Sunday, October 31. 2010
Expert Conference on Open Access and Open Data, German National Library of Medicine, Cologne, December 13-14 2010
Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Sciences
Université du Québec à Montréal
School of Electronics and Computer Science
University of Southampton
OVERVIEW: Open Access (OA) means free online access to the 2.5 million articles published every year in the world's 25,000 peer-reviewed scholarly and scientific research journals. OA can be provided in two ways: To provide "Green OA," authors self-archive the final refereed drafts of their articles in their institutional OA repositories immediately upon acceptance for publication (by conventional, non-OA journals). To provide "Gold OA," authors publish their articles in OA journals that make all their articles free online immediately upon publication. (Sometimes a fee is charged to the author's institution for Gold OA.) Because of the benefits of OA (in terms of maximized visibility, accessibility, uptake, usage and impact) to research, researchers, their institutions and the taxpayers that fund them, institutions and funders worldwide are increasingly mandating (i.e. requiring) Green OA self-archiving. Gold OA publishing cannot be mandated by authors' institutions and funders, but universal Green OA self-archiving mandates may eventually lead to a global transition to Gold OA publishing; it depends on whether and how long subscriptions remain sustainable as the means of covering the costs of print and online publication; if subscriptions become unsustainable, authors' institutions will pay journal publishers for peer review out of a portion of their annual windfall subscription cancellation savings. Data-archiving cannot be mandated, because researchers must be allowed the exclusive right to mine the data they have collected if they wish; but as Green OA self-archiving grows, data-archiving too will grow, because of their natural complementarity and the power of global collaboration to accelerate and enhance research progress.Brody, T., Carr, L., Gingras, Y., Hajjem, C., Harnad, S. and Swan, A. (2007) Incentivizing the Open Access Research Web: Publication-Archiving, Data-Archiving and Scientometrics. CTWatch Quarterly 3(3).
UNESCO Conference on Open Access - Global and Danish Challenges. Ministry of Education, Copenhagen, Denmark, 6 December 2010
Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Sciences
Université du Québec à Montréal
School of Electronics and Computer Science
University of Southampton
OVERVIEW: With the adoption of Open Access Self-Archiving Mandates worldwide so near, this is the opportune time to think of optimizing how they are formulated. Seemingly small parametric or verbal variants can make a vast difference to their success, speed, and completeness of coverage:
Workshop on Open Archives and their Significance in the Communication of Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden, 16-17 November 2010
Saturday, October 30. 2010
Keynote Address: 19th Hellenic Conference of Academic Libraries," Scientific communities and libraries in a world of social networking and synergies," Panteion University, Athens, Greece, November 4 2010
Wednesday, October 20. 2010
Jennifer Howard ("Is there an Open-Access Advantage?," Chronicle of Higher Education, October 19 2010) seems to have missed the point of our article. It is undisputed that study after study has found that Open Access (OA) is correlated with higher probability of citation. The question our study addressed was whether making an article OA causes the higher probability of citation, or the higher probability causes the article to be made OA.
The latter is the "author self-selection bias" hypothesis, according to which the only reason OA articles are cited more is that authors do not make all articles OA: only the better ones, the ones that are also more likely to be cited.
The Davis et al study tested this by making articles -- 247 articles, from 11 biology journals -- OA randomly, instead of letting the authors choose whether or not to do it, self-selectively, and they found no increased citation for the OA articles one year after publication (although they did find increased downloads).
But almost no one finds that OA articles are cited more a year after publication. The OA citation advantage only becomes statistically detectable after citations have accumulated for 2-3 years.
Even more important, Davis et al. did not test the obvious and essential control condition in their randomized OA experiment: They did not test whether there was a statistically detectable OA advantage for self-selected OA in the same journals and time-window. You cannot show that an effect is an artifact of self-selection unless you show that with self-selection the effect is there, whereas with randomization it is not. All Davis et al showed was that there is no detectable OA advantage at all in their one-year sample (247 articles from 11 Biology journals); randomness and self-selection have nothing to do with it.
