Saturday, May 28. 2016
The means are still somewhat vague but the determination to reach the goal of having all scientific articles freely accessible (OA) immediately by 2020 is welcome. The goal is definitely reachable, and well worth reaching — in fact it’s long overdue.
It would be helpful, however, if the means of reaching the goal were made much more explicit, and with equal determination:
1. The EU can only ensure that its own scientific article output is OA by 2020. The EU cannot ensure that the scientific article output from the rest of the world (which is also the scientific article output to the EU) is OA by 2020 too. But if the EU adopts the right means for providing its own output, there is a good chance that it will be matched by the rest of the world too.
Wednesday, April 20. 2016
[This comment was written before I read Richard Poynder's Interview of Tim Gowers. In part 2 I comment after having read the posting.]
I don't know about Richard, but I have not despaired of green, or green mandates; I've just grown tired of waiting.
I don't see pre-emptive gold (i.e., pre-green "fool's gold") as an alternative but as just another delay factor, the principal delay factor being human sluggishness.
And I think the notion of a "flip" to fool's gold is incoherent -- an "evolutionary unstable strategy," bound to undo itself: not only because it requires self-sacrificial double-payment locally as well as unrealistic collaboration among nations, institutions, funders, fields and publishers globally, but because the day after it was miraculously (and hypothetically) attained globally it would immediately invite defection (from nations, institutions, funders, and fields) to save money (invasion by the "cheater strategy"). Subscriptions and gold OA "memberships" are simply incommensurable, let alone transformable from one into the other. (Memberships are absurd, and only sell -- a bit, locally -- while subscriptions still prevail, via local Big Deals.
The only evolutionarily stable strategy is offloading onto green OA repositories all but one of the things that publishers traditionally do, leaving only the service of peer review to be paid for as fair-gold OA.
But that requires universal green OA first, not flipped pre-emptive fool's gold.
It will all eventually sort itself out that way after a huge series of false-starts. My loss of patience is not just with the needless loss of time but with the boringly repetitious nature of the recurrent false starts. I'd say my last five years, at the very least, have been spent just repeating myself in the face of the very same naive bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and non-viable non-starters. Locally in space and time, some people sometimes listened to my objections and my alternative strategy, but globally the very same non-starters kept popping up, one after the other, independently.
So (with an occasional exception like this) I've stopped preaching. Time will either show that I was wrong or, like evolution, it will undo the maladaptive strategies and stumble blindly, but inevitably toward the stable strategy (which also happens to be the optimal one): universal green first, then a rapid downsizing and transition to scalable, affordable, sustainable fair-gold. Amen.
1. Publisher green OA embargoes are ineffectual against the right green OA mandate: immediate deposit plus the almost-OA Button
2. That a “self-styled archivangelist” has left the arena is neither news nor an OA development. It is indeed just symbolic.
3. The fool's gold "flip" is an evolutionarily unstable strategy, fated to flop, despite the fond hopes RCUK, Wellcome, VSNU or MPG.
4. The "impact factor" is, as ever, utterly irrelevant to OA, one way or the other. Metrics will only be diversified and enriched by OA.
5. An immediate-deposit requirement is not an "onerous bureaucratic rule" but a few extra keystrokes per paper published: a no-brainer. Researchers are not "foot-soldiers" but finger-soldiers, and the immediate-deposit mandate is just intended to set those last few digits into motion (the publish-or-perish mandate having already mobilized the legions ahead of it).
6. Leaders are welcome (if not Wellcome), but boycotts are busts (and there have been plenty).
7. Exposés of publisher profiteering are welcome, but not solutions. In any case, the root problem is not affordability but accessibility, and providing access (via green OA) is also the solution, first to accessibility and then, as a natural matter of course, to affordability (post-green fair-gold).
8. Founding a new gold OA journal is hardly new. Offloading everything but peer review onto green repositories is also not new (in fact it will be part of the post-green end-game: fair-gold). But making it scalable and sustainable pre-emptiively would be new...
