Re: What Provosts Need to Mandate

From: Simeon Warner <>
Date: Fri, 9 Jul 2004 14:26:20 +0100

I think there may be a difference between what universities ("employers")
and funding-bodies can reasonably require. There seems sometimes to be an
element of love-hate between scholars and their universities, but with
funding bodies it seems to be a simpler business relationship. If the next
NSF grant I'm involed with said "all publications resulting from this work
must be deposited in open access repositories" then I see that as no less
reasonable than requiring a report within 90days of the end of the grant.
Recall that we already associate publications with grants in the
acknowledgements of publications. In areas where author-pays models are
being tried, the funding bodies might also promote with cash: "up to $xxx
additional funding is available for journal-submission charges of OA
journals". (Some funding bodies, including the NSF, already permit grant
funds to be used to pay such charges, see:

Where institutions may not feel that they can or want to mandate OA
publication then they may still promote OA by: 1) adopting a policy
promoting OA; 2) educating their faculty about this policy, the benefits
(to the faculty) of OA, and OA publishing options; and 3) offering
practical help in submitting articles to local institutional repositories
or to other OA repositories.

The statement from the president of the Universitat Hamburg submitted to
Stevan's signup page (see, for
example, strongly supports OA without indicating a requirement that
faculty make all publications OA.


Simeon Warner Email:
Cornell Information Science Tel: 607-254-8605
301 College Ave Fax: 607-255-5196
Ithaca, NY 14850-4623, USA

On Thu, 8 Jul 2004, David Goodman wrote:
> The key to Stevan's argument is in the words he quotes:
> "asked authors to say how they would feel if their employer or
> funding body required them to deposit copies of their published
> articles"
> He apparently regards scientists and other scholars as workers,
> constrained to follow the will of their "employer" or "funding body."
> To the extent that this reflects reality, it emphasizes my previous statement.
> David G
> Dr. David Goodman
> Associate Professor
> Palmer Library School, LIU
> and, formerly,
> Princeton University Library
> -----Original Message-----
> From: SPARC Open Access Forum on behalf of Stevan Harnad
> Sent: Thu 7/8/2004 8:33 AM
> To: SPARC Open Access Forum
> Cc:
> Subject: Re: What Provosts Need to Mandate
> David Goodman unfortunately misunderstands the nature and purpose of an
> institutional requirement to provide Open Access [OA] to publications
> -- publications already required by the existing institutional
> publish-or-perish policy. The requirement puts no contraint whatsoever
> on where or how research is published, only on its accessibility. David
> instead gets carried away by some (rather alarmist!) subjective
> speculations of his own, having nothing to do with what it being
> proposed:
> On Wed, 7 Jul 2004, David Goodman wrote:
> > We should never ask or permit any governing body, private or official,
> > to impose any requirement on anyone about the manner they choose to
> > publish.
> No one has proposed anything of the sort! It continues to be 100% up to
> the author in what journal they publish. Authors need only provide Open
> Access to their publication. It would be a good idea to read the actual
> measures proposed, before taking an abstract ideological stance:
> It would also be a good idea to note what authors themselves say about
> such a requirement:
> Swan & Brown's (2004) JISC/OSI author survey
> "asked authors to say how they would feel if their employer or
> funding body required them to deposit copies of their published
> articles in... repositories. The vast majority... said they would
> do so willingly."
> Swan, A. & Brown, S.N. (2004) JISC/OSI Journal Authors Survey
> Report.
> Swan, A. & Brown, S.N. (2004) Authors and open access
> publishing. Learned Publishing 2004:17(3) 219-224.
> > The most that can safely be said is that just as an individual university
> > can insist on certain arbitrary standards for publications that count
> > for hiring, promotion or tenure, it can insist on OA for that purpose.
> Completely irrelevant. We are not talking about setting arbitrary
> standards for publishing. We are talking about publishing in the
> peer-reviewed journals of the authors' choice, exactly as before,
> but about now making those articles openly accessible online to all their
> would-be users toll-free, so as to maximize their usage and impact.
> > It is a dangerous error to say that any such requirement may be imposed
> > by a political body or by a funding body, or on a state- or nation-wide
> > basis. To illustrate, suppose an organization or government were to
> > demand that none of them be published in OA journals--they have no more
> > right to do that than to do the opposite.
> David has gone off into subjective speculations of his own here. What
> was proposed was merely that authors should provide toll-free access to
> their publications by adding a few extra keystrokes to the ones they
> already to in order to write, submit, and revise them for publication --
> to self-archive them.
> Yes, a university and funding agency *can* (and should, and will) require
> these few extra keystrokes -- as surely as it can require the keystrokes
> for publishing in the first place.
> Let us not wrap this simple, reasonable (and probable) measure in an
> alarmist mantle of "dangerous errors," "state requirements," and
> "arbitrary standards." We are talking about providing OA to our journal
> articles, that's all!
> Stevan Harnad
Received on Fri Jul 09 2004 - 14:26:20 BST

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