Re: Open access and self archiving

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2005 20:18:14 +0100

On Fri, 29 Jul 2005, David Brailsford wrote:

> other disciplines such self-archiving would be regarded as
> yet another burdensome chore.... Life Scientists and the Medics will
> largely take the view that they *shouldn't have to lift a finger* to
> do self-archiving.

They needn't. Their library staff, students or even clerical staff
can do the few keystrokes involved for them:

    St Andrews Eprints: Let us Archive it for you!

    Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2005) Keystroke Economy: A Study of the
    Time and Effort Involved in Self-Archiving

But that's not enough either, and researchers have said so, explicitly,
in two international cross-disciplinary JISC Surveys: They will not
self-archive -- either themselves or by proxy -- till their universities
and/or research-funders require it; but if/when they do require it, they
will self-archive and self-archive *willingly* -- just as they publish
[or perish] willingly:

    Open access self-archiving: An Introduction

Not even the empirical evidence of the OA impact advantage, and not even
when translated into dollars, is enough:

    "There is now a growing number of studies on research impact
    for articles across all fields, in each case comparing the
    citation counts (always within the same journal and year)
    for articles that have and have not been self-archived by
    their authors. With virtually no exceptions the articles that
    have self-archived supplements are turning out to have 50%
    to over 300% greater research impact than those that do not: Considering that
    90% of research articles today have 5 or fewer citations, this is
    a dramatic result for research progress itself, even before we try
    to translate it into its financial "worth" to researchers and their
    institutions in terms of prestige and research income in 2005.

    "The dollar value (in salary and grant income) of one citation varies
    from field to field, depending on the average number of authors,
    papers and citations in the field; the marginal value of one
    citation also varies with the citation range (0 to 1 being a bigger
    increment than 30 to 31, since 60% of articles are not cited at all,
    90% have 0-5 citations, and very few have more than 30 citations:
    A still much-cited study estimated the "worth" of one
    citation (depending on field and range) in 1986 at $50-$1300: (This
    has of course risen in the ensuing 20 years.)"

Only a university/funder mandate will induce all or most researchers
to do the optimal and inevitable (exactly as the UK Select Committee
recommended, as RCUK proposes, and as the RAE and universities should
back up, with their own self-archiving mandates:

> if you would all like to make the effort worthwhile (and raise my
> Impact Factor) by citing any of the rebuilt papers in:

So why not put them (yourself or by proxy) into Nottingham's
own OAI-compliant IR! It currently contains only 75 papers
(because Nottingham does not yet have a self-archiving policy).

    * 1992 (1)
    * 1994 (1)
    * 1995 (2)
    * 1996 (1)
    * 1998 (5)
    * 1999 (12)
    * 2000 (10)
    * 2001 (16)
    * 2002 (4)
    * 2003 (7)
    * 2004 (13)
    * 2005 (3)

Your 33 PDF papers would immediately raise that 75 by 44% -- and make
your work searchable by the OAI search engines trained specifically
on the OAI literature and not the web as a whole.

The two institutions with self-archiving mandates (Southampton
ECS and CERN) now have over 90% of their current output OA:

Stevan Harnad
Professor of Cognitive Science
Department of Electronics and Computer Science
University of Southampton
Highfield, Southampton
phone: +44 23-80 592-388
fax: +44 23-80 592-865
Received on Fri Jul 29 2005 - 20:23:04 BST

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