Re: Forthcoming OA Developments in France

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Sat, 1 Jul 2006 12:07:32 +0100 (BST)

On Sat, 1 Jul 2006, Richard Feinman wrote:

> I meant that I didn't see why it is considered a step forward. Without
> some consistent link from a search engine, I suspect researchers don't see
> the point. (Are there data on how often archived papers are accessed ?).

(1) All major search engines harvest OA Institutional and Central Repository

(2) There are also OAI-compliant harvesters and search engines specialising in the
OA content (OAIster, Citebase, CiteSeer, Scirus, Scopus, Google Scholar)

(3) OA is not a search engine problem, it is an access problem.

(4) For data on how OA increases citations and downloads, see:

> If a paper isn't accessible, researchers tend to write to the authors who
> will send you a pdf (legally or otherwise).

Correct, but that is incomparably more time-consuming and inefficient --
hence much less functional -- than a click, for browsing and usage, no
search for author email address, no wait, and no dependence on whether
author has or will email the PDF. OA would provide that for all papers,
instantly, with one click. (OA Institutional Repositories do have a
semi-automatic email-eprint-request button which speeds the process: ).

> Also, I think the idea that
> you can't post the final version seems ridiculous to most people but, of
> course, that gets back to the global question.

Who says one can't post the final version? The final version is the author's
refereed, accepted final draft. No need for the publisher's PDF. Or are you
referring to the 24% of journals that have so far only endorsed the self-archiving
of the unrefereed preprint, not the final refereed draft? With 70% endorsing the
self-archiving of the final draft, I think the semi-automatic email-eprint-request
button will do for the time being, for the remaining 24% (plus the 6% for which even
preprint self-archiving has not been endorsed by the publisher), if the preprint
plus corrections is found too ridiculous (I agree), or the author is foolish
enough to comply with a *pre-submission* requirement not to self-archive the

The spread of OA self-archiving mandates and the growth of the systematic practice
of self-archiving both text and metadata upon acceptance for publication will
ensure that all ridiculousness and foolishness will phase itself out in short
order, as nature takes its course.

Stevan Harnad

> On Wed, 28 Jun 2006, Richard Feinman wrote:
> > I don't understand self-archiving.
> Please let me explain it to you: It is researchers making the
> final refereed drafts of their own published articles freely
> accessible on the web for those would-be users who cannot afford
> access to the publisher's version.
> Self-Archiving FAQ
> > Isn't that another bizarre practice of having the author assume
> > a task which should be done by the publisher.
> Not in the least. The publisher implements the peer review,
> performs the copy-editing, markup, composition, printing and
> distribution, in print and on paper. In exchange, he receives
> subscription revenue. It is not the publisher's task to provide
> access to those who cannot afford his product. If the author
> wants those potential users to have access too, he needs to
> provide it. But all it costs is a few minutes and keystrokes per
> paper, and what it brings is substantially more usage and impact:
> Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2005) Keystroke Economy: A Study of the
> Time and Effort Involved in Self-Archiving.
> Bibliography of Findings on the Open Access Impact Advantage
> > Does it not highlight the intent of publishers to reduce access
> > to the author's article. Are they not saying: sure we'll
> > publish it but if you want everybody to be able to read it you
> > have to take care of that.
> Nothing of the sort. The head-shaker is not that publishers won't
> do it for authors. (It's more than enough if publishers simply
> give author self-archiving their green light, as the publishers
> of 94% of journals already do -- and if they do not lobby against
> research-funder self-archiving mandates.)
> The real head-shaker is that, despite the substantial benefits to
> them, only 15% of researchers self-archive spontaneously. This is
> why self-archiving mandates were needed. Fortunately, the
> mandates are coming, at long last:
> Swan, A. (2005) Open access self-archiving: An Introduction.
> Technical
> Report, JISC.
> UK (RCUK):
> EC:
> Stevan Harnad
Received on Tue Jul 04 2006 - 04:56:05 BST

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