JISC-REPOSITORIES:
IS: "Is [it] strictly true [that 'Institutions, after all, are the producers of all refereed research output, in all subjects, and whether funded or unfunded.']? My understanding was that, particularly on the social sciences arena, a number of academics continue to write & publish, even though they have retired. No? (another example of research output that requires the like of the Depot for an OA deposit service...)"Yes, both "problems" are trivially easily solved, and neither is an exception to the fact that both institutional and funder deposit mandates need to be systematically convergent -- on institutional repository (IR) deposit -- rather than arbitrarily divergent (on willy-nilly institutional and funder/subject repository deposit):
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Saturday, November 29. 2008
SUMMARY: A publisher that has a Green policy on OA self-archiving (by the author) is removing the single biggest obstacle to Green OA (hence to OA), as well as to Green OA Mandates by authors' institutions and funders, namely, the author's worry that to self-archive would be to violate copyright and/or to risk not being published by his journal of choice. No one is asking non-OA publishers to support OA -- just not to oppose it. What will ensure that not only a small fraction of authors but all authors provide Green OA is Green OA mandates. Green OA mandates are facilitated by publishers with Green policies on OA self-archiving. That does not, however, require that publishers agree to allow 3rd parties to download their proprietary files automatically (simply because authors themselves cannot be bothered to do the requisite keystrokes), for that would be tantamount to asking publishers to become Gold OA publishers.
On 26 November 2008, Colin Smith [CS], Research Repository Manager of the Open University's Open Research Online (ORO), sent the following posting to UKCORR-DISCUSSION (which I reposted on the American Scientist Open Access Forum):
CS: "A short while ago I mentioned on this list that Elsevier are producing PDFs of the final accepted peer-reviewed manuscript and publishing them online as part of their 'Articles in Press' system (see attached example). The 'Accepted Manuscript' will stay online until the 'Uncorrected Proof' replaces it.Elsevier's Senior Vice President Karen Hunter [KH] followed up with this clarification:
I [SH] , in turn, followed up with this AmSci posting:KH: "As much as Elsevier appreciates praise for its policies, we also want to prevent misunderstanding.
SH: Karen Hunter's response is very fair, and Elsevier's policy on author self-archiving is both very fair and very progressive -- indeed a model for all Publishers that wish to adopt a Green OA policy.Mike Eisen [MBE], of Public Library of Science, then responded on AmSci. His response is excerpted here and interwoven with my replies:
MBE: "...I will proudly claim the mantle of an OA extremist if it means calling [them] on Elsevier's policy. I am very happy to see Karen Hunter's message, because it confirms what I and many others have been saying for years - that Elsevier only supports Green OA publishing because they know it will be adopted by a small fraction of their authors."
SH: (1) There is no Green OA publishing, there is only Green OA self-archiving (by the author).
MBE: "What more evidence do you need that Elsevier is not actually committed to OA than this explicit statement that they prohibit the clearest and easiest path towards achieving Green OA to their published articles?"
SH: The clearest and easiest path to achieving Green OA to all published articles is for their authors to deposit them in their institutional repositories and for their institutions and funders to mandate that they deposit them in their institutional repositories. It is not Elsevier that is holding up that process. It is authors, in failing to self-archive of their own accord, and their institutions and funders, in failing to mandate that they self-archive.
MBE: "Why should Elsevier care whether authors download the articles themselves or if someone else does it for them other than the expectation that in the former case, the practical obstacles will prevent most authors from doing so."
SH: Because construing a Green Light for authors to self-archive as a Green Light for 3rd-party "self"-archiving, and 3rd-party archives would be a carte blanche to 3rd-party rival publishers to free-ride on Elsevier content.
MBE: "Unless and until Elsevier radically restructures its business model for scientific publishing, they will only permit Green OA so long as it is largely unsuccessful - the moment it becomes possible to get most Elsevier articles in IRs they will have to end this practice, as their current policy against IR downloads makes abundantly clear."
SH: On this point, Mike, I am afraid we will have to continue to disagree, profoundly. You are an advocate of a direct transition to Gold OA publishing; I am not, because I see so clearly that universal Green OA is within reach, awaiting only universal Green OA mandates by authors' institutions and funders. Those universal Green OA mandates by authors' institutions and funders (which Elsevier's Green policy greatly facilitates) -- along with time itself -- make it increasingly difficult for publishers even to contemplate back-tracking on their Green policies.The discussion reached closure with Colin Smith's reply to Karen Hunter:
CS: "Karen, I very much appreciate you pointing out that my posting could have been interpreted as a rallying call to IR Managers and Administrators to systematically download Elsevier items on behalf of authors. This is not what I meant - my apologies.Elsevier Still Solidly on the Side of the Angels on Open Access
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Tuesday, November 25. 2008
Comment on EU Green Paper:I am commenting only on the bearing of EC policy on one specific body of content: The 2.5 million articles per year published in the world's 25,000 peer-reviewed research journals in all fields of science and scholarship.