9. Subsidizing fair-gold costs would be fine, if someone had the resources to subsidize at least 30,000 journals across all disciplines. But while journals are being sustained by subscriptions, and there is no alternative way to access the contents, there is unlikely to be enough subsidy money to do the job. (Universally mandated green, in contrast, would allow journal subscriptions to be cancelled, releasing the money to pay for fair-gold out of just a fraction of the windfall savings.)
10. The impact factor, it cannot be repeated often enough, is absolutely irrelevant to (green) OA. The known track-record of journals, in contrast, will always be a factor.
11. Open "peer" review, or crowd-sourced quality control, likewise a notion aired many times, is, IMHO, likewise a non-starter. Suitable for peddling products and blog postings, but not for cancer cures and serious science or scholarship. (That said, anyone is everyone is already free to post their unrefereed work for all comers; that's what blogs and open commentary are for...)
12. Open online collaboration is very welcome (and more and more widespread) but it is a supplement, not a substitute, for publishing peer-reviewed findings.
13. Mathematics and, to a lesser extent, physics, are manifestly atypical fields in that their practitioners are (1) more willing than others to make their own unrefereed findings public and (2) eager to see and use the unrefereed findings of others. If this had been true of other fields, Arxiv would long ago have become the global unrefereed preprints and refereed postrprint repository for all fields, universal (central) green OA would already have been reached long ago, and the transition to fair gold would already have taken place. (Arxiv has been held up -- including, for a while, by me -- as the way to go since 1991. But things have not gone that way. That's why I switched to promoting distributed institutional repositories.)
14. What if the "P" in APCs -- for those who are "imPlacably opposed" to article processing charges -- stood instead for Peer-Review, and paid only for the editorial expertise in the refereeing (the peers review for free): selecting referees, selecting which referee recommendations need to be followed, selecting which revisions have done so and are hence accepted. These are the sole costs of fair gold -- but they are predicated on universal green to "overlay" on...
15. The two crucial features of peer review are expertise and answerability. This is what is provided by a qualified editor and established journal and absent in self-selected, crowd-sourced, take-it-or-leave-it vetting (already proposed many times, including by another distinguished mathematician). "Fair OA" is synonymous with fair gold, but universal green is the only viable way to get there.
16. Open peer commentary is a fine idea (if I do say so myself) but it is a supplement to peer review, not a substitute for it.
...And let's get our figures straight
Rick Anderson posted the following comment on Richard Poynder's posting in google+: “Institutional Green OA mandates (as distinct from non-mandatory OA policies) are effectively nonexistent in the US, and it's difficult to see how they could ever become widespread at the institutional level. That's just the US, of course, but the US produces an awful lot of research publication.”
According to ROARMAP, which was recently upgraded to expand, classify and verify the entries, although it is probably not yet exhaustive (some mandates may not yet be registered) there are 764 OA policies worlwide, at least 629 of them Green (i.e., they either or request deposit)
The following are the total(subset) figures broken down by country for
total policies and the subset requiring - not requesting - deposit
for Institional and Funder policies.
Inst 632 (390)
Fund 132 (82)
Inst 96 (69)
Fund 34 (11)
Inst: 93 (79)
Fund 24 (23)
Inst 26 (2)
Fund 1 (0)
Inst 11 (6)
Inst 17 (3)
Fund 3 (3)
Inst 15 (7)
Fund 12 (9)
Inst 31 (15)
Fund 2 (2)
Rick Anderson: Happy to provide examples.
Stevan Harnad: The Harvard FAS OA Policy model (which may or may not have been adopted by the other institutions you cite without their fully understanding its conditions) is that:
(1) Full-text deposit is required
(2) Rights-retention (and OA) may be waived on an individual article basis
The deposit requirement (1) cannot be waived, and is not waived if the author elects to waive (2).
