Re: Decision on OA policy Lund University

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 18:30:19 +0000

To save time (and minimise multiple snippet-postings) I am posting and
replying to Michael Day's comment in the same message (and appending
Heather Morrison's at the end):

On Wed, 14 Dec 2005, Michael Day <> wrote:

> > SH: If one slight change is made to the Lund OA policy, the "strongly
> > recommends" can be uncontroversially changed into a "requires":
> Surely the main difference is that _requiring_ something means that an
> organisation needs to set up some kind of monitoring and/or enforcement
> regime? This is not just a matter of semantics but would have genuine
> resource implications.
> Michael Day
> Research Officer
> UKOLN, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, United Kingdom

Yes, there are resource implications, but not the (minor) administrative ones
(for monitoring compliance) that Michael Day is alluding to here. The major
resource implications are the researcher and institutional revenue losses from
*failing* to maximise the impact of their research output (by requiring it):

    Maximising the Return on the UK's Public Investment in Research

It is already quite clear, both from international survey data on
researchers' self-report data on future compliance with self-archiving

    Open access self-archiving: An author study

and from actual statistics for self-archiving rates for "recommended"
versus "required" self-archiving policies

    Comparison of Deposit Policies

that recommendations simply do not work and requirements definitely do.

Depositing papers in the author's institutional IR is a record-keeping matter,
just like updating a CV for annual performance review. Yes, something has to
be put into monitoring compliance, but a sensible policy will just make it
a routine part of performance review (and, in UK universities, RAE).

And the thing to keep in mind is the resourcing implications of *not*
requiring deposit (because all the evidence is that if you don't require
deposit, you don't get much depositing -- just as if you do not require
publish-or-perish you don't get much publishing).

Or is Michael worried about the resource implications of requiring publishing

Another opinion (this time favorable) about requiring vs. recommending follows
below. I recommend setting aside opinions and looking at the actual objective
evidence, which is all favorable.

Stevan Harnad

On Wed, 14 Dec 2005, Heather Morrison wrote:

> SH: If one slight change is made to the Lund OA policy, the "strongly
> recommends" can be uncontroversially changed into a "requires":

Good suggestion, Stevan - one worth highlighting and repeating. No
doubt universities wish to develop flexible policies to accommodate
faculty choice, however, a requirement is much more empowering for a
faculty member than a strong recommendation. In the rare instance
where a faculty member wishes to publish with one of the very few
remaining publishers with no green self-archiving rights, it is much
easier for the faculty member if they are required to self-archive.
A recommendation is more likely to invite negotiations, wasting the
researcher's time, while a requirement is more likely to invite
either a change or an exception to a publisher's policy.

hope this helps,

Heather Morrison
Received on Wed Dec 14 2005 - 18:40:41 GMT

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