Davis et al released their results prematurely. We are waiting*,** to hear what Davis finds after 2-3 years, when he completes his doctoral dissertation. But if all he reports is that he has found no OA advantage at all in that sample of 11 biology journals, and that interval, rather than an OA advantage for the self-selected subset and no OA advantage for the randomized subset, then again, all we will have is a failure to replicate the positive effect that has now been reported by many other investigators, in field after field, often with far larger samples than Davis et al's.
Meanwhile, our study was similar to that of Davis et al's, except that it was a much bigger sample, across many fields, and a much larger time window -- and, most important, we did have a self-selective matched-control subset, which did show the usual OA advantage. Instead of comparing self-selective OA with randomized OA, however, we compared it with mandated OA -- which amounts to much the same thing, because the point of the self-selection hypothesis is that the author picks and chooses what to make OA, whereas if the OA is mandatory (required), the author is not picking and choosing, just as the author is not picking and choosing when the OA is imposed randomly.Davis's results are welcome and interesting, and include some good theoretical insights, but insofar as the OA Citation Advantage is concerned, the empirical findings turn out to be just a failure to replicate the OA Citation Advantage in that particular sample and time-span -- exactly as predicted above. The original 2008 sample of 247 OA and 1372 non-OA articles in 11 journals one year after publication has now been extended to 712 OA and 2533 non-OA articles in 36 journals two years after publication. The result is a significant download advantage for OA articles but no significant citation advantage.
And our finding is that the mandated OA advantage is just as big as the self-selective OA advantage.
As we discussed in our article, if someone really clings to the self-selection hypothesis, there are some remaining points of uncertainty in our study that self-selectionists can still hope will eventually bear them out: Compliance with the mandates was not 100%, but 60-70%. So the self-selection hypothesis has a chance of being resurrected if one argues that now it is no longer a case of positive selection for the stronger articles, but a refusal to comply with the mandate for the weaker ones. One would have expected, however, that if this were true, the OA advantage would at least be weaker for mandated OA than for unmandated OA, since the percentage of total output that is self-archived under a mandate is almost three times the 5-25% that is self-archived self-selectively. Yet the OA advantage is undiminished with 60-70% mandate compliance in 2002-2006. We have since extended the window by three more years, to 2009; the compliance rate rises by another 10%, but the mandated OA advantage remains undiminished. Self-selectionists don't have to cede till the percentage is 100%, but their hypothesis gets more and more far-fetched...
The other way of saving the self-selection hypothesis despite our findings is to argue that there was a "self-selection" bias in terms of which institutions do and do not mandate OA: Maybe it's the better ones that self-select to do so. There may be a plausible case to be made that one of our four mandated institutions -- CERN -- is an elite institution. (It is also physics-only.) But, as we reported, we re-did our analysis removing CERN, and we got the same outcome. Even if the objection of eliteness is extended to Southampton ECS, removing that second institution did not change the outcome either. We leave it to the reader to decide whether it is plausible to count our remaining two mandating institutions -- University of Minho in Portugal and Queensland University of Technology in Australia -- as elite institutions, compared to other universities. It is a historical fact, however, that these four institutions were the first in the world to elect to mandate OA.
One can only speculate on the reasons why some might still wish to cling to the self-selection bias hypothesis in the face of all the evidence to date. It seems almost a matter of common sense that making articles more accessible to users also makes them more usable and citable -- especially in a world where most researchers are familiar with the frustration of arriving at a link to an article that they would like to read (but their institution does not subscribe), so they are asked to drop it into the shopping cart and pay $30 at the check-out counter. The straightforward causal relationship is the default hypothesis, based on both plausibility and the cumulative weight of the evidence. Hence the burden of providing counter-evidence to refute it is now on the advocates of the alternative.