This is the policy that Peter calls "dual deposit/release" (and I call immediate-deposit/optional-access, ID/OA):
(soton site temporarily down today, apologies)
Rick Anderson: Stevan, your characterisation of the Harvard policy seems to me to be simply inaccurate. The full text may be read at https://osc.hul.harvard.edu/policies/fas/. The relevant sentence reads as follows: "The Dean or the Dean's designate will waive application of the policy for a particular article upon written request by a Faculty member explaining the need." This language seems pretty clearly to me to refer to the policy as a whole, not just one component of it -- nor does the policy itself include an OA requirement; instead it provides the possibility that "the Provost's Office may make the article available to the public in an open-access repository" (note the word "may," not usually a prominent feature in mandatory instructions).
Peter Suber: Stevan's restatement of the Harvard policy is correct. Our waiver option only applies to the license, not to the deposit.
Rick Anderson: OK, thanks for clearing that up, Peter. (You guys might want to consider revising the wording of your policy to resolve the ambiguity.)
Stevan Harnad: The other three policies you cited seem to have adopted the Harvard model policy. If they have diverged from it, they need to indicate that explicitly (and unambiguously). ROARMAP incorporates updates of corrections when it receives them. The ones you mention were either registered by the institutions themselves or derived from their documentation and sent to them for vetting.
I cannot vouch for 100% compliance or accuracy. But your assertion was not about that. Your assertion was “Institutional Green OA mandates (as distinct from non-mandatory OA policies) are effectively nonexistent in the US."
Do you think your four examples show that? One out of the four, Harvard FAS, would already disconfirm "nonexistent" ("effectively" being a weasel-word) even without the added fact that Harvard is not just any university, and the one whose model many US universities have adopted. And even if you could show (as you certainly have not done) that not one of the remaining 65 US institutional mandates (out of the total 96 US institutional OA policies in ROARMAP) was a mandate. Do you disagree?
Rick Anderson: All of the examples I provided (including the Harvard example) constitute evidence in support of my statement, since they are instances in which Green OA is not mandatory. They don't constitute the entire evidence base. I made my statement based on the fact that I have read many OA policies from US institutions, and I have not yet encountered (nor heard of) a single one that requires faculty to make their work available on an OA basis. A policy that requires deposit but does not require OA is not a mandatory OA policy.
Stevan Harnad: I would like to avoid empty semiological quibbling. The US has 96 institutional OA policies. That is uncontested. Of these, 69 are registered as deposit mandates, hence mandates.
There are many other conditions (such as whether and when it is mandatory to make the deposit OA), but it may be helpful to understand that the reason mandatory (full-text) deposit is the crucial requirement is that if (and only if) the full-text is deposited, the repository's automated copy-request Button (if and when implemented) can provide almost-immediate, almost-OA to any user who clicks it (if the author too chooses to comply, with a click).
The hypothesis (and it is indeed a hypothesis, not a certainty) is that this compromise mandate (DD/R, ID/OA), if universally adopted, will not only provide almost 100% Green OA, but will prove sufficient to eventually make subscriptions cancellable, thereby inducing journal publisher downsizing, the phasing out of obsolete products and services, and a transition to affordable, scalable and sustainable Fair-Gold OA, charging for peer-review alone, and paid for out of a fraction of the institutional subscription cancellation savings, instead of the over-priced, double-paid, and unnecessary Fool's Gold that is on offer now, paid for out of already over-stretched subscription as well as research funds.
Wednesday, December 2. 2015
"I have a feeling that when Posterity looks back at the last decade of the 2nd A.D. millennium of scholarly and scientific research on our planet, it may chuckle at us... I don't think there is any doubt in anyone's mind as to what the optimal and inevitable outcome of all this will be: The [peer-reviewed journal| literature will be free at last online, in one global, interlinked virtual library... and its [peer review] expenses will be paid for up-front, out of the [subscription-cancelation] savings. The only question is: When? This piece is written in the hope of wiping the potential smirk off Posterity's face by persuading the academic cavalry, now that they have been led to the waters of self-archiving, that they should just go ahead and drink!" -- Harnad (1999)I must admit I've lost interest in following the Open Access Derby. All the evidence, all the means and all the stakes are by now on the table, and have been for some time. Nothing new to be learned there. It's just a matter of time till it gets sorted and acted upon; the only lingering uncertainty is about how long that will take, and that is no longer an interesting enough question to keep chewing on, now that all's been said, if not done.
