Hong Kong Research Grants Council on OA

From: Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 15:18:51 +0100

Below is an already tried and true recipe (from Hong Kong) for failure
in providing open access to research (cf. the failed NIH "strong
encouragement" policy that is now under strong momentum toward upgrading
to a mandate). Hong Kong's RGC is alas out of step, and -- perhaps unaware
of the history of requesting vs requiring OA -- is fated to repeat it.

[It may just be a coincidence, but possibly it is pertinent that in Swan &
Brown's 2005 international/interdisciplinary survey asking researchers
worldwide whether or not they would comply with an institutional or
funder requirement to self-archive, the international average expressed
was over 90% compliance: over 80% willing compliance and less than 15%
reluctant compliance. But for some reason, China was the most reluctant
of all, with only 58% willing compliance, and 31% reluctant (Figure
3). (Perhaps in China OA mandates are being mistakenly equated with
totalitarianism -- whereas they should rather be seen as an extension of
the benign, ubiquitous, even if unstated, publish-or-perish mandate that
ensures that research findings are published at all; and closer to the
spirit of paying taxes in order to support and reap the benefits of
public services.)]

    Swan, A. and Brown, S. (2005) Open access self-archiving: An author
    study. JISC Technical Report, Key Perspectives Inc.

On Wed, 19 Sep 2007, Peter Suber wrote:

> [Forwarding from the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC), with its
> permission. This is an excerpt from the minutes of its June 2007 meeting,
> which were sent to all Hong Kong university vice-chancellors and
> presidents
> on August 6, 2007. The "UGC institutions" are the eight universities
> supported with public funds by the University Grants Committee. --Peter
> Suber.]
> Open-access Repositories for Research Results from UGC Institutions
> 15. Some countries have already adopted policies that require results of
> publicly funded research be made publicly accessible via open-access
> repositories, and a suggestion has been made to the RGC that we shall
> adopt
> similar practice in Hong Kong. After deliberation, the RGC decided not to
> make it compulsory for the Principal Investigators (PIs) to allow open
> access
> of their research outputs. However, the RGC strongly encourages your
> institution and researchers to make available the research output via
> open-access repositories on a voluntary basis, and/or other publication
> venues such as journals and books.
Received on Wed Sep 19 2007 - 15:29:23 BST

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