Davis, PN, Lewenstein, BV, Simon, DH, Booth, JG, & Connolly, MJL (2008) Open access publishing, article downloads, and citations: randomised controlled trial , British Medical Journal 337: a568
Gargouri, Y., Hajjem, C., Lariviere, V., Gingras, Y., Brody, T., Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2010) Self-Selected or Mandated, Open Access Increases Citation Impact for Higher Quality Research. PLOS ONE 10(5) e13636
Harnad, S. (2008) Davis et al's 1-year Study of Self-Selection Bias: No Self-Archiving Control, No OA Effect, No Conclusion. Open Access Archivangelism July 31 2008
Tuesday, October 19. 2010
Response to Martin Fenner's comments on Gargouri Y, Hajjem C, Larivière V, Gingras Y, Carr L, Brody T, Harnad S. (2010) Self-Selected or Mandated, Open Access Increases Citation Impact for Higher Quality Research. PLoS ONE 5(10):e13636+. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013636.
(1) Yes, we cited the Davis et al study. That study does not show that the OA citation advantage is a result of self-selection bias. It simply shows (as many other studies have noted) that no OA advantage at all (whether randomized or self-selected) is detectable only a year after publication, especially in a small sample. It's since been over two years and we're still waiting to hear whether Davis et al's randomized sample still has no OA advantage while a self-selected control sample from the same journals and year does. That would be the way to show what the OA advantage is a self-selection bias. Otherwise it's just the sound of one hand clapping.Harnad, S (2008) Davis et al's 1-year Study of Self-Selection Bias: No Self-Archiving Control, No OA Effect, No Conclusion. Open Access Archivangelism. July 31 2008.(2) No, we did not look only at self-archiving in institutional repositories. Our matched-control sample of self-selected self-archived articles came from institutional repositories, central repositories, and authors' websites. (All of that is "Green OA.") It was only the mandated sample that was exclusively from institutional repositories. (Someone else may wish to replicate our study using funder-mandated self-archiving in central repositories. The results are likely to be much the same, but the design and analysis would be rather more complicated.)
Swan, A. (2006) The culture of Open Access: researchers’ views and responses, in Jacobs, Neil, Eds. Open Access: Key Strategic, Technical and Economic Aspects. Chandos Publishing (Oxford) Limited.
Monday, October 11. 2010
University of Southampton/EPrints is launching a week-long Open Access Mandate Adoption Challenge for OA Week.
On October 18, the first day of OA week, the results of a study were published in PLoS ONE demonstrating that the well-known higher probability of being used and cited for research that has been made OA is indeed caused by the OA itself, and not an artifact of a researcher bias toward self-selectively making research OA that has a higher probability of being used and cited. The proof is that when OA is mandated by researchers' institutions for all research output, the OA citation advantage is just as great as for self-selective OA.
Self-selective OA levels today vary between 5-25% of research output, whereas when mandated, OA levels jump to 60% and rise toward 100% within a few years of mandate adoption.
The implication of these findings is that -- in order to maximize research usage, citation and impact for the benefit of the tax-paying public that funds the research -- all research institutions and funders should mandate making all their research output OA.
Representatives of universities, research institutions and research funders the world over that have adopted (or are planning to adopt) an OA mandate are invited to register their policy in ROARMAP (the Registry of Open Access Material Archiving Policies) as a show of force during OA week, setting an example to encourage other institutions and funders worldwide to do likewise.
If you know of an OA mandate -- already adopted or proposed -- that has not yet been registered in ROARMAP, please register it (or encourage a relevant official to register it).
Progress in mandate growth during OA week is being charted by Dr. Alma Swan (a Program Advisor for OA Week) below as well as in the Open Access Information Sourcebook OASIS [reaches growth chart directly], EnablingOpenScholarship EOS [click here twice to get to growth chart] and elsewhere.
Friday, October 8. 2010
On Thu, 7 Oct 2010, Joseph Esposito wrote (in liblicense):
JE:It varies by field. In HEP and Astro, most published journal articles are also self-archived in Arxiv.
