Re: SHERPA will take over the Romeo Publisher Policy Table

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 2004 13:55:50 +0100

    4 postings: (1) S. Harnad, (2) L. Waaijers, (3) D. Goodman, (4) L. Carr


(1) From: Stevan Harnad

I have spent some time reformatting the SHERPA/Romeo information on
publishers' self-archiving policies, trying to make the listings more
heuristic and helpful to the potential usership.

Please compare the current SHERPA/Romeo version of the full list:

with my proposed alternative:

The data are *exactly the same*. The only changes are in the format: My
version drops all the unnecessary and confusing colour-codes: RED X's,
green ticks, yellow publishers, blue publishers, white publishers.

They are replaced by one simple and transparent contrast: green
vs. gray. Green means the publisher has given their official green light
to self-archiving, gray means they have not. There are two shades
of green: postprint self-archiving is bright-green, preprint self-archiving
is pale-green.

I have also redone the summary statistics. Please compare:

with my proposed alternative:

Here too, the categories are recoded heuristically, with only the
green/gray contrast, and the two shades of green. (Although I don't
really think anyone would be specifically interested in the subtotals
for "percent of publishers who give the green light to the postprint
*and not* the preprint," as opposed to the subtotals for "percent of
publishers who give the green light to the postprint *and* the preprint,"
I have coded it as bright-green with gray speckles. (I think it is only
the bright-green [postprint] vs. pale-green [preprint-only] difference
that is of interest to users in the subtotals. The specific details are
in the individual publisher listings above.)

I also think that journal data -- both individual listings and totals --
are needed for the user as well. Not only might one publisher publish just
1 journal while another publishes 1700, but the user may only know (or
wish to browse by) the journal name, not the publisher name.

I have also included a percentage graph for each subtotal. This graph
could then become a time-chart tracking the growth of green, by adding
the new subtotals at regular intervals. (I suggest that it
should also appear at the top and bottom of the full-list above.)

Stevan Harnad


(2) From: Leo Waaijers <>

Dear friends,

With a little hesitation I draw your attention to the following site, which
mght give some answers to the issues discussed below.

As you may see the site is still under construction (reason for my
hesitation), covering only the journals of seven publishers and only
the repository of Tilburg University. But for these journals it tells
you both on an article level and on the journal level if the author
is allowed to post his article in the institutional repository. This
permission is indicated in green. If this is not permitted (indicated in
red) the site enables you to generate a letter to the publisher asking
permission to self-archive the article.

"With this letter I request your permission to store in the institutional
archive of Tilburg University an electronic copy of the article entitled:
(followed by the metadata of the article)." The letter concludes with: "If I
do not hear from you within thirty days I will assume that you have no
objections to the above-mentioned request and the electronic copy will then
be included in the institutional repository of the University of Tilburg."

You may easiest test this yourself by going to the second search line of the
above mentioned site, then search 'all fields' for 'economic theory'. The
result is a list of 59 articles (from the Tilburg repository) and
immediately the first article by R.J.A. Peters is a hit. When you click it
you find, indicated in red, that this publisher (Springer) does not allow
self archiving. Then 'Click here to generate a letter'.

Wouldn't this be a nice application for OAIster?

Leo Waaijers.


(3) From: David Goodman <>

The discussion between Bill and Stevan about the most appropriate colors
that fit their personal mnemonics shows the advantage of using words,
not arbitrary symbols, to convey potentially complicated information.

The complication can be seen by looking at the entries for, say, Wiley.
John Wiley & Sons permits post-print posting, but only on individual
servers, which is not a desirable way of doing it, and none the less gets
coded Green; Wiley-VCH permits post-print serving, but only after 3 years
from publication, which is so useless that I can't see how it counts at
all, and none the less gets coded Blue. If this is representative, any
general statistics using the broad designations alone to show progress
will show much more apparent progress than is really the case.

    [Moderator's note: It does indeed look as if SHERPA/Romeo may have
     misclassified Wiley as bright-green; in the old Romeo listing they
     are pale-green (preprint only), but I can't find any mention of
     the 3 year embargo on postprint self-archiving in Wiley's policy
     PDF. Of course *any* delay on the green light to self-archive the
     postprint means the publisher does *not* qualify as green, because
     OA means immediate, permanent access. But as to the kind of server on
     which it is self-archived: If it is accessible webwide (rather than
     just to the university's internal users) this is indeed a
     full-blooded green light! (The distinctions between "individual" and
     "institutional" servers are empty and incoherent nonsense and should
     be ignored and omitted from the SHERPA/Romeo list of conditions.)]

(I thus agree with Stevan that people

> will want to know it (1) not just on a publisher basis, but on a *journal* basis:

After all, how many of us are certain whether a particular Wiley journal
is John Wiley & Sons, Inc., or Wiley-VCH Verlag)

This is such a important project with so many uses that it should be
kept as detailed as practical.

Dr. David Goodman
Associate Professor
Palmer School of Library and Information Science
Long Island University

(and, formerly: Princeton University Library)


(4) From: Leslie Carr <>
Subject: Re: Is Embarged Access Open Access?

Stevan Harnad wrote:

> None of these is open access (though any "opening" of access is
> certainly welcome too!).

May I suggest that the simplest criterion for Open Access is that it is
the kind of access that does *not* depend on being in the right place
at the right time (ie at a particular institution or during a
publisher's Happy Hour).

Les Carr
Received on Tue Apr 06 2004 - 13:55:50 BST

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