Re: Self-Archiving the Refereed Journal Literature

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Fri, 1 Sep 2006 13:48:33 +0100

    Relevant Prior AmSci Topic Thread:
    "Elsevier Gives Authors Green Light for Open Access Self-Archiving" (May 2004)

On Fri, 1 Sep 2006, Mike McGrath, British Library wrote:

> The posting from Stevan [Harnad] on self archiving below sounds good.
> I extract one element of it below and highlight in red the bit I am querying:
> "There is a growing national and international movement for authors
> of peer-reviewed journal articles to self-archive their work
> *in repositories that are openly accessible*.

This quote was actually from the OhioLINK recommendation, not from me
(though I of course fully concur!). Read on:

> In Library Connect Vol 2 No 2 (2004) Elsevier state "The posting
> cannot be for commercial purposes (such as systematic distribution or
> creating links for customers to articles) and it is not permitted to
> post to Web sites outside of their institution ....Similarly posting
> of the journal's PDF or HTML files is not permitted." I commented that
> "Some have suggested that the implication of this is that one would
> need to search each institution's web site separately in order to locate
> relevant material - clearly not often a practical option". (Interlending
> and Document Supply Vol 33 No 1 page 44). It seems to be a murky but
> important area. I suspect that Elsevier would not be keen to push the
> issue as the whole area of copyright assignment is itself pretty murky.

Elsevier is perfectly right in every single one of its stipulations: each
stipulation is reasonable, and perfectly compatible with providing 100%
OA to peer-reviewed research output for all would-be users, webwide,
including visibility and findability via OAI search engines or google,
without the searcher's needing to know the deposit's locus in advance
or to go directly to the site where it is self-archived to seek it:

("Interlending," by the way, is *completely obsolete* for the Open Access
[OA] corpus!)

> Elsevier state
> "The posting cannot be for commercial purposes

This is perfectly fine, and justified. Self-archiving is done by authors
in their own Institutional Repositories, which are not commercial, and
do not sell access, but provide it, free for all, webwide, to their own
research output only. That is the meaning and purpose of OA, nothing else.

> (such as systematic distribution

Again, a university's own IR is not a database selling any systematic redistribution
of a journal's contents. It is making the author's own final drafts -- of those individual
papers that were written by its own employees -- freely available to would-be users
the world over who cannot afford access to the official published version.

The metadata are of course also harvested by google, OAIster and other search engines,
as are all free contents on the web.

The full-texts are also harvested, inverted and cached by google, as are all free
contents on the web. That all comes with the WWW territory.

> or creating links for customers to articles)

Neither the author nor the author's institution is creating any links to articles
for "customers." (Indeed, they include, where available, links to the official version
at the publisher's website.)

If there are commercial harvesters on the web, creating and selling
links from X to Y, that has nothing whatsoever to do with the author or
his institution. Those who may wish to go after such commercial services
legally can go ahead and try to do so (but it would be rather difficult to
pursue, because it too comes with the WWW territory).

The point is irrelevant to author self-archiving in particular.

> it is not permitted to post to Web sites outside of their institution

The optimal way to self-archive is to deposit the author's own final draft
and metadata in the author's own Institutional Repository. Then central
"virtual" repositories need merely harvest the metadata (or full-text,
if desired). This is one of the main reasons the OAI metadata harvesting
protocol was created and why the IR software makes the IRs OAI-compliant.

The era of direct depositing in central repositories such as Arxiv or
PubMed Central is already obsolete, even though well-meaning people
still don't understand or realise it (and suboptimal interim practices
do persist in the few fields where they have become habitual in the past
decade and a half). There is not only no need to deposit centrally any
longer in the OAI-interoperable era of distributed OA IRs and central
harvesting, but depositing centrally is in fact a needless retardant
and complication in the process of systematically providing OA to all
research output through self-archiving. It is a relic of the obsolete
paper-era notion that documents all need to be in one place in order to
be accessed, curated, classified and searched.

Elsevier is hence actually helping OA progress by opposing central self-archiving:
By self-archiving only in their own institution's IR, authors ensure that they are
not redistributing the journal's contents to a potential free-rider or rival publisher.
Reaching 100% OA worldwide is in no way compromised thereby. And universities and funders who
adopt self-archiving policies are thereby encouraged to adopt rational policies, that
will scale up to systematically to cover all of research output, by
specifically mandating that the deposit be done in the author/fundee's
*own* institutional IR rather than a site outside of their institutions.

OAI harvesting will take care of all the rest.

> posting of the journal's PDF or HTML files is not permitted."

This too is perfectly reasonable: The publisher's XML and PDF are his own
proprietary product and OA by no means requires that that version be the
one that is deposited in the author's IR: The author's own peer-reviewed
final draft (postprint) is the one that can and should be deposited. A
link should also point to the publisher's official version.

> M. McGrath:
> "Some have suggested that the implication of this is that one would
> need to search each institution's web site separately in order to locate relevant
> material - clearly not often a practical option".

