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

From: Jan Szczepanski <jan.szczepanski_at_UB.GU.SE>
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2008 15:00:45 +0100

Dear Klaus!

Thank You for making these observations!

Sometimes it's hard to breath when one reads
Harnads mechanical same answer to every problem.

Life is complicated without any easy solutions.

I think that Harnads advice for making peace in
Palestine, Afghanistan, Irak or Sudan would be
"put the guns down".



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 - 16:10:03 GMT

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