Re: EU Petition for guaranteed public access to publicly-funded research results

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 11:36:38 +0000

On Thu, 18 Jan 2007, Richard HARDWICK wrote:

> fyi there is a (half-baked) petition "for guaranteed
> public access to publicly-funded research results" just
> launched [1], and an associated discussion thread on
> Taxacom [2,3, et seq]
> [1],
> [2]
> [3]
> The petition is the wrong way round!
> Instead of calling on the European Commission to do something,
> it should say we the undersigned will do something
> - viz. make our manuscripts available to all, in open access
> archives, immediately after journal publication, and we
> invite everyone else in receipt of public funding for their
> research to do the same.

Dear Richard, I would be grateful if you could post the following reply
to your taxacom list. -- Stevan

(1) There is nothing in the least "half-baked" about the EC-petition:
It is *exactly* what is needed at this time to show the support of
the research community for the EU Commission's proposal to mandate OA
self-archiving, it is growing at a breath-taking rate.

(2) Richard Hardwick is quite right that all the signees should also
show their commitment by self-archiving their own research (and some of
them no doubt do): for those who don't, the glaring logical and pragmatic
inconsistency has often been pointed out as the "Keystroke Koan":

    Harnad, S. (2006) Opening Access by Overcoming Zeno's Paralysis,
    in Jacobs, N., Eds. Open Access: Key Strategic, Technical and
    Economic Aspects, chapter 8. Chandos.

(3) But Richard also misses the logic and pragmatics of 20 adopted and
the 6 proposed OA self-archiving mandates: The reason self-archiving is
being mandated is that most researchers, even those who sign in support
of OA self-archiving and OA self-archiving mandates, don't self-archive
until/unless it is mandated.

(4) This is what worldwide surveys as well as actual practice have now
shown, repeatedly, and internationally.

(5) Hence the purpose of the EC (and other) OA self-archiving policy
recommendations is to induce researchers to do the very thing that is in
their own best interests (and those of research, and of their institutions
and funders, and the public that funds them).

(6) And the purpose of the petition is to show the research community's
support for those policy recommendations.

Hence, not only not half-baked, but timely and apposite in the extreme!

        Harnad, S., Carr, L., Brody, T. & Oppenheim, C. (2003) Mandated
        online RAE CVs Linked to University Eprint Archives: Improving
        the UK Research Assessment Exercise whilst making it cheaper and
        easier. Ariadne 35 (April 2003).

        Swan, A. (2006) The culture of Open Access: researchers'
        views and responses, in Jacobs, N., Eds. Open Access: Key
        Strategic, Technical and Economic Aspects, chapter 7. Chandos.

        Sale, A. The Impact of Mandatory Policies on
        ETD Acquisition. D-Lib Magazine April 2006,

        Sale, A. Comparison of content policies for institutional
        repositories in Australia. First Monday, 11(4), April 2006.

        Sale, A. The acquisition of open access research
        articles. First Monday, 11(9), October 2006.

        Sale, A. (2007) The Patchwork Mandate
        D-Lib Magazine 13 1/2 January/February

Stevan Harnad
Received on Thu Jan 18 2007 - 12:46:09 GMT

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