The authors of all these articles neither receive nor seek royalty or fees from access-tolls to their users or their users' institutions. These authors only seek that these research findings should be accessed and used as fully and widely and possible, to the benefit of research progress and applications, and hence to the benefit of the society that funds their research and their institutions.
Making this specific body of research accessible free for all on the Web ("Open Access") will maximise its usage and impact. It does not require a major or even minor reform in copyright law. All it requires is that the authors of these 2.5 million annual peer-reviewed research articles make them open access by depositing them in their own institution's/university's Repository. Sixty-three percent of journals already formally endorse depositing the author's final, revised, peer-reviewed draft in their institutional repository immediately upon acceptance for publication, and immediately making that deposited draft accessible free for all.
For that 63% of articles, it should be evident that no copyright reform whatsoever is needed. What is needed is that the authors' institutions and funders mandate (require) that they deposit and make them Open Access immediately upon acceptance by those journals.
The remaining 37% of articles can also be deposited in the author's institutional repository immediately upon acceptance for publication, but unless their publisher endorses making them immediately Open Access, the deposit has to be set initially as Closed Access (accessible only institution-internally, to the author and his employer).
It is here that legislation can help, although it is not certain that even that is necessary: A Europe-wide law requiring that publicly-funded research and research produced by employees of publicly funded universities must be made openly accessible will exert the requisite pressure on the remaining 37% journals so that they too should endorse that the deposited articles are immediately made Open Access rather than Closed Access.
Note that peer-reviewed research is fundamentally unlike books, textbooks, software, music, and videos. It is in its very essence author give-away content, written only to be used, applied and built-upon. Unlike the creators of the other kinds of content, all the authors of the annual 2.5 million peer-reviewed journal articles want them to be free to all would-be users.
Hence, whatever rationale there may be for changing copyright law for all the other kinds of digital content, in the case of the target content of the Open Access movement, no change is necessary other than a formal publisher endorsement of making the author's final draft freely accessible online.
Free online access provides for the following forms of usage: Being able to find online, link, view online, download, store, print-off (for individual use) and data-mine. These uses all come automatically all come automatically with free online access. Open Access content is also harvested by search engines like google.
But there are further uses, over and above these, that some fields of research feel they need, including modification and republication. It is likely that free online access will moot the need for copyright modification to guarantee these further uses, but there is no harm in trying to stipulate them formally in advance, as long as it is not treated as a prerequisite for Open Access, of for Open Access Mandates.
COPYRIGHT REFORM SHOULD NOT BE MADE A PRECONDITION FOR MANDATING OPEN ACCESS
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Two articles [with which I could hardly agree more!] by France's OA pioneer, Hélène Bosc: -- SH
Saturday, November 22. 2008
In "Open Access: The question of quality," Richard Poynder writes:
"Open Access scientometrics... raise the intriguing possibility that if research becomes widely available on the Web the quality of papers published in OA journals may start to overtake, not lag [behind], the quality of papers published in TA journals... Why? Because if these tools were widely adopted the most important factor would no longer be which journal you managed to get your paper published in, but how other researchers assessed the value of your work — measured by a wide range of different indicators, including for instance when and how they downloaded it, how they cited it, and the different ways in which they used it."All true, but how does it follow from this that OA journals will overtake TA journals? As Richard himself states, publishing in an OA journal ("Gold OA") is not the only way to make one's article OA: One can publish in a TA journal and self-archive ("Green OA"). OA scientometrics apply to all OA articles, Green and Gold; so does the OA citation advantage.
Is Richard perhaps conflating TA journals in general with top-TA journals (which may indeed lose some of their metric edge because OA scientometrics is, as Richard notes, calculated at the article- rather than the journal-level)? The only overtaking I see here is OA overtaking TA, not OA journals overtaking TA journals. (Besides, there are top-OA journals too, as Richard notes, and bottom-rung TA ones as well.)
It should also be pointed out that the top journals differ from the rest of the journals not just in their impact factor (which, as Richard points out, is a blunt instrument, being based on journal averages rather than individual-article citation counts) but in their degree of selectivity (peer revew standards): If I am selecting members for a basketball team, and I only accept the tallest 5%, I am likely to have a taller team than the team that is less selective on height.
