Suggested text for our recommendation to EC

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2006 11:35:51 -0400

Dear Colleagues, without further ado, here is the amalgamated version of
what I hope will be our joint recommendation to EC regarding their
Recommandation A1. Best wishes, Stevan

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Suggestion for Optimising the European Commission's Recommendation to
Mandate Open Access Archiving of Publicly-Funded Research

The European Commission "Study on the Economic and Technical Evolution of
the Scientific Publication Markets in Europe" has made the following
policy recommendation:



"Research funding agencies have a central role in determining
researchers' publishing practices. Following the lead of the NIH and
other institutions, they should promote and support the archiving of
publications in open repositories, after a (possibly domain-specific)
time period to be discussed with publishers. This archiving could become
a condition for funding. The following actions could be taken at the
European level: (i) Establish a Europea policy mandating published
articles arising from EC-funded research to be available after a given
time period in open access archives [emphasis added], and (ii) Explore
with Member States and with European research and academic associations
whether and how such policies and open repositories could be

The European Commission^“s Recommendation† A1 is very welcome and
potentially very important, but it can be made incomparably more
effective with just one very simple but critical revision concerning what
needs to be deposited, when (hence what can and cannot be delayed):

For the purposes of Open Access, a research paper has two elements ^÷ (i)
the whole document itself (called the ^”full-text) and (ii) its
bibliographic metadata (its title, date, details of the authors, their
institutions, the abstract and so forth). This bibliographic information
can exist as an independent entity in its own right and serves to alert
would-be users to the existence of the full-text article itself.

EC Recommendation A1 should distinguish between† first (a) depositing the
full text of a journal article in the author^“s Institutional Repository
and then deciding whether to (b1) allow Open Access to that full-text
deposit, or to (b2) allow Open Access only to its bibliographic metadata
and not the full-text. EC Recommendation A1 should accordingly specify
the following:

 1. Depositing the full-text of all journal articles in the author's
    Institutional Repository is mandatory immediately upon acceptance for
    publication for all EC-funded research findings, without exception.

 1. In addition, allowing Open Access to the article^“s bibliographic
    metadata at the time of deposit (i.e., immediately upon acceptance
    for publication) is always mandatory.

 1. However, allowing Open Access to the full-text of the article itself
    immediately upon deposit is merely encouraged wherever possible, but
    not mandatory; full-text access can be made Open Access at a later
    time if necessary: The Institutional Repository software enables the
    author to allow Open Access to either the whole article or to its
    bibliographic metadata only.

This separate treatment of the rules for (a) depositing and for (b)
access-setting provides authors with the means of abiding by the
copyright regulations for the articles published in the 7% of journals
that have not yet explicitly given their official green light to authors
to provide immediate Open Access through self-archiving (as† 93% of
journals have already done). Authors can make their full-text Open Access
at the time agreed with the publisher simply by changing the
access-setting for the deposit at the chosen time.

Meanwhile, however, the †bibliographic metadata for all articles are and
remain openly accessible to everyone from the moment of acceptance for
publication, informing users of the existence and whereabouts of the
article. During any publisher-imposed embargo period, would-be users who
access the metadata and find that they cannot access the full-text can
email the author individually to request an eprint -- and the author can
then choose to email the eprint to the requester, or not, as he wishes,
exactly as authors did in paper reprint days.

The European Commission is urged to make this small but extremely
important change in its policy recommendation. It means the difference
between immediate 100% Open Access and delayed, embargoed access for
years to come.

Pertinent Prior American Scientist Open Access Forum Topic Threads:


"Evolving Publisher Copyright Policies On Self-Archiving"


^”Draft Policy for Self-Archiving University Research Output^‘

"What Provosts Need to Mandate"

"Recommendations for UK Open-Access Provision Policy"


"University policy mandating self-archiving of research output"

"Mandating OA around the corner?"