Comments on: Richard Poynder (2015) Open Access, Almost-OA, OA Policies, and Institutional Repositories. Open And Shut. December 01, 2015A few little corrections and suggestions on Richard's paper:
(1) The right measure of repository and policy success is the percentage of an institution's total yearly peer-reviewed research article output that is deposited as full text immediately upon acceptance for publication. (Whether the deposit is immediately made OA is much less important, as long as the copy-request Button is (properly!) implemented. Much less important too are late deposits, author Button-request compliance rates, or other kinds of deposited content. Once all refereed articles are being deposited immediately, all the rest will take care of itself, sooner or later.)
(2) CRIS/Cerif research-asset-management tools are complements to Institutional Repositories, not competitors.
(3) The Australian ERA policy was a (needless) flop for OA. The UK's HEFCE/Ref2020 policy, in contrast, looks like it can become a success. (None of this has anything to do with the pro's or con's of either research evaluation, citations, or metrics in general.)
(4) No, "IDOA/PEM" (Deposit mandates requiring immediate deposits for research evaluation or funding, with the Button) will not increase "dark deposit," they will increase deposit -- and mandate adoption, mandate compliance, OA, Button-Use, Almost-OA, access and citations. They will also hasten the day when universal IDOA/PEM will make subscriptions cancellable and unsustainable, inducing conversion to fair-Gold OA (instead of today's over-priced, double-paid and unnecessary Fool's-Gold OA. But don't ask me "how long?" I don't know, and I no longer care!)
(5) The few anecdotes about unrefereed working papers are completely irrelevant. OA is about peer-reviewed journal articles. Unrefereed papers come and go. And eprints and dspace repositories clearly tag papers as refereed/unrefereed and published/unpublished. (The rest is just about scholarly practice and sloppiness, both from authors and from users.)
(6) At some point in the discussion, Richard, you too fall into the usual canard about impact-factor and brand, which concerns only Gold OA, not OA.
RP: "Is the sleight of hand involved in using the Button to promote the IDOA/PEM mandate justified by the end goal — which is to see a proliferation of such mandates? Or to put it another way, how successful are IDOA/PEM mandates likely to prove?"No sleight of hand -- just sluggishness of hand, on the part of (some) authors (both for Button compliance and mandate compliance) and on the part of (most) institutions and funders (for the design and adoption of successful IDOA/PEM mandates (with Button). And the evidence is all extremely thin, one way or the other. Of course successful IDOA/PEM mandates (with Button) are (by definition!) better than relying on email links at publisher sites. "Successful" means near 100% compliance rate for immediate full-text deposit. And universal adoption of successful IDOA/PEM mandates (with Button) means universal adoption of successful IDOA/PEM mandates (with Button). (Give me that and worries about author Button-compliance will become a joke.)
The rest just depends on the speed of the horses -- and I am not a betting man (when it comes to predicting how long it will take to reach the optimal and inevitable). (Not to mention that I am profoundly against horse-racing and the like -- for humanitarian reasons that are infinitely more important than OA ever was or will be.)
Thursday, May 21. 2015
I will not do yet another detailed, point-by-point rebuttal in response to Alicia/Elsevier's latest tergiversations ("COAR-recting the record"), just to have it all once again ignored, and instead replied to yet again with nothing but empty jargon and double talk:
"At each stage of the publication process authors can share their research: before submission, from acceptance, upon publication, and post publication."This “share” is a weasel word. It does not mean OA. It means what authors have always been able to do, without need of publisher permission: They can share copies — electronic or paper — with other individuals. That’s the 60-year old practice of mailing preprints and reprints individually to requesters. OA means free immediate access online to all would-be users.
