Re: Central versus institutional self-archiving

From: David Goodman <dgoodman_at_Princeton.EDU>
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2006 14:44:14 -0400


First of all, and as background to what follows, I approve of IRs,
including mandated IRs, and i support university policies
to establish and require them.

But your idea of relying primarily on IRs
requires that every institution
mandate the deposit. There is no question that there are
many IRs being established, but this is something much
easier for an institution to do than to require deposit.
Especially in the US with the hundreds of research
universities and other scientific research centers, it will take a lot
of convincing, university by university.

So far, not one US institution has been convinced, according
to ROARMAP. Even world-wide, the number with a required policy stands at
7 (1 international laboratory, 4 universities, and 2 academic departments.)
"Stands" is the word, because only 1 university has been added in 2005,
and only 1 in 2006.
In the 5 recent UK mandates, all established in 2006, 3 require deposit in a
centralized repository, and 2 accept either that or an IR.

To say that "direct deposit in CRs is extremely counterproductive at
a time when self-archiving has not yet been established as a systematic
research imperative" is not responsive to the situation. Regardless of
speculative reasons why it might be the best, almost nobody is acting on it.

Since it has not become established as "a systematic research imperative," we
had better rely not only on the individual institutions, but also on
the funders, if we are to get most of the research articles to be OA. The funders
are now the principal parties who see the advantages of requiring OA,
and act accordingly.

It however, might well be true that
"direct deposit in CRs is extremely counterproductive" for establishing
OA based on IRs with every detail as you would have it.

David Goodman, Ph.D., M.L.S.
Bibliographer and Research Librarian
Princeton University Library

(please note that this is now my email address)

----- Original Message -----
From: Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_ECS.SOTON.AC.UK>
Date: Thursday, September 21, 2006 12:32 pm
Subject: Re: [AMERICAN-SCIENTIST-OPEN-ACCESS-FORUM] Central versus institutional self-archiving

