Re: What Provosts Need to Mandate

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2005 11:50:22 +0100

On Wed, 8 Jun 2005, Subbiah Arunachalam wrote:

> Dear Stevan:
> Here is a query from a CSIR librarian (at National Institute of
> Oceanography, Goa). Why is it that not all entries in OAIster
> have full text? he asks.

Dear Arun,

The answer is very simple:

Because only 15% of OA's target content (the annual 2.5 million full-text
research articles published in the world's 24,000 journals) is as yet
being self-archived, worldwide.

That is OA's problem. That is why we do not yet have 100% OA. And that
is why so much of OAIster

and even of most institutional "OA" repository content

is currently just *metadata,* not full-text.

And the solution is also 100% clear:

As and when the institutions that produce the 2.5 million annual research
articles in the 24,000 journals (and the research-funders that fund it)
*mandate* that the articles they produce must be self-archived, we will
have 100% OA.

The publishers are not to blame. 92% of them have already given their
green light to self-archiving. They cannot be expected to perform the
authors' keystrokes for them!

In a sense the researchers are to blame, because 85% of them do not yet
self-archive all their work. But the latest JISC author survey (Swan &
Brown 2005)

    Swan, Alma and Brown, Sheridan (2005) Open access self-archiving: An
    author study. Technical Report, Joint Information Systems Committee
    (JISC), UK FE and HE funding councils (not yet published). Preprint:

indicates as clearly as one can indicate to those who have eyes to see
and ears to hear that the researchers themselves *state explicitly*
that they are quite busy and that -- just as they *publish* only because
of the publish-or-perish carrot/stick incentives their institutions and
funders have in place -- they will only self-archive if and when their
institutions and funders *require* them to do self-archive.

But if and when their institutions and funders do require them to do so, 81%
(of the over 1300 sampled researchers worldwide, across all disciplines)
respond that they *will* self-archive, and self-srchive *willingly*
(14% will self-archive reluctantly, and 5% respond that they will not comply).

The actual results for the only two institutions worldwide that have so
far actually implemented such a self-archiving mandate -- (1) the Southampton
University Department of Electronics and Computer Science and (2) CERN --
have borne this out completely. Their self-archiving rates for their current
annual research output are now both over 90%:

So there is your answer, Arun! The rest is just about when institutions and
funders will go ahead and do the obvious, in order to reach the optimal
and inevitable (100% OA).

The signs are positive (University of Bielefeld is the lastest to announce
a clear, definitive self-archiving policy),

but the rate of institutional OA self-archiving policy adoption is
still awaiting its definitive growth-spurt. Let us hope that that will
come with the long-awaited and imminent announcement of the RCUK policy

    "Will the RCUK support OA?"

if that indeed takes the form recommended by the UK Science and Technology
Select Committee and the Berlin Declaration:

Best wishes,


> Arun
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Dr. Murari P Tapaswi"
> To: "Subbiah Arunachalam"
> Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2005 12:55 PM
> Subject: Re: [LIS-Forum] Promoting open Access
> > Dear Dr Arunachalam,
> >
> > I always read many of your mails on OA with interest and curse myself
> > because I am, so far, unable to contribute anything in this area.
> >
> > I tried to reach to the link you provided below and had a test search
> > (searched on Indian ocean AND nodules). It retrieved 4 items. Of the 4
> > items
> > only 1 item had a full-text access. Is it not a waste of time to do this
> > exercise with a hope that we would get access to the full-text literature?
> > Please pardon me for a straight question.
> >
> > Regards, - Tapaswi
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Subbiah Arunachalam"
> > To: "c3net" <>; <>;
> > <>
> > Sent: Tuesday, June 07, 2005 4:01 PM
> > Subject: [LIS-Forum] Promoting open Access
> >
> >
> > Friends:
> >
> > Promoting open access has at least two parts. One is to set up an archive
> > at one's own institution, as Rajashekar had done at IISc, and populate it
> > with the institution's research papers quickly. The second part is to help the
> > faculty and students (and researchers in general) to take advantage of the
> > increasing number of papers in the world's open archives.
> >
> > Please tell all your clients (research scientists, professors and
> > students) to search for papers relevant to their work using
> >;page=simple.
> >
> > There are 5,475,850 records from 480 institutions as of 5 June 2005. And
> > the number is increasing every day.
> >
> > Best wishes.
> >
> > Arun
> >> _______________________________________________
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> >>
> >>
> >>
Received on Wed Jun 08 2005 - 11:50:22 BST

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