"For authors who want free immediate access to their articles, we continue to give all authors a choice to publish gold open access with a wide number of open access journals and over 1600 hybrid titles “In other words, now, the only Elsevier-autthorized way authors can provide OA is to pay extra for it (“Gold OA”).
Since 2004 Elsevier had endorsed authors providing free immediate (un-embargoed) access (“Green OA”) by self-archiving in their institutional repositories. The double-talk began in 2012.
Elsevier can’t seem to bring itself to admit quite openly (sic) that they have (after a lot of ambiguous double-talk) back-pedalled and reneged on their prior policy, instead imposing embargoes of various lengths. They desperately want to be perceived as having taken a positive, progressive step forward. Hence all the denial and double-talk.
Elsevier tries to argue that their decision is “fair” and “evidence based” — whereas in fact it is based on asking some biassed and ambiguous questions to some librarians, authors and administrators after having first used a maximum of ever-changing pseudo-legal gibberish to ensure that they can only respond with confusion to the confusion that Elsevier has sown. In reality all Elsevier is doing is trying to make authors and their institutions hostage to either subscriptions or (Fools) Gold OA fees by embargoing Green OA. Anything that will sustain Elsevier's current revenue streams and M.O.
We cannot get Elsevier to retain a fair, clear policy (along the lines of their original 2004 policy) but we should certainly expose, name and shame them as loudly and widely as possible for the disgraceful and tendentious spin with which they are now trying to sell their unfair, unclear and exploitative back-pedalling.
Thursday, April 23. 2015
In my own opinion there have been four main reasons for the exceedingly slow growth of OA (far, far slower than it could have been) — (1) author inertia and needless copyright worries, (2) publisher resistance via lobbying and OA embargoes, (3) premature and needless fixation on Gold OA publishing and (4) premature and needless fixation on Libre OA (re-use rights, CC-BY).
By far the most urgent and yet fully and immediately reachable objective has always been free online access to refereed journal articles (“Gratis OA”), which could long ago have been provided by authors as Green OA (exactly as computer scientists spontaneously began doing in the 1980s with anonymous ftp archiving, and physicists began doing in the 1990s with XXX (then Arxiv).
Instead, authors in most other fields have proved extremely sluggish — because of (1), and eventually also (2) -- and the public campaign for OA became needlessly and counterproductively focussed on Gold OA and Libre OA, which were neither as urgently needed as Gratis OA, nor could they be as easily provided as Gratis OA.
OA mandates by funders and institutions then began to be recommended and adopted, but these too have been exceedingly slow in coming, and needlessly weak, having gotten needlessly wrapped up in Libre and Gold OA, even though Gratis Green OA is the easiest, most effective and most natural thing to mandate.
And the irony is that this premature and needless fixation on Libre and Gold OA (which still persists) has not only helped slow the progress of Gratis Green OA, but it has also slowed its very own progress.
Because the fastest and surest way to Libre, Fair-Gold OA is to first mandate Gratis Green OA -- which, once it is being universally provided, will usher in Libre, Fair-Gold quickly and naturally. This is evident to anyone who simply thinks it through.
Instead, we now continue to be bogged down in (1) - (4), with many weak and wishy-washy OA policies, Fools’ Gold (as well as predatory junk Gold OA) (3) from publishers clouding the landscape, and an almost superstitious obsession with a Libre OA (2) that most research and researchers don’t need anywhere near as urgently as they need Gratis OA itself.
Meanwhile, hardly noticed, is the fact that mandates could be incomparably stronger and more effective if they simply focussed on requiring Green Gratis OA, in institutional (not institution-external) repositories, where institutions can monitor and ensure compliance by designating immediate-deposit as the sole mechanism for submitting publications for research evaluation (as Liege and HEFCE have done) and implementing the copy-request Button as the antidote against publisher OA embargoes.