> Pertinent Prior AmSci Topic Threads:
> "Central vs. Distributed Archives" (Jun 1999)
> "PubMed and self-archiving" (Aug 2003)
> "Central versus institutional self-archiving" (Nov 2003)
> Let me try to explain why unreflective support for PubMed Central
> (PMC,and US PMC) *as the locus for direct self-archiving by
> authors* is very
> unfortunate for Institutional Repositories (IRs), for self-archiving,
> and for Open Access (OA) progress in general. The reason is very
> simple,and I very much hope that it will be given some thought by
> the many who
> are currently pushing unquestioningly for central self-archiving.
> (Please note that this has nothing to do with the existence and
> value of PMC:
> only with whether or not it should be authors' primary locus of
> deposit when self-archiving their papers, or for institutions and
> funders, when
> mandating that authors self-archive their papers.)
> (1) PMC and UK PMC Central are grounded in two things, (i) the pre-OAI
> and pre-IR central-archiving model originating from the early and very
> successful Physics Arxiv and (ii) Harold Varmus's -- and hence NIH's,
> PLoS's, the Wellcome Trust's and now the UK MRC's fixation on the
> central(indeed the PMC) model of OA self-archiving. That self-
> archiving model
> is already obsolete in the OAI era of interoperable OAI-compliant IRs.
> (2) Although they appear to be complementary -- after all, OAI
> renders all OAI-compliant archives, whether central or institutional,
> interoperable, and hence equivalent -- in reality, at this critical
> pointin the evolution of OA self-archiving policy-making, (a)
> institutionalself-archiving and (b) central self-archiving are
> profoundly at odds with
> one another in the quest for a systematic, universal self-archiving
> policysolution that will systematically scale up to cover all
> research output,
> from all institutions, in all disciplines, worldwide.
> (3) In the OAI-interoperable age, the natural and optimal solution
> is for
> researchers to self-archive their own papers in their own OAI-
> compliantInstitutional Repositories (IRs) and for whatever central
> archives one
> may wish to have -- whether subject-based or funder-based or
> national --
> to be *harvested*, via the OAI protocol for metadata harvesting, from
> the distributed local IRs, rather than deposited, (or re-deposited)
> directly. That is what the OAI metadata-harvesting protocol was
> createdfor!
> (4) So although on the surface it looks as if there is room for
> complementarity, pluralism, and parallelism between (let us call them)
> CRs (central repositories) and IRs (institutional Repositories), the
> question of what their optimal interrelationship should be is far
> more complicated insofar as formulating a systematic, effective OA
> self-archiving policy is concerned, to ensure that it will scale up
> to cover all of OA space. There is a profound and important strategic
> conflict specifically related to institutional and research-funder
> self-archiving policy (mandates).
> (5) Dr. Alma Swan has published key papers on both the subject of
> OA self-archiving policy and the subject of institutional versus
> centralself-archiving (IRs vs. CRs).
> (6) The gist of the strategic and practical conflict between IRs
> and CRs,
> as well as the basis its resolution, is the following:
> (7) Universities (and other research institutions) are the *primary
> research providers*. It is their researchers who conduct and publish
> the research. It is they and their researchers who are in a position
> to provide OA. It is they and their researchers who co-benefit from
> providing OA by self-archiving their own research output. The natural
> place for them to self-archive their own research output is in their
> own respective (OAI-compliant) IRs. This covers all the output of all
> their disciplines (some research institutions have just one research
> speciality, whereas others, including all universities, cover most or
> all research specialties).
> (8) Universities (and other research institutions) are real entities,
> with their own institutional identity, and it is their own
> institutional visibility and productivity and research impact (along
> with the impact and progress of research in general) that they are
> motivated and indeed necessitated to promote and foster. CRs do not
> correspond to institutional entities with needs of their own. (The
> partial exception is when a CR is funder-based, where the funder is
> an entity with interests. I will return to this.)
> (9) Universities (and other research institutions) are also the ones
> that are in the strongest position to mandate the self-archiving of
> theirown research input, as well as to monitor and to reward
> compliance with
> their self-archiving policy. (Again, the only exception is a funder,
> or a national government.)
> (10) Universities (and other research institutions) are helped in
> theirefforts to mandate OA self-archiving by OA self-archiving
> mandates from
> the funders of their research, but (a) not all their research is
> funded,(b) it would be extremely awkward and inefficient to have a
> differentexternal cross-institution CR as the locus of primary
> deposit for
> every funder and every subject and every other possible collection of
> combination of subjects (and nations!) by a single institutions'
> authors.
> (11) The natural and efficient way to create CRs -- whether funder CRs
> or subject-based CRs or multidisciplinary CRs or national CRs -- is to
> selectively harvest their contents from the individual, distributed
> IRs of the researchers' own institutions.
> (12) IRs are also the most natural and efficient and systematic and
> universal way to scale up to cover all of OA space -- originating
> from all disciplines, at all institutions, in all nations.
> (13) A few generic OAI-compliant CRs are fine for provisionally or
> evenpermanently depositing research by researchers whose
> institutions do not
> yet have an IR (or by researchers who do not have an institution!);
> butapart from that, direct deposit in CRs is extremely
> counterproductive at
> a time when self-archiving has not yet been established as a
> systematicresearch imperative.
> (14) The optimal thing for both research institutions *and* funders
> to do now is to mandate self-archiving in the researcher's own IR
> (except where a default generic CR is needed because the researcher's
> institution does not yet have an IR).
> (15) Compliance can be monitored and rewarded, primarily by the
> researcher's own institution, but also through the grant-fulfilment
> conditions of the funder.
> (16) This will systematically scale up to cover all disciplines, at
> all institutions, globally.
> (17) Instead mandating central self-archiving (e.g., in PMC)
> simply creates an unsystematic and incoherent policy that
> does not translate into a general means of covering all
> research output of all research institutions.
> (18) The NIH, Wellcome Trust and MRC self-archiving policies (though
> make important contributions to OA) are hence complicating and
> retardingprogress toward a universal, systematic solution toward
> making all
> institutions' research output OA because of their insistence on direct
> deposit in PMC.
> (19) What the NIH, Wellcome Trust and MRC should be mandating is not
> the arbitrary direct depositing in PMC, but universal depositing in
> thefundee's own IR, from which PMC (and any other CRs) can then
> harvestcollections, if they wish.
> (20) In this way, institutional and funder self-archiving mandates
> can be synergistic instead of antagonistic (confusing researchers
> about where to self-archive, arousing resentment about the need to do
> multiple deposits; failing to generalize and scale up to a systematic,
> universal self-archiving policy and solution, for all institutions,
> disciplines, funders and nations, and in general retarding instead of
> accelerating progress in the formulation of effective and compatible
> self-archiving policies globally).
> (21) The last point is that not only is primary depositing in CRs a
> very bad idea, but in the OAI-age CRs need not contain the full-texts
> at all: they are really just "virtual archives" in much the way that
> google or OAIster is: They harvest the metadata and links, allow
> focussed search, and then point back to the IRs for accessing the
> full-text itself. The notion of having to have one central "place" to
> put all papers is obsolete in the OAI age. (I am not referring to
> redundancy and preservation issues, for which some duplication is
> useful and indeed necessary; I am referring to the fallacious notion
> that we need CRs in order to have the target content for searching
> and accessing "all in one place." We do not; and we should not.)
> Many well-meaning advocates of OA do not yet understand any of this,
> imagining that CRs like PMC will in some mysterious way manage to
> cover all of OA space. I hope the summary above will help to redirect
> the welcome and important contributions of the supporters of the
> NIH-PLoS-Wellcome-MRC OA initiatives in a direction that is more
> helpfulfor scaling up to cover the world's research output as a whole.
> Stevan Harnad
Received on Thu Sep 21 2006 - 22:39:01 BST

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