Re: Central versus institutional self-archiving

From: Jan Velterop <>
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 2004 18:03:10 +0100

There are (at least) three, interrelated, problems:
(1) Not every researcher deposits his or her research articles in an
open repository/archive;
(2) Not every institution has an open repository/archive;
(3) Not every funder mandates -- or even encourages -- open access
publishing and/or open access provision via self-archiving.

I'm not sure that exchanges about what is best, what is bester, and what
is bestest is very helpful in solving these problems.

Ad (1): Calling researchers that don't yet provide open access to their
papers irrational (or worse) is not likely to work that well; presenting
arguments may be slightly better; relentlessly showing the examples of
what's in it for them, such as improved citations, is likely to work best.
What is being done about that? How many active scientists read the
postings on the AMSCI list? Wide spread is needed. Spread, spread, spread.

Ad (2): Pretending that all institutions already have open repositories
and that every researcher can self-archive his/her articles if only
he/she wants it, as a basis for building a convincing argument, is a
waste of energy. From all the signals I get, it seems that the majority
of institutions don't. This is where central archives, such as PubMed
Central really would help.

Ad (3): Funders' (be they government or not) mandate of open access is
paramount. Requiring deposit in a central or in distributed archives is
secondary. There's little milage in distributed-central thinking, so to
speak. The likelihood of the NIH plan succeeding or not has everything
to do with their willingness to mandate; nothing with their focus on
PubMed Central. Besides, depositing in a central open archive precludes
in no way depositing in an institutional one as well (or just linking
from the institutional one to the central one).

Sorry, I realise that this must be a dissapointlingly short message,
not in keeping with the list's tradition, but I have no time for more;
off to work again, getting the message to authors (we aim at trying to
reach several tens of thousands each week), institutions (we call them all
on the phone), and funders. I'm afraid it's hard work without quick fixes.

Jan Velterop

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jean-Claude Guédon
> Sent: 04 October 2004 12:59
> Subject: Re: Central versus institutional self-archiving
> Here we go...
Received on Mon Oct 04 2004 - 18:03:10 BST

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