Re: Why Cornell's Institutional Repository Is Near-Empty

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2007 02:02:37 +0000

On Mon, 19 Mar 2007, Ian Russell wrote:

> Davis and Connolly's article is an interesting one and I am sure
> that the views of Cornell researchers that are reported are
> representative of most faculty at most universities. Stevan
> should not automatically blame ignorance where there is a genuine
> difference of opinion.

One cannot have differences of opinion about matters of empirical
evidence of whose existence one is not even aware.

    (1) It is an empirical datum that OA self-archiving enhances research

    (2) It is an empirical datum that researchers need and want enhanced
    research impact.

    (3) It is an empirical datum that only about 15% of researchers
    self-archive spontaneously.

    (4) It is an empirical datum that self-archiving can be and has
    been mandated.

    (5) It is an empirical datum that when mandated, self-archiving
    reaches 100% in about 2 years.

Many of the opinions elicited by the Cornell questionnaire were simply
orthogonal to the above. Some were simply ignorant of it. None of the
opinions constituted empirical counter-evidence.

> I personally fail to understand how Stevan Harnad can continue to
> state that the purpose of IRs "is to supplement subscription
> access" (his point 1) when he himself has admitted that self
> archiving will lead to the demise of subscription journals. To
> quote: "It is important to state clearly that... it is possible,
> indeed probable, that self-archiving will cause some
> cancellations" (see for example

Umm, I detect a difference between "demise of journals" and "some

Although I continue to feel that this sort of speculation is irrelevant
and a mere distraction, reinforcing inaction at this time, I can
speculate as well as the rest of them, and my speculation is that
universal funder and university Green OA self-archiving mandates, after
first generating 100% OA (not a speculation but an evidence-based
prediction), will eventually lead to journal cancellations, which will
first lead to cost-cutting and downsizing, abandoning the paper version
and eventually offloading even the provision of the online version to
the network of IRs, so that journals only perform peer review; the
cost-recovery model will then make the transition to Gold OA publication
charges, paid for by redirecting the institutional windfall subscription
cancellation savings.

So, 100% Green, then conversion to Gold. Cancellations, but not demise
but natural adaptation.

> Evidence has emerged that mandated self-archiving will cause
> subscription journals to go out of business (see for example PRC
> Summary paper 2 - and ALPSP Survey
> of Librarians on Factors in Journal Cancellation -

Utter nonsense. Evidence has not even emerged that mandated
self-archiving will cause cancellations (though I expect that it will).

    Self-Archiving and Journal Subscriptions: Critique of PRC Study

Stevan Harnad
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Received on Tue Mar 20 2007 - 03:00:32 GMT

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