Emailing Eprints During Any OA Embargo Period

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 13:11:35 +0000

Below is an item from Peter Suber's OA News, excerpted from a Guardian
article by Richard Wray, announcing that Oxford, Blackwell, and Springer
have agreed to change their copyright agreements to allow immediate
self-archiving of Wellcome-funded articles. This is of course most
welcome, but Oxford, Blackwell, and Springer were already "green"
publishers, meaning that they had already given their green light to
immediate self-archiving by all their authors. Springer is both preprint
and postprint green, and Oxford and Blackwell are preprint green.

In this orgy of embargoes of different durations, may I recommend a
simple light for seeing everyone's way out of the tunnel? Authors can
*always* deposit their own final, refereed drafts (postprints -- not
publisher's PDF) in their Institutional Repository (IR) *immediately
upon acceptance for publication*. Absolutely no permission from anyone
is required for depositing. Then they can decide whether they wish to
set access to that postprint as Open Access (OA) or Restricted Access
(RA). If they set access as RA, the postprint's metadata (author, title,
journalname, date, abstract, etc.) are still accessible to all would-be
users webwide, who can then email the author to request the eprint
(postprint), which the author can immediately email to the requester
(until the day the author elects to re-set the archives postprint as
OA). This guarantees immediate free access and full usage and impact to
all articles, irrespective of embargoes, in the interim. The only delay
will be the eprint requesting/sending turn-around time (which the Eprints
IR software will automatise so as to minimise).

To keep things in focus, you need bear in mind only one incontestable
fact: Research benefits greatly from immediate uptake and usage.

That's all. Researchers can always provide immediate access to their
own eprints if they wish to. Putting the full text on the web, openly
accessible to all, is the fastest, simplest, most efficient, and most
natural way to do this, but putting the metadata on the web
and emailing the eprint is almost as fast, and will do -- until the
embargo frenzy dies the inevitable natural death it deserves!

    Wellcome deal with Oxford, Blackwell, and Springer Richard Wray,
    Wellcome boost for open access, The Guardian, December 15,,16781,1667461,00.html
    2005. Excerpt:

    Three major publishers of scientific research, including Oxford
    University Press, will today announce a deal with The Wellcome Trust,
    the world's second largest charitable funder of medical research
    after Bill Gates, that will see thousands of research papers available
    free to everyone over the internet....The Wellcome Trust has emerged
    as a major proponent of open access and mandates its researchers to
    place a copy of their finished articles on the web for everyone to
    see. Today the Wellcome Trust will announce that three publishers -
    Blackwell, Oxford University Press and Germany's Springer - have all
    agreed to change the licences their authors must sign so that research
    funded by Wellcome but published in their journals can be made freely
    available online as soon as it is published. The Wellcome Trust is
    among a number of medical research funders backing a multi-million
    pound digital research facility, modelled on the US-based PubMed
    Central, where these articles would be stored. News of the deal
    will provide support to Research Councils UK (RCUK) - which brings
    together Britain's eight public research funders. Earlier this year
    RCUK proposed mandating its researchers to get involved in open
    access but some traditional publishers attacked the move as putting
    scientific debate in jeopardy.

    Posted by Peter Suber at 12/14/2005 10:20:00 PM.
Received on Thu Dec 15 2005 - 13:29:15 GMT

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