To understand the meaning of this, however, it is important to note that extremely few papers that are self-archived in Arxiv are not (eventually) published in journals: Arxiv is an access-provider -- to published and pre-publication research papers. Arxiv is not a publisher: Arxiv neither peer-reviews its contents, nor does it certify that they have been peer-reviewed; the publisher does that.
Hence, like all open access repositories, Arxiv is a supplement to publication, not a substitute for it.
JE:No one wants Arxiv to disappear, but I'll bet that within a decade or sooner Arxiv will just be another automated central harvester of distributed local deposits from authors' own institutional repositories (IRs), not a central locus of direct, institution-external deposit. In the age of IRs, it is no longer necessary -- nor does it make sense -- for authors to self-archive institution-externally. It is also a needless central expense to manage deposit centrally. It makes much more sense to deposit institutionally and harvest centrally.
JE:Once all universities have IRs and IR self-archiving mandates, there will be no need to fund repositories for institution-external deposit. Harvesting is cheap. And each university's IR will be a standard part of its online infrastructure.
JE:The IR cost per paper deposited will be closer to 50c than $50, once all universities are hosting their own output, and mandating that it be deposited.
JE:Guess again! Once the burden of hosting, access-provision and archiving is offloaded onto each author's institution, the only service that journals will need to provide is peer review, and hence journals will be charging institutions a lot less than they are charging now. (Print editions as well as online editions and their costs will be gone too.)
On Fri, Oct 8, 2010 at 12:57 AM, Simeon Warner wrote (in jisc-repositories):
Simeon, I can only repeat the premise under which that prediction is made:SH:SW:
Cornell has not mandated deposit, and it is far from hosting all of its annual output. Ditto for all but about 100 universities so far worldwide.
(Not to mention that Cornell and many other universities may not have picked the optimal free IR software solution either ;>) ...)
SW:Yes, you have significant scale. But, for Arxiv, it is Cornell, a federal grant, plus funds from some universities that are paying for all the deposits, from all universities, in that one central repository.
To repeat: The sensible solution (and probably the only practical, affordable, sustainable one) is for Arxiv -- and any other central archives like it in other fields -- to harvest their respective content automatically from Institutional Repositories that host their own research output. (Institutions, after all, are the universal providers of all that content.)
The annual cost per paper deposited will be far less for an Institutional Repository -- hosting only its own research output -- once the institutions are indeed hosting all of their own annual research output -- and not just a small fragment of it, as now.
Most institutions today have IRs that are still near-empty rather than at full capacity (as far as OA's target content is concerned). (The cost/benefit of universities hosting their own grey literature output and other kinds of content they generate is another matter, but not to be reckoned into this comparison with Arxiv regarding per-article cost. IRs can archive lots of kinds of things, including departmental reports or family photo albums, if desired...)
And Cornell, of course, has the double burden of hosting a near-empty, unmandated IR for its own refereed research output, plus the (partial) expense of hosting Arxiv for the rest of the world!
Why Cornell's Institutional Repository Is Near-Empty
SW:There are many valid reasons for institutions creating and supporting their IRs -- but only if they mandate that they be filled with their target content.
Among those many valid reasons are economic ones:
ABSTRACT: Among the many important implications of Houghton et al’s (2009) timely and illuminating JISC analysis of the costs and benefits of providing free online access (“Open Access,” OA) to peer-reviewed scholarly and scientific journal articles one stands out as particularly compelling: It would yield a forty-fold benefit/cost ratio if the world’s peer-reviewed research were all self-archived by its authors so as to make it OA. There are many assumptions and estimates underlying Houghton et al’s modelling and analyses, but they are for the most part very reasonable and even conservative. This makes their strongest practical implication particularly striking: The 40-fold benefit/cost ratio of providing Green OA is an order of magnitude greater than all the other potential combinations of alternatives to the status quo analyzed and compared by Houghton et al. This outcome is all the more significant in light of the fact that self-archiving already rests entirely in the hands of the research community (researchers, their institutions and their funders), whereas OA publishing depends on the publishing community. Perhaps most remarkable is the fact that this outcome emerged from studies that approached the problem primarily from the standpoint of the economics of publication rather than the economics of research.