In yet another effort to try to get mandates on the fast track — requiring Gratis Green OA — we have now analyzed the few existing OA policies’ effectiveness to identify which conditions maximize compliance, in the hope that the research community can at last be persuaded to adopt evidence-based policies instead of ideology-driven ones:
Vincent-Lamarre, Philippe, Boivin, Jade, Gargouri, Yassine, Larivière, Vincent and Harnad, Stevan (2015) Estimating Open Access Mandate Effectiveness: I. The MELIBEA Score.Here is a quick little history of OA, particularly highlighting Southampton’s contribution:
Carr, L., Swan, A. and Harnad, S. (2011) Creating and Curating the Cognitive Commons: Southampton’s Contribution. In: Curating the European University
Tuesday, October 14. 2014
Estimating Open Access Mandate Effectiveness: I. The MELIBEA Score
Philippe Vincent-Lamarre, Jade Boivin, Yassine Gargouri, Vincent Lariviere, Stevan Harnad
ABSTRACT: MELIBEA is a Spanish database that uses a composite formula with eight weighted conditions to estimate the effectiveness of Open Access mandates (registered in ROARMAP). We analyzed 68 mandated institutions for publication years 2011-2013 to determine how well the MELIBEA score and its individual conditions predict what percentage of published articles indexed by Web of Knowledge is deposited in each institution's OA repository, and when. We found a small but significant positive correlation (0.18) between MELIBEA score and deposit percentage. We also found that for three of the eight MELIBEA conditions (deposit timing, internal use, and opt-outs), one value of each was strongly associated with deposit percentage or deposit latency (immediate deposit required, deposit required for performance evaluation, unconditional opt-out allowed for the OA requirement but no opt-out for deposit requirement). When we updated the initial values and weights of the MELIBEA formula for mandate effectiveness to reflect the empirical association we had found, the score's predictive power doubled (.36). There are not yet enough OA mandates to test further mandate conditions that might contribute to mandate effectiveness, but these findings already suggest that it would be useful for future mandates to adopt these three conditions so as to maximize their effectiveness, and thereby the growth of OA.
Sunday, September 28. 2014
Here they are:
Cornée, Nathalie and Madjarevic, Natalia (2014) The London School of Economics and Political Science 2013/2014 RCUK open access compliance report. The London School of Economics and Political Science, Library, London, UK.Seventy-three (73) OA articles, at about £1,000 a shot via Gold -- vs. fifty (50) at no cost via Green!Abstract: In September 2014, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) reported to Research Councils UK on the School’s compliance with the recently introduced RCUK Policy on Open Access (OA). This reports provides detail around the article processing charges (APC) data and RCUK Call for Evidence report. Background In April 2013, the revised RCUK Policy on Open Access came into effect. The policy requires journal articles or conference proceedings arising from research funded wholly or partially by a RCUK grant should be made freely available online (or “Open Access”). There are two main routes to make papers open access: a) the Green route, which is the LSE preferred route, when the full text of papers are deposited into an institutional repository such as LSE Research Online. To select this route, embargo periods must be no longer than the 12 months permitted by RCUK (no charge applies); b) the Gold route, which provides immediate, unrestricted access to the final version of the paper via the publisher's website, often using a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence - it may involve payment of an APC to the publisher. In 2013, we received the RCUK OA block grant for 2013/14 of £62,862. We set up the LSE Institutional Publication Fund using this grant and this was managed by the Library, allowing eligible RCUK-funded researchers to apply for APC funds. Additionally, the School was awarded a pump-prime funding allocation from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for open access, which was also added to the fund. Of the 141 papers we identified as RCUK-funded for Year 1, 50 papers are open access via the Green route and 73 via the Gold, resulting in an 87% compliance rate.
That RCUK £62,862 could have funded 4 doctoral research students or 2 postdoctoral researchers. Instead, it is paying publishers even more than they are already being paid for subscriptions (and for hybrid Gold publishers it's even double-paying them).
