Re: The self-archiving sweepstakes

From: Eberhard R. Hilf <>
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 14:18:59 +0100

I agree with Subbiah Arunachalam in:

    "On Distinguishing Open Access Self-Archiving from Open Access
    Journal Publishing"

To boost Open Access means to convince (or urge or force or mandate)
research journal article authors to do the following:

    (a) self-archive all material that authors want read and used by
       scholarly colleagues

    (b) self-archive all articles submitted to "full-green"
       (postprint) journals (70%)

    (c) self-archive all articles submitted to "pale-green"
       (preprint) journals (20%)

and for the remaining 10% too: self-archive the preprint before submission
and delete the pertinent clause in the contract [which we have been doing
since 1995, without a single complaint by a publisher] or add a sentence:
"the preprint version has been self-archived on my webserver."

So, how are we to induce authors to self-archive?

    (i) provide authors with the quantitative evidence that they will get
    read and cited if they do [most do not know this yet].

    (ii) mandate self-archiving through the Institute, Government, funding
    agency, because it increases the scientific visibility and impact of
    the institution and should thus be added to employee, grant-fundee and
    institutional performance review procedures.

    (iii) Inform authors how simple it is to self-archive (e.g.):
    - fill in a simple form
    - download the resulting file and put it,
    together with your document, on any webserver
    (personal, workgroup, institute, University,..)
    - link from and to link collections of the department
    or related collections.

That's it. The metadata will pave the way to the big search engines.

So, what has been tried so far?

    (1) To design services such as PhysNet www.physnet.neet and wait for
    the authors to understand and act (or harvest documents)? This has
    been since 1995.

    (2) discuss with like-minded colleagues, such as the participants
    in this forum and discuss subtleties of possible strategies?

    (3) publish declarations (like Berlin, Budapest, etc.)?

    (4) offer FAQs (such as Harnad's), 31 worries and their replies
    and Argumente (in german)
    etc. and wait for someone to read them.

    (5) design and implement University publishing services and wait for the
   customer to come.

None of these strategies has yet been altogether successful in the
sense of generating a dramatic burst in self-archiving. Instead,
we have seen a continuous, steady slow increase since 1994 --
although there are some signs it may now be accelerating:

Thus we must look for more efficient ways to reach out to authors.
Any practical proposals will be praised and tried.
The good luck is that now one can test them:

- The collaborative ISI studies:

    Brody, T., Stamerjohanns, H., Vallieres, F., Harnad, S. Gingras,
    Y., & Oppenheim, C. (2004) The effect of Open Access on Citation
    Impact. Presented at: National Policies on Open Access (OA) Provision
    for University Research Output: an International meeting, Southampton,
    19 February 2004.

    Harnad, S., Brody, T., Vallieres, F., Carr, L., Hitchcock, S.,
    Gingras, Y, Oppenheim, C., Stamerjohanns, H., & Hilf, E. (2004)
    The green and the gold roads to Open Access. Nature Web Focus.

can be repeated and followed over time over specific journals where the
authors have been addressed at a given time

- in citeseer

we have weblogs and can measure the real effect of taking the
step of self-archiving.

So, come up with a way to reach the OA content-providers -- research
article authors -- and we will try to measure the effects for them!
The nice thing about our (research) community is that we can
act pro-actively, propose ideas, try them out, and measure the outcome!

Yes, I know, that mandating self-archiving as a condition for receiving
research funding is the most effective way to generate OA (and underway)
but I am also looking for additional effective ways to accelerate the

Yours Eberhard R. Hilf


    Initial AmSci Topic Thread:
    "The self-archiving sweepstakes"
Received on Fri Sep 10 2004 - 14:18:59 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:47:34 GMT