Re: OA in Europe suffers a setback

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 22:18:51 +0000

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 15:59:05 +0000 (GMT)
From: Napoleon Miradon <nmiradon -->
To: harnad --

Here is my redraft of your work.... Could you post it for me?...

Many thanks
N Miradon

Harvesting the Fruit of EU Research

"The EU's future depends on a knowledge society" (Commissioner
Potocnik, 2007). The European Commission has already invested much effort
towards securing this future. In the domain of scientific research, the
Commission has taken a number of steps towards improving the access to,
and the use of, scientific information.

In 2007 the key question still outstanding was "how to combine a rapid
and wide dissemination of validated results with a fair remuneration
for those who make investments to make the system work?" (Commissioner
Reding, 2007). To address this question, the Commission promoted in
the Seventh Framework Programme a number of trials with open access to
scientific information. Those trials have shown the way forward for the
Eighth Framework Programme.

All researchers who received grants under the Seventh Framework Programme
were required to submit their results for publication. This ensured that
their work was available to others. In the Eighth Framework Programme,
researchers will also be required, at the time that they have produced
the final draft for publication, to deposit a copy of that draft in an
Institutional Repository (on-line database). The trials mentioned above,
and other trials across the world, have demonstrated that research impact
is doubled if subscription access is supplemented with free online access
in this way.

Currently, about 30% of research journals do not permit their authors
to self-archive papers for immediate on-line access. They require an
embargo period before that access is available. The publishers argue
that they have made investments to make the system work and that they
deserve fair remuneration. The Commission accepts this argument. In such
cases the same rule of self-archiving will apply, but electronic access
to the archived work will be set as "Closed" during a set period after
the paper has appeared in print. Commission agreement will be required
for any such embargo period that exceeds 12 months. Of course during
that period, any individual reader may contact the author for a reprint,
for her or his individual research. Contact may be either by post, as
in the past, or by an on-screen "eprint request" button. Trials in the
Seventh Framework Programme showed that this latter system works well,
and without detriment to the publisher's remuneration.

It became clear during the Seventh Framework Programme that a significant
number of research Institutions in Europe do not yet possess their own
electronic Repository. The Commission accordingly funded the project
"Digital Repository Infrastructure Vision for European Research"
(DRIVER). DRIVER has successfully delivered a large-scale public
infrastructure for research information across Europe. This structure
contains not only scientific and technical reports and research articles,
but also experimental and observational data, rich media and other
digital objects.

The DRIVER network will accept self-archived papers and other material
from any scientist receiving grants under the Eighth Framework Programme,
in particular from those whose Institution does not currently have its
own, local, electronic Repository. In this way the new opportunities
in this digital age, to make better use of research data, will be fully


[1] Janez Potocnik
European Commissioner for Science and Research
'Scientific Publishing in the European Research Area' Access,
Dissemination and Preservation in the Digital Age Opening address
at the Conference Charlemagne building Brussels, 15 February 2007

[2] Viviane Reding
Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society
and Media Scientific Information In The Digital Age: How Accessible
Should Publicly Funded Research Be?
Conference on Scientific Publishing in the
European Research Area Access, Dissemination and
Preservation in the Digital Age Brussels, Friday 16 February 2007


----- Message d'origine ----
De : Stevan Harnad <harnad -- ECS.SOTON.AC.UK>
Envoyé le : Mercredi, 28 Novembre 2007, 14h24mn 38s
Objet : Re: OA in Europe suffers a setback

On Wed, 28 Nov 2007, N. Miradon wrote:

> I suggest that someone who knows about these things (S. Harnad, are
> listening?) should write a screed, not more than half a page of A4,
 on Green
> OA self-archiving. Call it "Harvesting the Fruit of EU Research".
  Take the
> point of view of a Brussels bureaucrat. Explain to her _how_ Green OA
> self-archiving of EU-supported projects could be done, and _why_.
 Post the
> script here for comments. Revise as necessary. Then put a copy in the
> of every researcher on this list who has an EU research contract
> are you listening?), and ask them to discuss face to face when next
> meet their EU project officer.

OK: Here's a first draft. Comments and suggestions welcome:

Harvesting the Fruit of EU Research

Europe invests NN million euros of European tax-payers' money in
research. The purpose is to generate maximal returns to the European
tax-payer from the uptake, usage and application of that research to
further research progress and to R&D industrial applications.

This is called "research impact." One of the strongest metrics of
research impact is citations: The more research is used and built upon
by further research, the more it is cited. Hence the more citations
research generates, the greater its impact.

In order to be used and applied, research has to be accessible.
is published in peer-reviewed journals, but journal subscriptions do
not maximize research access, because not all researchers' institutions
can afford subscription access to all research journals. Hence research
impact is needlessly lost. How much research impact is being lost?

Studies across all fields of research have now demonstrated that if
subscription access is supplemented with free online access (Open
OA) -- by researchers self-archiving their final drafts in their own
Institutional Repositories (IRs), research impact is doubled. That
twice as much research impact for the same level of research funding.

Nearly 70% of journals already endorse immediate OA self-archiving by
their authors. Only about 15% of authors are self-archiving
spontaneously, but 95% report they would self-archive if it were
mandated by their institutions and/or funders.

A growing number of research institutions and funders are
accordingly mandating that the research output they fund must be
be self-archived.

For the 30% published in journals that do not yet endorse immediate OA
self-archiving, it is sufficient to mandate that the final draft should
be deposited in the author's IR immediately upon acceptance. Access can
be set as Closed Access rather than OA during any embargo period. The
IRs have "email eprint request" buttons that allow users to request and
authors to provide single copies for individual research almost

Mandating OA self-archiving for funded research is a natural extension
of mandating that the research should be published at all ("publish or
perish"). It is also the optimal way to monitor and showcase research
output, for institutions and funders, to maintain a record of research
assets, and to credit and reward research impact, by harvesting
impact metrics (citations, downloads, etc.) as part of a system of
continuous research productivity monitoring and assessment.

And, most important, mandating OA self-archiving will also maximise
European research impact, thereby maximising the return on European
tax-payers' investment in research.

> On the basis of feedback received, revise the script again. Put a
 copy in
> the pocket of every one of your colleagues who has an EU research
> from Avionics to Zoonoses. Ask each of them to discuss face to face,
> time they meet their project officer, or (even better) her Head of
 Unit /
> Director / Director General.

Ready to receive feedback.

Stevan Harnad

> The aim is to get Green OA self-archiving into the front of the minds
 of the
> people who will be penning the details of the European Union's Eighth
> Framework Programme.
> "Get in early. EU policies are like supertankers a small nudge
 early on
> can make an enormous difference to the end position, but the later
 you leave
> it the harder you have to push to make any difference at all. Produce
> first bit of paper, and then you will have set the agenda" [3].
> N. Miradon
> [1]
> [2]
> [3]
Received on Wed Nov 28 2007 - 22:27:47 GMT

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