For 73 articles!
And 73 articles that could have been provided for free via Green -- if instead of dangling scarce money in front of authors RCUK had simply insisted on immediate deposit, irrespective of embargo length.
One can only hope that the spot-on and timely new HEFCE policy of requiring immediate deposit, now, in order to be eligible for REF2020, will stanch this gratuitous, obdurate Finch/RCUK profligacy.
And that the EU's similar policy will help reinforce it.
Meanwhile there's nothing stopping institutions from being more sensible, by requiring immediate deposit and using the RCUK windfall to better purpose (till it is sensibly redirected to research).
Tuesday, August 5. 2014
DOE: The Importance of Requiring Institutional Repository Deposit Immediately Upon Acceptance for Publication
A peer-reviewed journal article is either accessible to all of its potential users or it is not accessible to all of its potential users (but only to those at subscribing institutions).
Open Access (OA) is intended to make articles accessible (online) to all their potential users, not just to subscribers, sothat all potential users can read, use, apply and build upon the findings, not just subscribers.
OA comes in two forms:
Gratis OA means an article is accessible online to all its potential users.
Libre OA means an article is accessible online to all its potential users and all users also have certain re-use rights, such as text-mining by machine, and re-publication.
For individual researchers and for the general public the most important and urgent form of OA is Gratis OA.
The reason Gratis OA is so important is that otherwise the research is inaccessible except to subscribers: OA maximizes research uptake, usage, applications, impact and progress.
The reason Gratis OA is so urgent is that lost research access means lost research impact and progress. The downloads and citations of papers made OA later never catch up with those of papers made OA immediately:
Gentil-Beccot, A., Mele, S., & Brooks, T. C. (2010). Citing and reading behaviours in high-energy physics: Scientometrics, 84(2), 345-355.
The date when a peer-reviewed paper is ready to be made OA is the date when the final, peer-reviewed draft is accepted for pubication.
Sometimes there can be delays of months between the date of acceptance and the date of publication of the pubisher’s version of record (VOR).
And some (a minority) of publishers have imposed embargoes of up to 12 months from the date of publication before authors can make their articles OA.
The delay from acceptance to publication, and the delay from publication till the end of any OA embargo all add up tp lost research access, uptake, usage, applications and progress.
DOE and OSTI have been directed by OSTP to adopt a policy that ensures that OA is provided to federally funded research — by 12 months after the date of publication at the very latest.
This is not a mandate to adopt a policy that ensures that OA is provided "at the very latest possible date."
Yet that is what DOE has done — no doubt under the influence of the publishing industry lobby.
The interests of research and researchers -- and hence of the public that funds the research -- are that the research should be made OA as soon as possible.
The interests of (some of) the publishing industry are that it should be made OA as late as possible.
The DOE has adopted a policy that serves the interests of the publishing industry rather than those of research, researchers and the tax-paying public.
This is why DOE policy has been so warmly welcomed by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) as well as CHORUS (a publisher consortium expressly created to try to keep access-provision and the timing of compliance with open access mandates under the control of publishers rather than fundees and their institutions).
The simplest remedy for this is not necessarily that the permissible OA embargo length needs to be reduced (though that would be extremely welcome and beneficial too!).
Even within the constraints of a permissible OA embargo of 12 months at the very latest, there is a simple way to make the DOE policy much more powerful and effective, guaranteeing much more and earlier access.
All that has to be done is to make immediate deposit of the author’s final, peer-reviewed draft, in the author’s institutional repository, mandatory immediately upon acceptance.
Not just the metadata: the full final draft.
If the author wishes to comply with a publisher OA embargo, the deposit need not be made OA immediately.
Institutional repositories have an automated copy-request Button with which a user can request a single copy for research purposes, and the author can comply with the request, with just one click each.
This is not OA, but it is almost-OA, and it is all that is needed to maximize research access, usage and progress during any permissible OA embargo.