Selectivity is correlated with impact factor, but it is also correlated with quality itself. The Seglen "skewness" effect (that about 80% of citations go to the top 20% of articles) is not just a within-journal effect: it is true across all articles across all journals. There is no doubt variation within the top journals, but not only are their articles cited more on average, but they are also better quality on average (because of their greater selectivity). And the within-journal variation around the mean is likely to be tighter in those more selective journals than the less-selective journals.
OA will give richer and more diverse metrics; it will help the cream (quality) to rise to the top (citations) unconstrained by whether the journal happens to be TA or OA. But it is still the rigor and selectivity of peer review that does the quality triage in the quality hierarchy among the c. 25,000 peer reviewed journals, not OA.
(And performance evaluation committees are probably right to place higher weight on more selective journals -- and on journals with established, longstanding track-records.)
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Wednesday, November 19. 2008
Tenopir & King's confirmation of the finding (by Kurtz and others) -- that as more articles become accessible, more articles are indeed accessed (and read), but fewer articles are cited (and those are cited more) -- is best explained by the increased selectivity made possible by that increased accessibility:
The Seglen "skewness" effect is that the top 20% of articles receive 80% of all citations. It is probably safe to say that although there are no doubt some bandwagon and copycat effects contributing to the Seglen effect, overall the 20/80 rule probably reflects the fact that the best work gets cited most (skewing citations toward the top of the quality distribution).
So when more researchers have access to more (or, conversely, are denied access to less), they are more likely to access the best work, and the best work thereby increases its likelihood of being cited, whereas the rest correspondingly decreases its likelihood of being cited. Another way to put it is that there is a levelling of the playing field: Any advantage that the lower 80% had enjoyed from mere accessibility in the toll-access lottery is eliminated, and with it any handicap the top 20% suffered from inaccessibility in the toll-access lottery is eliminated too. Open Access (OA) allows all the cream to rise to the top; accessibility is no longer a constraint on what to cite, one way or the other.
(I would like to point out also that this "quality selectivity" on the part of users -- rather than self-selection on the part of authors -- is likely to be the main contributor to the citation advantage of Open Access articles over Toll Access articles. It follows from the 20/80 rule that whatever quality-selectivity there is on the part of users will be enjoyed mostly by the top 20% of articles. There is no doubt at all that the top authors are more likely to make their articles OA, and that the top articles are more likely to be made OA, but one should ask oneself why that should be the case, if there were no benefits [or the only benefit were more readers, but fewer citations!]: One of the reasons the top articles are more likely to be made OA is precisely that they are also the most likely to be used, applied and cited more if they are made OA!)
American Scientist Open Access Forum
At the Students for a Free Culture Conference, Lawrence Lessig advised students, on "Remix Culture":
"I think the obvious, low-hanging-fruit fight for the Students for Free Culture movement right now is to start having sit-ins in universities where they don’t adopt Open Access publishing rules. It’s ridiculous that scholars publish articles in journals that then charge 5, 10, 15 thousand dollars for people around the world to get access to it."It may just be because of the wrong choice of words ("Open Access publishing rules"), but as stated, this does not sound like the right advice to give to students on what to do to help persuade universities to provide Open Access to their refereed research journal article output, nor does it correspond with what is being mandated by the 28 pioneer universities and departments (including Harvard and Stanford), and the 30 research funders (including NIH) that have actually mandated OA.
As noted in Larry's link, OA is
But that OA can be provided by two means:"free, immediate, permanent, full-text, online access, for any user, web-wide... primarily [to] research articles published in peer-reviewed journals."
"Gold OA" publishing (authors publishing in journals that make their articles free online, sometimes at a fee to the author/university)The 28 pioneering universities/departments (plus 30 funders) have all mandated Green OA (mandatory deposit), whereas Larry seems her to be advocating that students strike for mandating Gold OA (mandatory publishing in a Gold OA journal?).
Please see Open Students: Students for Open Access to Research blog, where I have tried to describe what students can do to help persuade universities to provide Open Access to their refereed research journal article output.
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Tuesday, November 18. 2008
"The standard EPrints public demo repository has been supporting SWORD for some time now..."
-- Leslie Carr
So henceforth "I've already done the keystrokes once" is no longer an excuse for not depositing all your research article output in your Institutional Repository (nor an impediment to adopting an institutional Green OA mandate!