And clearly completely nonsense, being based on a lack of understanding of the nature of
the web, of web search, or OAI-interoperability.

All of this will become clearer with time. At the moment, though, misunderstandings like
this, freely propagated from one misunderstander to another, are among the remaining
obstacles in the path of OA. Elsevier is certainly not the source or cause of these
misconstruals of the online medium!

> It seems to be a murky but important area.
> I suspect that Elsevier would not be keen to push the
> issue as the whole area of copyright assignment is itself pretty murky.

I am not sure what this comment means. It is not for Elsevier to push self-archiving: It
is enough that they do not attempt to stand in its way. It is for researchers'
institutions and funders to push self-archiving, by mandating it.

The murkiness in all this is in the technical and practical grasp of
what it means to self-archive an article in an OAI-compliant OA IR. But
that murkiness will all clear up as more and more researchers do it,
and more and more universities and funders mandate it.

And copyright assignment has next to nothing to do with it any more (if
it ever did, which I doubt!): Ninety-four percent of journals -- including
all of Elsevier's c. 2000 journals -- have already given their green light
to author self-archiving. It's now up to the authors (or their designees)
to go ahead and do it and their institutions and funders to ensure that
they (or their designees) do it, for their own good, by mandating it. It
is always good to retain copyright where desired and possible, but it is
most definitely *not* a prerequisite -- either for self-archiving, or for
mandating self-archiving, or for reaching 100% OA -- to retain copyright.

Stevan Harnad

Pertinent Prior AmSci Topic Threads:

    "Central versus institutional self-archiving" (Nov 2003)

    "PubMed and self-archiving" (Aug 2003)

    "Central vs. Distributed Archives" (Jun 1999)

