Re: What Provosts Need to Mandate

From: Michael Carroll <Carroll_at_LAW.VILLANOVA.EDU>
Date: Thu, 5 May 2005 09:22:12 -0400


   I have a question that I'm sure you've covered this in a prior
posting, but it would help to get the executive summary version of your
answer. I hear you to be arguing:

1. 100% OA is desirable from society's perspective.
2. 100% OA also is in authors' and their employing institutions' self
interest, respectively.
3. 100% OA does not require changes in business models or allocations
of copyright.
4. Technological hurdles to 100% OA are trivial.
5. Therefore the only real obstacle to 100% OA (at least in STM
literature) is authors' unwillingness to step over the trivial
technological hurdle.

My question to you as a scientist is why? What explains the failure of
so many authors to act in their self interest?

To put it another way, your consistent response to various posts is
that they miss the point - the only thing that has to happen is to get
scientists to use the rights they have under their copyright agreements
to self-archive. If we all were to agree with you, what action(s)
has/have to occur to bring about that change in behavior?

One answer could be that institutions have to mandate self-archiving
(and I know you have many posts along these lines), and the studies show
that many scientists would welcome such a mandate. But that response
actually indicates that scientists either (a) don't know that they
already can self archive; or (b) don't think the benefits to them of
self-archiving are worth the costs of doing it unless they're ordered

If your answer is along one of these lines, what specific actions need
to be taken - and by whom - to alter authors' understanding or
cost-benefit calculation?


Michael W. Carroll
Associate Professor of Law
Villanova University School of Law
299 N. Spring Mill Road
Villanova, PA 19085
610-519-7088 (voice)
610-519-5672 (fax)
Research papers at

See also
Received on Thu May 05 2005 - 14:22:12 BST

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