Re: Question for publishers - Research Assessment Exercise 2008

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2006 13:08:18 +0000

Let's be even briefer: I agree with everything Fytton writes below, except
that licensing is or ever was necessary. What Fytton misses, however,
is the *causal connection* between the filling of each institution's IR
by 2008 (about which he is pessimistic) and the RAE blanket licensing
arrangement (which he thinks is/was necessary).

In point of fact, RAE's licensing the content from publishers, instead of
*mandating* that it be deposited in each institution's IR, was a natural
opportunity, missed.

Let us hope that RCUK will not miss the opportunity: We *can* have 100%
OA by 2008; all we have to do is mandate it!

(And authors have as much as *told* us so, with 95% ready to comply
as soon as required, and the 2 universities [QUT, Minho], 1 research
institution [CERN] and 1 university department [Southampton ECS] that
have already had the good sense to mandate, already reporting success
rates well on the road toward 100%.)

    Harnad, S., Carr, L., Brody, T. & Oppenheim, C. (2003) Mandated
    online RAE CVs Linked to University Eprint Archives: Improving
    the UK Research Assessment Exercise whilst making it cheaper and
    easier. Ariadne 35.

    Swan, A. (2005) Open access self-archiving: An Introduction. Technical
    Report, JISC, HEFCE.

    RCUK Draft Proposal

    Mandates so far:

Stevan Harnad

On Mon, 20 Feb 2006, J.F.B.Rowland wrote:

> Let's try and be brief!
> At the 2001 RAE and previous ones, each higher educational institution had to
> provide paper copies - usually photocopies - of all the papers submitted by
> any members of its staff as their four chosen papers. The unproductive work
> involved for universities to achieve this was substantial and expensive. And
> as the copying was not 'for personal study or research', but rather for
> administrative purposes, there could have been even more wasted effort and
> expense in getting copyright permission for each and every one. Fortunately
> a degree of sanity prevailed and a blanket copying licence was agreed for
> this specific purpose.
> For the 2008 RAE a further degree of sanity is injected, in that electronic
> access is required to be provided. If all of the scholarly literature was
> available on OA by then, no problem would arise. Sadly, that is unlikely to
> be achieved by that date. So a similar blanket agreement is required, for
> electronic copies this time.
> However, there is a very strong argument for Institutional Repositories
> here. If an HEI had managed by 2008 to get an IR set up which had all of
> the published work of its staff (at least post-2000) mounted on it, then the
> university could fulfil the requirements for the RAE submission very
> readily. If some of the publishers would not permit OA to the articles for
> which they hold the copyright, the articles could still be included in the
> IR but access to them could be limited to the RAE panels, under the
> agreement with the PLS.
> My own university already maintains a database of *references* to all of its
> staff's output. Links from this database to the IR could provide the full
> texts.
> Fytton Rowland, Loughborough University, UK.
Received on Mon Feb 20 2006 - 13:20:15 GMT

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