Re: OA's Problem Is Not Funding But Keystrokes: Solution Is Mandates

From: Klaus Graf <klausgraf_at_GOOGLEMAIL.COM>
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2008 13:51:05 +0100

2008/2/18, Stevan Harnad <>:
> On Mon, 18 Feb 2008, Thomas Krichel wrote:
> > As Jean-Claude knows, I am a trained economist...
> >
> > Thus, here is what Jean and his gang should do: they should argue
> > that the university should cancel physics, mathematics,
> > computer science, economics journals (just to name a few
> > where de facto open access is very high), and hand over the
> > money to them so that they can help local author build
> > high-quality digital scholarly assets.
> This is stunningly, breath-takingly bad advice! I hope readers of this
> Forum are by now well enough informed to know that they should ignore it,
> and why.
> OA's problem is not funding. Nor is it journal pricing.
> OA's problem is research access denial and impact loss.
> And what local authors need is not "money to build high-quality digital
> scholarly assets". They need mandates -- from their institutions and
> their funders -- to deposit their published journal articles in their
> local OA Institutional Repositories.
> Forget about canceling journals until *after* we have OA (no discipline
> has it yet). Otherwise you are failing to reach for the obvious, which
> is completely within your grasp -- and gratuitously reducing access
> instead of increasing it.

Here are my mantras:

* There is poor empirical proof that mandates work.

* In Germany institutional university mandates are nearly impossible
because of legal reasons.

* With a lot of money the Netherlands have brought important parts of
the research output of a whole country in OA repositories ("Cream of
science") - without a mandate!

* For publication in Not-English languages outside the STM field there
are very few informations if publishers allow self-archiving. For a
German historian like me Elsevier is irrelevant (although maintaining
the most journals worldwide). For ALL leading historical journals in
the German language there is NO information available about
self-archiving. I repeat: NO. I think decisions are made by the
publishers on a case by case basis.

* Self-archiving isn't technically easy. Most scholars in the
humanities prefer scanned articles and have no time to scan.

* Very few repositories have an eprint mail button. We know nothing
about the chance of interested citizen or scholars to get the
permission of the author.

OA needs a lot of experiments not a Harnadian orthodoxy of simple solutions.

Klaus Graf
Received on Mon Feb 18 2008 - 13:32:53 GMT

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