SW:Arxiv is a repository for articles that have been or will be refereed and published by journals. There is an "author pays" model for paying for that refereeing and publishing through author/institution publication fees (for OA journals, and a subscription model for non-OA journals, which are still the vast majority). -- But there is not, never was, and never need be an "author pays" model merely to pay for the deposit of the author's draft of those same articles.
Arxiv is a repository, providing access, not a publisher of refereed research. It is the many different journals in which Arxiv's depositors publish who are still the ones doing the refereeing and the publishing (i.e., implementing the peer review process and certifying the outcome, if successful, as having met that journal's established quality standards). And journals need to recover the costs of providing that essential service, either via journal subscriptions tolls or via "author pays" (i.e., article publication fees)
On this you are entirely right, Simeon (though I think the term "overlay journals" is a misdescription of what may eventually come to pass, once all refereed, published articles are being self-archived in their author's IR).SH:SW:
(And Cornell is aiding and abetting the very trend you mention, by agreeing pre-emptively to subsidize "author pays" costs for (some of) Cornell authors' articles while failing to mandate self-archiving of all of Cornell authors' articles, cost-free!)
Harnad, S. (2009) The PostGutenberg Open Access Journal. In: Cope, B. & Phillips, A (Eds.) The Future of the Academic Journal. Chandos.
SW:Many of the necessary tools are not needed at the individual IR level, because search takes place at the harvester level.
What IRs lack is not tools, but content. Once we have the OA's target content (refereed journal articles), developing the tools is a piece of cake.
SW:We can cross that bridge when we get to it -- if Google Scholar does not cross it for us -- once the target content is indeed being deposited in the IRs, globally -- because deposit has been universally mandated at long last.
American Scientist Open Access Forum
DuraSpace Blog: "A recent Intechweb article, “MIT Makes All Faculty Publications Open Access”, suggests that MIT’s #3 ranking among the top 200 universities by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings may be related to both MIT’s OA policy and to the actual ability to access MIT’s research output on the Web through DSpace@MIT which now houses nearly 30,000 digital items."
Traditional Publication: Nontraditional Access-Provision
Huge congratulations to MIT! But a slight correction (of the Intechweb article):
What MIT has done is to mandate that the author’s final draft of all MIT articles published in peer-reviewed journals should be self-archived in MIT’s Open Access Institutional Repository. It is indeed very likely true that the “determination of MIT to shift from the old tradition … may be the clue to becoming ranked third among world’s top 200 universities.” The enhanced uptake, usage and impact resulting from this enhanced access is the factor that has helped enhance other universities’ rankings too (e.g., those of U. Southampton, the first to mandate OA self-archiving).
But the shift that has occurred at MIT and Southampton to enhance their impact rankings is definitely not a “shift from the old tradition of publishing model to a new publishing paradigm which relies on internet technology”! MIT and Southampton authors continue to publish exactly as they have done all along — in the best peer-reviewed journals whose quality standards their research can meet. And just about all journals today “rely on internet technology.”
No, the shift is that of supplementing the old tradition of publishing in an established peer-reviewed journal with the new tradition of self-archiving the author’s final, accepted draft, so that all researchers can access, use, apply and cite their findings in further research, and not just those whose institutions can afford to subscribe to the (traditional) journals in which they happen to have been published.
Credit where credit is due!
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Wednesday, October 6. 2010
Congratulations to your university for taking a stance on OA, but I'm afraid there is nothing yet to register in ROARMAP on the basis of this kind of resolution (encouraging OA), for the following reasons:
(1) Ten years of evidence on which kinds of policies succeed and which fail have shown that encouraging deposit simply does not work. Baseline deposit rates remain about 15% of university research output, even with encouragement, recommendations, invitations, and requests.