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Stevan Harnad" <harnad_at_ECS.SOTON.AC.UK>
> Sent: Thursday, August 31, 2006 8:01 PM
> Subject: Re: Self-Archiving the Refereed Journal Literature
> > Original American Scientist Open Access Forum Thread began:
> >
> > "Self-Archiving the Refereed Journal Literature" (Apr 1999)
> >
> >
> > Below is an excerpt from Peter Suber's Open Access News
> >
> > summarizing OhioLINK's very welcome recommendation to self-archive.
> >
> > What is missing from the otherwise useful information that OhioLINK lists,
> > curiously, is a link to the BOAI Self-Archiving FAQ, in place since 2002!
> >
> >
> >
> > And whereas it is always good to negotiate the retention of rights if
> > an author can and wishes, it is erroneous to imply that that is a *necessary*
> > precondition for self-archiving.
> >
> > With 94% of journals already endorsing immediate (non-embargoed)
> > OA self-archiving
> >
> >
> >
> > and the readily available option, for articles published in the remaining
> > 6%, of depositing their full-texts and metadata too, immediately upon
> > publication, but making only their metadata immediately accessible
> > webwide, while provisionally setting access to their full-text as
> > "Closed Access" during any embargo period:
> >
> >
> >
> > Meanwhile almost-immediate, almost-OA for each individual would-be
> > user can still be provided by the author on an individual basis, via
> > the semi-automatic EMAIL EPRINT REQUEST button now being added to the
> > principle Institutional Repository (IR) softwares:
> >
> >
> >
> > Hence it is now possible to self-archive 100% of the final drafts of
> > peer-reviewed journal articles whether or not the author can or wishes
> > to successfully negotiate the retention of rights. *Do not wait for
> > successful rights negotiation before self-archiving -- or before
> > mandating self-archiving*. Self-archive now, for the sake of research
> > impact and progress (and negotiate after, if you wish).
> >
> > And on no account feel that you need to switch journals in order to do
> > this!
> >
> > Stevan Harnad
> >
> > ------------
> >
> > Excerpt from Peter Suber's Open Access News
> >
> >
> > Retain the rights to self-archive and then self-archive
> >
> > OhioLINK is recommending that Ohio scholars retain the rights they need
> > for self-archiving and then that they actually self-archive. From its
> > important statement of recommendations (approved in May, released
> > yesterday):
> >
> >
> > There is a growing national and international movement for authors
> > of peer-reviewed journal articles to self-archive their work in
> > repositories that are openly accessible. Open access archiving has major
> > advantages over sole reliance on the traditional publishing model. It
> > substantially increases all researchers' access to the research
> > literature. There is strong evidence
> >
> >
> >
> > that articles that are made openly accessible have substantially
> > more research impact than articles that are available only through
> > subscriptions and licenses....OhioLINK is building the Digital
> > Resource Commons (DRC) for [the] purpose [of self-archiving by
> > Ohio scholars]....
> >
> > If traditional publication policies are followed, Ohio authors will
> > not retain the rights to disseminate their own works in electronic
> > form....If this continues, the academic community foregoes the ability
> > to maximize access and to control the economic costs of an expanding
> > knowledge base which under the current system is increasingly
> > unaffordable....
> >
> > 1. Faculty are encouraged to publish in journals that have
> > responsible assignment of rights policies. In instances where faculty
> > have a choice among journals, access to scholarship will improve if they
> > choose publishers that, as a matter of practice, have favorable polices
> > towards author self-archiving in open access vehicles. In addition, new
> > journals are emerging that publish according to full open access models.
> >
> > 2. Whether as allowed by a publisher's standard author agreement or
> > by amendment, authors/copyright holders must retain the NON-EXCUSIVE
> > right to make their work openly accessible and to use it for their own
> > non-commercial educational and research purposes. This can best be
> > accomplished by retaining copyright and only granting the publisher
> > first publication rights. It can also be accomplished within current
> > common practice where copyright transfers to the publisher by the proper
> > retention of self-archiving and use rights....
> >
> > By altering an author's agreement with a publisher certain key
> > rights can be secured that will be advantageous for the author, the
> > institution, and potential readers without harming the publisher....[A]n
> > Author's Addendum to the publisher's agreement can be used to ensure the
> > author has retained a bundle of key rights. A template to do so from
> > which a final addendum can be created is attached....
> >
> > We recommend that faculty members, if the copyright owner, and
> > institutions, if the copyright holder, retain author self-archiving and
> > access rights in one form or another. The template illustrates the basic
> > rights that should be retained. Several optional provisions are
> > suggested which the author or institution can elect to incorporate. As
> > noted below, a great number of publishers are receptive to author
> > self-archiving rights and so a basic addendum may suffice in most
> > cases....
> >
> > 3. In parallel with individual author action, OhioLINK will seek to
> > add a clause to its licenses with publishers in its Electronic Journal
> > Center. This clause will seek to automatically provide the recommended
> > self archiving and access rights to all personnel of Ohio higher
> > education institutions.
> >
> > 4. With the retention of rights, we strongly recommend that works in
> > both Published and Unpublished works categories be deposited in the
> > OhioLINK DRC or a campus repository that links to it.
> >
> > Comments [by Peter Suber:.
> >
> > 1. There are four important things going on here. First, OhioLINK is
> > encouraging Ohio scholars to retain the rights they need for OA
> > archiving. Second, it's providing its own Author Addendum to help
> > authors retain those rights. Third, it's adding its weight as the
> > licensing agent for member institutions to persuade publishers to agree
> > to these terms. (It knows that most publishers already agree and is
> > focusing on the remainder.) And finally, it's encouraging Ohio scholars
> > to self-archive their preprints and postprints in their institutional
> > repository or in OhioLINK's own repository.
> >
> > 2. OhioLINK is a consortium of 85 academic libraries in Ohio
> > representing more than 600,000 faculty, students and staff. It doesn't
> > set campus policies on self-archiving, but it can facilitate them (by
> > creating its own repository, by writing an Author Addendum, by
> > pressuring publishers to drop permission barriers) and it can encourage
> > member institutions to set policy. Here it is doing all that it can. It
> > deserves all our thanks for that.
> >
> > 3. The OhioLINK Author Addendum (pp. 7-8 of the new recommendations)
> > joins those already crafted by SPARC, MIT, and Science Commons.
> >
> > Permanent link to this post Posted by Peter Suber at 8/31/2006 09:22:00
> >
> > AM.
> >
> > -------
> >
> > Peter Suber has also listed the following additional signatories to the
> > list of US Provosts endorsing the US Federal Research Public Access Act
> > (FRPAA) that proposes to mandate self-archiving:
> >
> > * Peter Lange, Provost at Duke University
> > * Alfred F. MacKay, Provost at Oberlin College
> > * Robert L. McGrath, Provost. Stony Brook University
> > * Arthur T. Johnson, Provost at University of Maryland - Baltimore County
> > * Bruce L. Mallory, Provost and Executive Vice President U. New Hampshire
> > * Dana Dunn, Provost at the University of Texas at Arlington
> > * Abe Harraf, Provost of Southern Utah University
> > * Brad Born, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs, Bethel College
> > * Rita Cheng, Provost and Vice Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
> > * Stephen D. Gottfredson, Provost, Virginia Commonwealth University
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Needless to say, there is absolutely no need for these or the other
> > signatories to wait for the passage of the FRPAA they endorse in order
> > to adopt an immediate self-archiving mandate at their own universities!
> >
> >
> >
> > Stevan Harnad
> >
> > A complete Hypermail archive of the ongoing discussion of providing
> > open access to the peer-reviewed research literature online (1998-2005)
> > is available at:
> >
> > To join or leave the Forum or change your subscription address:
> >
> > Post discussion to:
> >
> >
> > UNIVERSITIES: If you have adopted or plan to adopt an institutional
> > policy of providing Open Access to your own research article output,
> > please describe your policy at:
> >
> >
> > BOAI-1 ("green"): Publish your article in a suitable toll-access journal
> >
> > OR
> > BOAI-2 ("gold"): Publish your article in a open-access journal if/when
> > a suitable one exists.
> >
> > AND
> > in BOTH cases self-archive a supplementary version of your article
> > in your institutional repository.
> >
> >
> >
> >
Received on Fri Sep 01 2006 - 13:59:36 BST

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