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

From: David Goodman <dgoodman_at_Princeton.EDU>
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2007 01:29:10 -0400

Stevan, who at Cornell do you propose should issue the mandate, and how do you propose to persuade them
to do it? The university administration there is not unaware of the existence of self-archiving, and neither is
the faculty.

You give, as always, perfectly good reasons for the faculty to be convinced of the necessity, but repeating
them any number of times is not going to convince any who have not been convinced already.
The same is true of the administration. Probably they are not yet convinced--in common with the
administration of all 200 or so US universities. There is obviously some step in the argument that seems
obviously reasonable to us, but which not one single administration out of them all agrees with.

Alternatively, they may think that they cannot persuade the faculty or successfully require it. There is a
balance in research universities between what the administration would like to demand and what the faculty
is willing to accept, and the better the university, the stronger the position of the faculty (as the best will be
easily able to go elsewhere).

Obviously the administrations--all 200 of them, acting independently-- do not think the result worth the
difficulty. It is unlikely to be ignorance. It is unlikely to be stupidity to the extent necessary--administrators
are usually good judges of what they can succeed in doing. Obviously academic faculty and administrators do
not accept one of the premises. Instead of repeating why they should, it might help to figure out what the
critical one is.

(I do not pretend to know, though I have my guesses). This is a serious request for you to do what you
rightly say the purpose of the list is, find the appropriate argument that will work for getting OA. But the
results make manifest that the arguments now being used do not work. A result of zero out of 200 after 5
years is not a record of success.

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

----- Original Message -----
From: Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_ECS.SOTON.AC.UK>
Date: Monday, March 19, 2007 10:03 pm
Subject: Re: [AMERICAN-SCIENTIST-OPEN-ACCESS-FORUM] Why Cornell's Institutional Repository Is Near-

> On Mon, 19 Mar 2007, Greg Tananbaum wrote:
> > Stevan concluded his recent post regarding Cornell's IR
> > population struggles with the statement, "The only thing Cornell
> > needs to do if it wants its IR filled with Cornell's own research
> > output is to mandate it." One might rightly wonder whether this
> > is the only thing they CAN do to fill the IR.
> Cornell can do more: It can provide incentives (as University of Minho
> in Portugal and DARE in the Netherlands have done). That will
> acceleratecompliance with the mandate. But Arthur Sale's
> comparative studies show
> that the essential component is the mandate: With it, you reach 100%
> within about 2 years, without it you don't even come close:
> Sale, Arthur (2006a) Researchers and institutional
> repositories, in Jacobs, Neil, Eds. Open Access: Key
> Strategic, Technical and Economic Aspects, chapter 9,
> pages 87-100. Chandos Publishing (Oxford) Limited.
> Sale, A. The Impact of Mandatory Policies on
> ETD Acquisition. D-Lib Magazine April 2006,
> 12(4).
> 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
> > The fact that so few institutions, particularly in the US, have
> > issued such a diktat after six years of IR activity would seem to
> > indicate that this is unlikely to happen en masse.
> Until about 3 years ago (i.e., about 10 years after the 1994
> "SubversiveProposal") *no* university or funder had mandated OA
> self-archiving. There
> are now 12 university or departmental mandates adopted worldwide, and
> 11 funder mandates, plus 1 multi-institutional mandate and 6 funder
> mandates proposed. Stay tuned.
> > I wonder is whether this
> > list, and the scholarly communication space generally, would be
> > better served by asking whether Cornell, or any institution for
> > that matter, can provide any compelling incentives short of a
> > mandate to encourage wholesale IR participation. Or is this a
> > sisyphean task?
> To repeat: Incentives are good, and helpful, but insufficient. The
> necessary and sufficient condition for a full OA IR is a Green OA
> mandate. Incentives can help reach 100% faster, but incentives alone
> won't do the trick.
> Stevan Harnad
> American Scientist Open Access Forum
> Access-Forum.html
Received on Tue Mar 20 2007 - 12:06:22 GMT

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