Re: Mandating OA around the corner?

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Sat, 24 Dec 2005 14:20:14 +0000

Re-posted from Peter Suber's OA News
(with one query and one correction interpolated by S.H., and list of
prior pertinent AmSci threads added at the end.)

    Will funder mandates and author attitudes kill embargoes?

    Kate Worlock
    Wellcome Trust: The End Of The Embargo?
    Electronic Publishing Services
    December 22, 2005
    (accessible only to subscribers).

    Excerpt: OUP, Blackwell and Springer have changed their copyright
    agreements with authors to allow immediate self-archiving of
    Wellcome-funded research. What will agreements of this sort mean
    for publisher embargo periods?...To date, attempts to request rather
    than require

[SH: Was this not meant to be "require rather than request"? Unclear without
context: research community would prefer "require," publisher community would
prefer "request."]

    researchers to self-archive have fallen on rather deaf ears,
    so moves like this from Wellcome will be welcomed by open access
    supporters. According to open access advocate Peter Suber, if all
    of the NIH-funded researchers complied with the request to deposit
    articles in PubMed Central, about 5,000 papers would be submitted
    each month. In reality, only 1,878 articles were deposited between
    May and September....From 1st October, Wellcome made it a condition
    of funding that papers emanating from its grant awards be placed in
    an open access repository. This reflects the Research Councils UK's
    (RCUK) draft position statement, issued in September 2005,
    which also made article deposit a condition of funding....Meanwhile
    the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US established a
    working group (PAWG) in May 2005 to review statistical evidence on
    the impact of its policy and suggest any changes to the policy which
    might further its goals...[A]t the group's November 15th meeting, it
    recommended that the researchers be required rather than requested to
    submit an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts
    upon acceptance for publication to PubMed Central, and that delays or
    embargoes imposed by publishers could be no longer than six months
    (down from 12 months)....Another element was recently added to this
    mix with Senator Joseph Lieberman's introduction of the CURES Act,
    a bill which would mandate the deposit of articles within four
    months of publication. There is evidence that authors do not always
    obey embargo periods - Key Perspectives' research found that of the
    eight primary research papers published in the first issue of Nature
    Physics, seven were available on the web on the day of publication
    despite a six month embargo.
    At present most publishers require embargo periods of between six
    and 12 months before an article may be placed in a repository,

[SH: This is *profoundly* incorrect: 93% of journals (75% of publishers)
give their green light to immediate self-archiving: ]

    but these recent announcements, plus the reality of researchers'
    actions, will put pressure on this position. In the short term
    publishers may choose to shorten their embargo periods and to use
    this action as a bid to attract authors or to position themselves as
    forwards-thinking. However, this type of competition cannot last long
    - by the end of 2006 we may have witnessed the death of the embargo.

    Pertinent Prior Amsci Topic Threads:

    "Copyright, Embargo, and the Ingelfinger Rule" (started Jan 2000)

    "Nature's vs. Science's Embargo Policy"

    "What Provosts Need to Mandate" (started Dec 2003)

    "Shulenburger on open access: so NEAR and yet so far"

    "Mandating OA Around the Corner?" (started Jul 2004)

    "New Self-Archiving FAQ: 32: Poisoned Apple"

    "Please Don't Copy-Cat Clone NIH-12 Non-OA Policy!" (started Jan 2005)

    "Open Access vs. NIH Back Access and Nature's Back-Sliding"
Received on Sat Dec 24 2005 - 14:29:25 GMT

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