Canada's SSHRC Just Keeps Spinning Its Wheels...

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Sat, 14 Oct 2006 20:16:33 +0100

Comments on Richard Akerman's blogged notes from David Moorman's SSHRC
talk at "Institutional Repositories: The Next Generation" (Ottawa,
October 10, 2006)

> "SSHRC has embraced OA in principle, but [it's] a big challenge
> going from principle to action"

Five out of the eight UK Research Councils (BBSRC, CCLRC, EPSRC, MRC,
NERC) nevertheless seem to have managed to go from principle to

> "Does SSHRC have a policy? No. There is more to this than just
> mandating OA."

Four out of the eight UK Research Councils (BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC)
nevertheless seem to have managed to mandate it, and Canada's CIHR
seems to have managed to propose to mandate it...

> "Figure out how to support OA journals. Conducting experiments to
> figure out best approach."

Why is SSHRC fussing about supporting OA journals instead of mandating
the self-archiving of SSHRC research output?

> "look at University of California system"

Why not look instead at a system with a mandate, hence one that works,
as voluntarism, demonstrably, does not?

> "[Create an] SSHRC IR?"

An SSHRC Central Repository (CR)? What on earth for? Mandate that SSHRC
fundees self-archive their SSHRC-funded research output in their own
institutional IRs. SSHRC does not need a CR of its own in the
distributed, interoperable OAI age.

> "Official Languages Act - websites must be in both languages how
> to handle research? 15,000 objects would have to be translated
> every year"

This is such nonsense as to take your breath away: Can SSHRC not have
a library? Are only bilingual or translated journals admissible?
(Besides, SSHRC does not need a CR of its own: Just mandate
self-archiving in the fundees' own institutions' IRs.)

> "grant can't have post-award conditions, e.g. can't require article
> deposit"

Nonsense. If publishing the research in a peer-reviewed journal can be
a grant fulfilment condition, so can self-archiving the article.

SSHRC is spinning its wheels, it just keeps citing problems in
principle while others are busily solving them in practice.

    SSHRC Open Access Consultation (Canada) (Aug 2005)

    Replies for SSHRC Consultation on Open Access (Nov 2005)

   Canada's SSHRC lacks leader, hence leadership, on OA (May 2006)

Stevan Harnad
Received on Sat Oct 14 2006 - 21:18:38 BST

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