Re: Dealing with embargoed articles in IRs

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 14:10:18 +0000

On Wed, 20 Dec 2006, Jayne Burgess wrote:

> Do you put just the bibliographic details into your IR with reference
> to the embargo period and make a note to edit the record once the embargo
> has elapsed or do you do nothing and simply wait until the embargo period
> has elapsed before putting it into the IR?

Definitely deposit both the article and its metadata
immediately! Definitely do not wait till after the embargo period
to deposit! (This is also the optimal policy that is being recommended for
institutional and funder self-archiving mandates.)

   "Optimizing OA Self-Archiving Mandates: What? Where? When? Why? How?"

The metadata will be visible and accessible to all, immediately, so
any would-be users webwide whose institutions do not happen to have
subscription/license access to the journal in which the article appears
can immediately request an individual eprint from the author by email,
even though the full-text is Closed Access rather than Open Access.

(This simple, almost-immediate procedure has been semi-automated in
EPrints and DSpace IRs with a button that allows users to cut/paste
their email addresses [and comments, if they wish] into a box, and then
to press the button, which sends the author an email eprint request;
the author receives the request by email, along with a URL, on which
he need merely click in order to authorize the instant automatic
emailing of one individual eprint to the requester. Webmetrics are
collected on the number of eprint requests received for each Closed
Access deposit during the embargo period, and where they come from;
these parallel the download metrics for Open Access deposits. This
"EMAIL EPRINT REQUEST" option is highly effective; it makes authors --
who are always interested in reprint requests and where they come from
-- happy; it makes users happy; it is almost-OA, and it tides over the
embargo period with maximum benefit to research and researchers during
the all-important growth region for new findings.)

    "Two Happy Accidents Demonstrate Power of "Eprint Request" Button"

> If the former, do you refer to the embargo period using a metadata field and if so
> which one, and do you indicate that the articles are subject to an embargo period
> and the length of that period?

The EPrints software allows the length of the embargo to be specified, so the IR
automatically reverts from Closed Access to Open Access on the appointed date.

There is no reason whatsoever to advertise publishers' embargo policies
for them! The button simply indicates that the document in question
(metadata displayed) is in Closed Access for the time being, but that
individual copies can be requested from the author via the button.

(Maybe it *would* be a good idea to name-and-shame embargoers! It's
a trade-off, though, between having that effect, versus entrenching
and spreading the policy of embargoing. So probably the less said,
the better. Let the button do the work.)

Stevan Harnad
Received on Wed Dec 20 2006 - 14:45:33 GMT

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