Saturday, November 15. 2008
Autism Speaks (US* funder-mandate)
Institution's/Department's OA Eprint Archives
Institution's/Department's OA Self-Archiving Policy
All researchers who receive an Autism Speaks grant will be required to deposit any resulting peer-reviewed research papers in the PubMed Central online archive, which will make the articles available to the public within 12 months of journal publication.
Thursday, November 13. 2008
Copyright Regulation in Europe – An Enabling or Disabling Factor for Science Communication
Urheberrechtsregulierung als Ermöglichungs-bzw. als Verhinderungsfaktor für Wissenschaftskommunikation
European Network for Copyright in Support of Education
European Workshop Program
Nov. 14-15, 2008
Location: Heinrich-Böll-Foundation, Schumannstr. 8, Berlin-Mitte, Germany
Thursday – Nov. 13, 2008
21:00 – 22:30 Chimney talk : Jerzy Montag, MP,spokesman for law politics, BÜNDNIS90/DIE GRÜNEN (Green Party) in the German Parliament
Friday - Nov. 14, 2008
9:00 – 9:15 Ralf Fücks, Andreas Poltermann, Heinrich-Böll-Foundation
Welcome addresses, Introduction to the conference
9:15 – 9:30 All participants Introduction
Session 1: Copyright and science – Demands and objectives
Moderation: Rainer Kuhlen
9:30 – 10:15 Rainer Kuhlen, University of Konstanz (Germany)
Copyright and science – Demands and objectives
10:15 – 10:45 Gerhard Fröhlich, University of Linz (Austria)
Free copying or plagiarism?
10:30 – 11:00 Panel discussion:
Rainer Kuhlen, Gerhard Fröhlich, Stuart Taylor, The Royal Society (United Kingdom), Florin Filip, Academy of Romania (Romania), Agnès Ponsati, CSIC Library Network, Spanish National Research Council (Spain)
Session 2: Exceptions and limitations or a copyright blanket clause for science
Moderation: Wolf-Dieter Sepp
11:30 – 12:00 Lucie Guibault, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
A framework for an obligatory system of exceptions and limitations
12:00 – 12:30 Séverine Dusollier, University of Namur (Belgium)
A systematic approach to exceptions in the European Union
12:30 – 13:00 Panel discussion:
Lucie Guibault, Séverine Dusollier, María J. Iglesias, University of Namur (Belgium), Jaak Järv, Estonian Academy of Sciences (Estonia), Benjamin Bajon, Max-Planck-Institut für Geistiges Eigentum, Wettbewerbs-und Steuerrecht (Germany)
Session 3: Open Access – An alternative to or a replacement for copyright
Moderation: Lucie Guibault
14:00 – 14:30 Stevan Harnad, UQAM (Canada) & University of Southampton (United Kingdom) (via teleconference)
Copyright Reform Should Not Be Made A Precondition For Mandating Open Access
14:30 – 15:00 Hélène Bosc, Euroscience Open Access Working (France)
Open access to the scientific literature: a peer commons open to the public
15:00 – 15:30 Panel discussion:
Stevan Harnad, Hélène Bosc, Rainer Kuhlen, Ji•i Rákosník, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (Czech Republic), Jaak Järv, Estonian Academy of Sciences (Estonia)
Session 4: The Green Paper "Copyright in the Knowledge Economy"
Moderation: Gerald Spindler, University of Göttingen (Germany)
16:00 – 16:30 Rainer Kuhlen, Information Science, University of Konstanz (Germany)
Introduction to Green Paper
16:30 – 18:00 Workshop:
Green Paper on "Copyright in the Knowledge Economy"; elaboration of a common statement
Saturday – Nov 15, 2008
Session 5: Science communication and collaboration
Moderation: Michael Seadle, Institute for Library and Information Science, HU Berlin
9:30 – 10:00 Paul Ayris (UK), UNICA Scholarly Communications Group
The future of scholarly publication
10:00 – 10:30 Panel discussion:
Paul Ayris, Gerhard Fröhlich, University of Linz (Austria), Ágnes Téglási, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Hungary), Rosa Nyárády, UNESCO chair in communication (Hungary), Ján Bako•, Slovak Academy of Sciences (Slovakia)
Session 6: Founding of the ENCES network: European Network for Copyright in support of Education and Science
Moderation: Rainer Kuhlen, University of Konstanz (Germany)
11:00 – 12:00 Workshop:
Green Paper "Copyright in the Knowledge Economy"; common statement and forming of ENCES ( = European Network for Copyright in support of Education and Science)
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