Re: The self-archiving sweepstakes

From: Waaijers, Leo <>
Date: Wed, 26 May 2004 17:57:19 +0100

    [Moderator's note follows below this posting.]

In The Netherlands all universities plus the Academy and the Dutch Science
Foundation have set up institutional repositories in the framework of the
DARE Programme. They are all part of the OAIster collection. Together
the Dutch repositories contain plus 20.000 publications. This is not
too much but we are working on that. At the same time we propagate OA
journals. In fact a number of universities are institutional members of
BMC. So, we follow both OA roads actively without feeling ambivalent or
experiencing the need to constantly compare the two roads.

The only point is that self archiving of toll gated articles is expensive.
Of course, not the bare deed of the archiving itself is expensive. But this
is only the final step in a proces that starts with the submission of the
article. For those who neglect the (price of) the trajectory from submission
to publication in a toll gated journal, self archiving is the perfect
solution: high quality articles for free! For those who pay for this
trajectory, i.c. the libraries, self archiving is better than nothing but it
is far from a sustainable solution. As a consequence, libraries will keep
seeking for cheaper solutions. OA journals provide such a solution (see a.o.
report Wellcome Trust) but Yahoo or Google, giving direct access to
institutional repositories may be the starting points for other solutions.

Leo Waaijers.

    It is welcome news that in the Netherlands, under DARE,
    all universities have set up OA Eprint Archives and that they
    already contain 20,000 articles. As noted in the prior posting,
    the Netherlands is already 5th in the international self-archiving
    * United States (54)
    * United Kingdom (26)
    * Canada (17)
    * Sweden (13)
    * Netherlands (12)
    "DARE: a new age in the provision of academic information" (2002)
    The ones who need to compare the two roads to OA -- the gold and
    green roads -- are not those who are already actively travelling
    both of them, but those who are not, and especially those who think
    the golden road is the sole road, or the surest, or the fastest.
    But -- assuming that 20,000 articles does not yet reflect the
    full annual journal article output of the Netherlands -- would it
    not help if the research and library community in the Netherlands
    implemented an explicit policy for filling those archives, in addition
    to creating them?
Leo Waaijers writes:
>       "...self archiving of toll gated articles is
>       expensive... [N]ot... the archiving itself... [b]ut [the whole]
>       process that starts with the submission of the article... For
>       those who pay for this trajectory, i.e. the libraries, self
>       archiving is better than nothing but it is far from a sustainable
>       solution."
    The purpose of OA self-archiving (by and for researchers) is
    to maximize research usage and impact by maximizing research
    access. Eventual relief for the library journals budget may or may
    not be an eventual side-effect of OA, but it is not the purpose
    of OA. Nor will the goal of relieving their library's journals
    budget induce researchers to provide OA: The prospect of maximizing
    usage and impact -- plus a systematic institutional policy of thus
    maximizing usage and impact -- will induce researchers to provide
    OA. And if this outcome is only "better than nothing" for libraries,
    it is everything for research and researchers.
    (It is not clear what Leo means by Google/Yahoo coverage of
    institutional OA Eprint Archives as another, cheaper solution:
    A solution to what? Web search engines (Google, Yahoo, OAIster)
    are all part of the self-same self-archiving solution to the problem
    of OA provision.)
    Stevan Harnad, Moderator, American Scientist Open Access Forum
Received on Wed May 26 2004 - 17:57:19 BST

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