"Implementing the US/UK recommendation to mandate OA Self-Archiving"

"A Simple Way to Optimize the NIH Public Access Policy"


"Comparing the Wellcome OA Policy and the RCUK (draft) Policy"

"New international study demonstrates worldwide readiness for Open Access

"DASER 2 IR Meeting and NIH Public Access Policy"

"Mandated OA for publicly-funded medical research in the US"


"Mandatory policy report" (2)

"The U.S. CURES Act would mandate OA"

"Generic Rationale and Model for University Open Access Mandate""

"U. California: Publishing Reform, University Self-Publishing and Open

"A Simple Way to Optimize the NIH Public Access Policy"

"Optimizing Open Access Guidelines of Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft"

"Optimizing MIT's Open Access Policy"

Future UK Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) to be Metrics-Based

Optimizing the European Commission's Recommendation for Open Access
Archiving of Publicly-Funded Research


Why it is so important that research should be deposited immediately,
rather than delayed/embargoed

The reasons are six:

(1) Science is done (and funded) in order to be used, not in order to be

(2) For fast-moving areas of science especially, the first few months
from publication are the most important time for usage and progress
through immediate uptake and application to further ongoing research
worldwide. Studies show that early usage has a large, permanent effect on
research impact (Kurtz et al. 2004; Brody & Harnad 2006). Limiting the
possibility of early usage therefore means a large and permanent loss of
potential research impact.

(3) If the metadata of all Restricted Access articles are visible
worldwide immediately alongside all Open Access articles, individual
researchers emailing the author for an eprint of the full text will
maximise early uptake and usage almost as rapidly and effectively as
setting access privileges to Open Access immediately. The institutional
repository software is designed to simplify and accelerate this to just a
few keystrokes.

(4) For this, it is critical that the deposit of both the full-text and
bibliographic metadata should be immediate (upon acceptance for
publication) and not delayed.

(5) If the EC policy were instead to allow the deposit to be delayed for
6-12 months or more, the result would be to entrench instead of to
eliminate usage-denial for research findings that were made and published
in order to be used, immediately.

(6) Publisher copyright agreements concern making the full text publicly
accessible, whereas authors depositing their full-texts in their own
institution's repository without public access -- and emailing individual
eprints on request from fellow-researchers -- constitutes Fair Use.

(a) Self-archiving increases research usage and impact by 25-250%

(b) But only 15% of researchers as yet self-archive spontaneously

(d) 95% of researchers report they will comply if self-archiving is
mandated by their institution and/or research funder

(d) 93% of journals already officially endorse author self-archiving

(e) For the remaining 7% of articles, immediate deposit can still be
mandated, and for the time being access can be provided by emailing the

Open Access maximises research access, usage, impact and progress,
maximising benefits to research itself, to researchers, their
institutions, their funders, and those who fund the funders, i.e., the
tax-paying public for whose ultimate benefit the research is done. Access
to the research corpus also provides secondary benefits to students,
teachers, the developing world, industry, and the general public.

ROAR (Registry of Open Access Repositories) tracks the Institutional and
Central Open Access Repositories worldwide as well the individual growth
of each.

     ROARMAP (Registry of Open Access Repository Material Access Policies)
         tracks the adoption of Open Access Self-Archiving Policies in
                             institutions worldwide

ROMEO (Directory or Journal Open Access Self-Archiving Policies): 93% of
the over 9000 journals so far endorse some form of immediate author


Brody, T. and Harnad, S. (2006) Earlier Web Usage Statistics as
Predictors of Later Citation Impact. Journal of the American Association
for Information Science and Technology.

Harnad, S. (2006) Publish or Perish ? Self-Archive to Flourish: The Green
Route to Open Access. ERCIM News 64

Kurtz, M. J., Eichhorn, G., Accomazzi, A., Grant, C. S., Demleitner, M.,
Murray, S. S. (2004) The Effect of Use and Access on Citations
Information Processing and Management 41 (6): 1395-1402
Received on Thu Apr 13 2006 - 16:39:29 BST

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