Re: University of Leicester's Self-Archiving Policy

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2007 12:09:37 +0100

On Mon, 11 Jun 2007, Nockels, K.H. wrote:

> We welcome Stevan Harnad's comments. We also believe our deposit
> policy is right, and can reassure Professor Colman that we are not being
> "excessively cautious". We are archiving material where publishers
> permit, and as he and many colleagues here have found, that often means
> that we cannot archive the published PDF file. He is certainly not
> alone in being required to deposit the final draft.

Strictly speaking, it is not that Leicester authors cannot deposit
the publisher's PDF in the Leicester repository: It is that that PDF
cannot be made Open Access without the publisher's blessing, and far
more publishers bless making the author's final draft immediately OA
than bless making their PDF immediately OA. That is why Leicester's
deposit format policy is exactly right.

(Note: For authors fulfilling individual email eprint requests generated
by the "Fair Use Button." it makes no difference whether that single
fair-use draft, requested and sent for research purposes, is the author's
final draft or the publisher's PDF.)

But the author's final draft is the best default version for deposit all
round, because it has the fewest constraints.

So much for Leicester's deposit format policy. But there is more to an
institutional repository policy than the default format:

> We are working hard to get content. We have publicised our repository
> in many forums in the University in the year since we launched it, and
> have had interest from many areas. 24 departments are now represented.

Here it is not just Leicester evidence that is pertinent, but evidence
from worldwide projects of exactly the same nature: No longer how long
one wishes and waits, merely creating a repository, inviting deposits,
and publicising/promoting it have not been enough to get the repository
filled. Please take a look at ROAR and the growth rates of most of the
repositories worldwide:

Worldwide spontaneous deposit rates are at about 15% of current annual
research output. Those rates are improved somewhat by incentives, such
as DARE's Cream of Science incentive, but even that only raises deposit
rates to about 30% (and some of that is not current output but
retrospective depositing of authors' older works alongside the current

The only thing that works, and that sets the institution's repository on
a reliable trajectory toward 100%, is to mandate deposit. Please see
Arthur Sale's valuable comparative studies on this. Acting on the
objective evidence now is greatly preferable to losing more years,
waiting in vain for voluntarism to work:

         Sale, Arthur (2006) 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,

         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

> However, rapid growth of the repository is hindered by this matter of
> the final draft - very often, people have published work in journals
> that require us to archive that final draft. People seem not to keep
> those drafts, or not to be able to find them easily.

The first and foremost objective is to capture current and future
research output. For this the author's final draft most definitely
does exist, and should be deposited on the date of acceptance for
publication. (It is important not to conflate the target of current
output with the less urgent goal of capturing retrospective output,
for that only serves to handicap and hobble the strategy for capturing
current output.)

> We are now discussing mandating deposit of RAE submissions, although
> that may mean archiving material in a closed access part of the
> repository, something that we have not done up till now.

Why on earth would Leicester mandate only RAE submissions, rather than
*all* current and future Leicester article output? (But even that would
be better than no mandate at all, and would probably make the token fall
in many researcher's minds!)

Sixty-two percent of current output already has the publisher's blessing
to set access to the deposit as Open Access immediately.

For the remaining 38%, Closed Access does not mean going to another
part of the repository; it means a different metadata tag and access
permissions during the embargo, which will require individual would-be
users to use the semi-automatic "Fair Use Button" to request individual
email copies from the author via a semi-automatic email request:

> We are now working to approach people for work as it appears, and so our
> information librarians (subject liaison staff) are running search alerts
> to identify new work, and are approaching people quickly. We are also
> working to add material published by the University, in addition to
> adding the "back catalogue" of work by people who archive their new
> work. We do encourage authors not to sign away their rights.

Unless there is something remarkably different about Leicester, this
strategy will yield the same level of results over the years that it has
done at other universities, as Prof. Sale's comparative data show. Only
a mandate will produce real and reliable growth.

As noted, it is important not to conflate or hobble strategies for
capturing output with the extra problems of capturing retrospective

And if voluntarism only produces a success rate of 15% when the sole
task that needs to be done is a few keystrokes, please ask yourself
the likelihood of voluntarism's success when, in addition to the
keystrokes most authors are not bothering to perform when invited, they
are advised (incorrectly) that they need to alter their copyright
agreements as a precondition for doing those keystrokes (thereby,
in their minds, putting the acceptance and publication of their article
at risk)...

Retaining rights is always a very good idea, but it is not a necessary
condition for deposit: A deposit mandate is.

> We are also working to include the repository in training offered to
> young researchers.

You are looking at a long timeline then, until Leicester reaches 100% of
its annual research output...

> We believe our experience is not uncommon, and share Stevan Harnad's
> hope that posting these messages may help others in our position. We
> would be interested to hear of approaches that others have found
> helpful.

Leicester's experience is indeed not uncommon. But you have now heard
(and can read the evidence in Prof. Sale's papers, and confirm it in
ROAR) about what works and what doesn't, and why. The postings on this
question have been going on for years and years now, and the handwriting
is on the wall, but the (unmandated) archives remain empty:

Will UL read it, and act?

Stevan Harnad

> Keith Nockels
> Leicester Research Archive Manager
> University of Leicester
> Leicester, England - UK
> Email: lra
> Leicester Research Archive: promoting the University's research.
> Visit for more
> information.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Repositories discussion list
> [mailto:JISC-REPOSITORIES_at_JISCMAIL.AC.UK] On Behalf Of Stevan Harnad
> Sent: 08 June 2007 12:19
> Subject: University of Leicester's Self-Archiving Policy
> 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:
> uk%2Fdspace-oai%2Frequest&format=graph&svg=0&cumu=1&logy_cumu=0
> 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
> condition::
> > 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
> disciplines.)
> 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
> user):
> 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
> um.html
> 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
> journal
> OR
> BOAI-2 ("Gold"): Publish your article in an open-access journal
> if/when
> a suitable one exists.
> in BOTH cases self-archive a supplementary version of your article
> in your own institutional repository.
Received on Mon Jun 11 2007 - 13:05:13 BST

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