(2) If the encouragement is accompanied by relentless activism, contacts, incentives and assistance from library staff, the deposit rate can be raised somewhat higher (c. 30%).
(3) But only a deposit requirement (mandate) can raise the deposit rate to 60%, from which it approaches 100% within a few years (especially quickly if deposit is officially designated as the sole procedure for submitting publications for performance assessment). Neither encouragement nor activism will accomplish deposit rates of that order, no matter how long the policy remains in place.
So I am afraid that your university is now destined to have to discover for itself -- by losing several more years of research uptake and impact while other institutions (over 100 now) adopt a deposit mandate -- that encouragement alone simply does not work.
I also think it is a mistake to foreground the recommendation to publish in open access journals ("Gold OA"): Unlike "Green OA" -- i.e. depositing (in the institutional repository) articles that have been published in subscription journals (which still constitute about 90% of journals today, and still include virtually all the top journals) -- publishing in Gold OA journals cannot be required; it can only be encouraged. So as a means of providing OA to all the university's annual research output, publishing in Gold OA journals should clearly be portrayed as merely a supplement to a deposit mandate. Your faculty resolution puts the encouragement to publish in OA journals first, followed by an encouragement to deposit. Not only is the crucial requirement to deposit missing altogether, but the priorities are counterproductively reversed.
Last, I have to point out that your resolution's statement regarding deposit is so hedged by apparent legal worries that it is virtually just a statement to the effect that "We encourage you to deposit if and when your publisher says you may deposit"!
Not only is that legalistic hedging not helpful, but it is unnecessary and misleading. Your university can and should require deposit of the author's final, refereed, revised draft, immediately upon acceptance for publication, without exception. Over 60% of journals (including virtually all the top journals in all fields) already endorse immediate OA self-archiving (see the ROMEO registry). If there is a desire to abide by the remaining journals' OA embargoes, then your university should simply recommend setting access to the (immediate, mandatory) deposit as Closed Access rather than Open Access during the embargo. But the immediate deposit itself should be mandatory, without exception, regardless of publisher policy on the timing of OA. That way even during any OA embargo users can request and authors can provide "Almost OA" on a case by case basis, for research or educational purposes, via the repository's semi-automatic "email eprint request" button.
All I can do is hope that as you see the growing evidence of the feasibility and success of immediate-deposit mandates registered in ROARMAP, your university will be emboldened to upgrade its policy to an immediate-deposit mandate (as NIH did, after 2 years lost pursuing the vain hope that encouragement would be enough) before your university needlessly loses many more years of uptake and impact for its annual research output.
Invaluable OA policy-making guidance is now available to universities from EOS (Enabling Open Scholarship) Convenor, Alma Swan, Key Perspectives and University of Southampton; Chairman, Bernard Rentier, Rector, University of Liege.
We hope many new deposit mandates will be announced during international OA week (beginning October 18):
Harnad, S. (2008) Waking OA’s “Slumbering Giant”: The University's Mandate To Mandate Open Access. New Review of Information Networking 14(1): 51 - 68
Harnad, S; Carr, L; Swan, A; Sale, A & Bosc H. (2009) Maximizing and Measuring Research Impact Through University and Research-Funder Open-Access Self Archiving Mandates. Wissenschaftsmanagement 15(4) 36-41
Harnad, S. (2010) The Immediate Practical Implication of the Houghton Report: Provide Green Open Access Now. Prometheus 28 (1). pp. 55-59.
Sale, A., Couture, M., Rodrigues, E., Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2010) Open Access Mandates and the "Fair Dealing" Button. In: Dynamic Fair Dealing: Creating Canadian Culture Online (Rosemary J. Coombe & Darren Wershler, Eds.)
Swan, A. (2010) The Open Access citation advantage: Studies and results to date. Technical Report. School of Electronics & Computer Science, University of Southampton.
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