And besides maximizing access during any permissible OA embargo, requiring immediate institutional deposit also mobilizes institutions to monitor and ensure timely compliance with the funding agency’s requirement.
The metadata for the deposit can be exported from each institutional repository to the DOE PAGES portal immediately, and then the portal, too (like google and google scholar), can immediately begin referring users back to the Button at the institution so the author can provide almost-OA with a single click until the end of any embargo.
There is no need whatsoever to wait either for the publisher’s VOR, or for the end of the publisher’s embargo, or for Libre OA re-use rights: those can come when they come.
But immediate institutional deposit needs to be mandated immediately.
Otherwise the DOE is needlessly squandering months and months of potential research uptake, usage and progress for federally funded research.
Please harmonize the DOE OA policy with the corresponding EU OA policy, as well as the HEFCE OA policy in the UK, the FRS OA policy in Belgium, and a growing number of institutional OA policies the world over.
Monday, June 30. 2014
Richard Poynder: "If you were composing the Subversive Proposal today how different would it be? Would it be different? If so, would you care to rephrase it to fit today’s environment? In other words, how would the Subversive Proposal look if written for a 2014 audience (in less than 500 words)?"SH: Knowing now, in 2014, that researchers won’t do it of their own accord, I would have addressed the proposal instead to their institutions and funders, and in less than 200 words:And this is how I should have written the original Proposal in 1994:"To maximize the access, uptake, usage, progress, productivity, applications and impact of your publicly funded research output, mandate (require) that the refereed, revised, accepted final draft of all articles must be deposited in the author’s institutional repository immediately upon acceptance for publication as a condition for research evaluation and funding. If you allow a publisher embargo on making the deposit OA (freely accessible to all online), implement the automated almost-OA Button (and don’t let the embargo exceed 6-12 months at most). This is called “Gratis Green OA.” Do not pay for Gold OA journal publication fees (“Fool’s Gold”) until global Green OA has made subscriptions unsustainable; then you can pay for Fair-Gold out of your subscription cancellation savings. Fair-Gold will also be Libre OA (with re-use rights such as data-mining, re-mixing and re-publishing). Ignore publishers’ lobbying to the effect that Green OA will destroy peer-reviewed journal publishing: it will re-vitalize it and save the research community a lot of money while maximizing the access, uptake, usage, progress, productivity, applications and impact of their research."FREE ONLINE ACCESS TO REFEREED RESEARCH: A SUBVERSIVE PROPOSAL
Wednesday, June 18. 2014
Important Addendum and Correction from Eloy Rodrigues (June 19):
The two Chinese OA Mandates (NSFC and CAS) came fast (2014), but the possibility of complying with them is coming slowly (no repository till 2016).
In addition, articles need not be deposited until 12 months after publication.
In most fields, especially the fast-moving sciences, the benefits of Open Access (maximised uptake, usage, impact and progress) are biggest and most important within the first year of publication. That is the growth tip of research. Access losses in the first year are never fully caught up in later years. The iron needs to be struck when it is hot.
There are two very simple steps that China can take to minimise the needless loss of research uptake, usage and impact because of lost time:
(1) China should set up the repositories immediately, using the available free softwares such as EPrints and DSpace. It requires only a server and a few hours worth of set-up time and the repository is ready for deposits. There is no reason whatsoever to wait two years. It would also be sensible to have distributed local repositories — at universities and research institutions — rather than just one central one. Each institution can easily set up its own repository. All repositories are interoperable and if and when desired, their contents can be automatically exported to or harvested by central repositories.
(2) Although an OA embargo of 12 months is allowed, China should mandate that deposit itself must be immediate (immediately upon acceptance for publication). Access to the deposit can be set as closed access instead of OA during the embargo if desired, but EPrints and DSpace repositories have the “Request-Copy” Button for closed-access deposits so that individual users can request and authors can provide an individual copy for research purposes with one click each. The repository automatically emails the copy if the author clicks Yes.
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