University of Leicester's Self-Archiving Policy

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2007 12:19:15 +0100

On Thu, 7 Jun 2007, Prof A.M. Colman (Psychology, U. Leicester) wrote:

> The University of Leicester has finally set up an open-access archive.

The Leicester Research Archive was actually set up a year ago, in
June 2006, but since then it has only 320 deposits:

That is less than one deposit per day, and, I am sure, far less than
Leicester's annual research output, even if those deposits were all
just 2006-7 output (which is unlikely).

The answers to the questions you raise may help remedy this shortfall,
for Leicester, and other Institutional Repositories in the same

> But when I submitted my journal articles to it, the librarians told me
> that none of them was eligible, because of publisher's restrictions,
> and that I should archive the manuscripts instead. That's of limited
> use, and I won't do it. Two of my colleagues in psychology had the
> same experience. Apparently either psychology journals don't allow
> self-archiving or our library is being excessively cautious.
> I have self-archived my own articles on my personal web page, none the
> less, but they're unlikely to attract many readers at such an obscure
> location. In fact, even minor university repositories are probably not
> the answer. What we need is a global archive like the physics one. Or
> do you have a suggestion as to how we might solve this problem?
> Professor Andrew M. Colman
> School of Psychology
> University of Leicester
> email:
> web site:

There are three important points to be made here:

(1) U. Leicester's only omission in all of this is not yet having mandated
deposit; once it does that, all will go well.

(2) Apart from that, Leicester's deposit policy itself is *exactly* right
(and for very good reasons): Deposit your final, accepted, peer-reviewed
draft as the default option (except if you have your publisher's blessing
to deposit the publisher's PDF).

(3) Leicester's OAI-compliant institutional repository is only "minor"
in one respect: It only has 320 deposits. Once deposit is mandated,
however, and hence 100% of Leicester's current research output is being
systematically deposited, it will be a major archive, and all of its
contents will be picked up by all of the relevant harvesters and search
engines, especially OAIster, ROAR, and Google (Scholar). (See also the
comment, at the end of this message, from Professor Lossau, Technical
and Scientific Coordinator of the European DRIVER Project, about the
BASE search engine: )

In our new era of distributed, OAI-interoperable Institutional
Repositories (IRs), all archives (IRs) are equal and there is no need
for, nor any added added benefit whatsoever from depositing in a central
archive like the physics Arxiv (which is now merely one of the web's
many distributed, interoperable OAI archives, all being harvested by
central harvesters). Central harvesting and search is the key, not
central depositing and archiving.

On the contrary, having to found and maintain a different central
archive for every field and every combination of fields would not only
be arbitrary and wasteful in the era of central harvesting and search,
but it would also be an impediment rather than a help in getting all the
distributed universities (and research institutions) to get all their
researchers to fill all their own IRs, in all disciplines, by mandating
and managing it, locally. (University Research Institute output covers
all of research space, in all disciplines, and all combinations of

The right strategy in your situation is hence to deposit your refereed
final drafts in the Leicester IR (except where the publisher endorses
depositing their PDF) *and* if you wish, you can *also* deposit the PDF
on your website, as you already do. The IR will list that as an
alternative location for your paper.

The purpose of an Open Access (OA) IR is to provide free access to an
institution's and individual's research output for those would-be users
web-wide who cannot afford paid access to the publisher's PDF version.

It would be totally wrong-headed and counterproductive to deprive
one's potential users of access altogether if one's publisher does not
happen to endorse self-archiving the PDF! Far fewer publisher object to
self-archiving the refereed postprint in place of their proprietary PDF.

    To find out which journals are Green on immediate self-archiving
    of the postprint (62%) see:

    To find out which subset of those specifically endorse self-archiving
    the publisher's PDF, see:

If you want to self-archive the publisher's PDF too, over the publisher's
objections, that's up to you: you can do it on your own website, as a
supplement. No visibility or access is lost that way, and the difference
is a difference that makes no difference (to the access-denied would-be

I strongly urge you to deposit your postprints in Leicester's IR, as
the IR manager has requested. You have nothing to lose, and everything
to gain. (For earlier publications, for which you no longer have the
digital final draft, scan/OCR the published text and reformat it, or
reformat the publisher's PDF, if you have it.)

I also strongly urge U. Leicester to mandate deposit:

What follows is Prof. Norbert Lossau's comment on DRIVER:

On Thu, 7 Jun 2007, Lossau, Norbert wrote:

> Dear Andrew,
> Stevan is absolutely right, that at a time when we are building
> trans-national networks of repositories there will be no "minor"
> archive.
> DRIVER (Digital Repository Infrastructure Vision for European Research)
> is the leading European repository infrastructure project, connecting
> in phase one at least 50 repositories from 5 countries (BE, FR, GE, NL, UK).
> DRIVER partners in the UK are the University of Nottingham and UKOLN
> at the University of Bath:
> DRIVER has set out a roadmap to connect ultimately all digital
> repositories in Europe. Already now we have established contact
> to representatives from each country in Europe and have liaised
> with major academic and funding organisations like the European
> University Association.
> As addition to the search engines given by Stevan you may also want
> to check BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine):
> a key partner of DRIVER.
> Best
> Norbert
> Dr. Norbert Lossau
> Goettingen State and University Library, Germany
> Director

Stevan Harnad

If you have adopted or plan to adopt a policy of providing Open Access
to your own research article output, please describe your policy at:

    BOAI-1 ("Green"): Publish your article in a suitable toll-access
    BOAI-2 ("Gold"): Publish your article in an open-access journal
    a suitable one exists.
    in BOTH cases self-archive a supplementary version of your article
    in your own institutional repository.
Received on Fri Jun 08 2007 - 17:18:34 BST

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