Re: Central versus institutional self-archiving: 6 Mantras

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2008 17:31:19 +0000

On Sun, 9 Mar 2008, Ian Stuart wrote:

> The cost to install a bog-standard EPrints or DSpace application, and pass
> a
> bylaw that says "thou shalt deposit" is dead easy.
> There is a minimal cost (say 5% of a sysadmin's time)

Add to the bylaw: And the IR will henceforth be the sole source of all
publication data for research assessment and performance review.

> If, on the other hand, you want to personalise the interface;

A few parameters to configure. (The important thing is the IR, the
mandate, and the assessment contingency. The cosmetics are secondary. The
EPrints default configuration will do.)

> tie it into a universities campus-wide authentication system;

Why? Let the journals authenticate with peer review, and then, having
enjoined your researchers to deposit, trust your researchers and the
assessment contingencies)! (The OA problem is not bogus deposits, it's
no deposits!)

> provide some form of reviewing/cataloguing of the deposits; etc,

Why? Let the journals do the peer review, and let the IR metadata be the
"catalogue." (The OA problem is not unreviewed/miscatalogued deposits,
it's no deposits!)

> then it needs more time, meaning more resources...

Why? It seems to me the only thing we've needed more of, all
along, has been deposits. And the only ones who solved that
problem were those who mandated deposit.

> Also, most of the repository managers I have spoken to had said that 80%
> of
> their content is actually deposited by the repository staff themselves,
> not
> the authors.

You're referring to unmandated deposits (and that's nowhere even
yielding 15% deposit of annual full-text output).

What's needed is mandated deposit. (And the jury is out on whether
librarians are really needed to do the few keystrokes involved on the
author's behalf.)

    Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2005) Keystroke Economy: A
    Study of the Time and Effort Involved in Self-Archiving.

> The problem I have with [mandating deposit] is that the
> current system we have is tacked onto the end of the process: the
> researcher has already done the work and moved onto the next interesting
> project by the time we ask her to deposit.

Try mandating deposit immediately upon acceptance for publication (the
natural point in the researcher's research+publication workflow).

And for researchers who still have some motor command of their fingers,
try letting *them* (or their students or assistants) do the mandated

    Optimizing OA Self-Archiving Mandates: What? Where? When? Why? How?

> We can certainly make rules and regulations, but humans are bad
> at following rules.

The dozen universities and departments that have so far adopted
self-archiving mandates all seem to have managed to get the rules
followed (with the possible exception of Zurich, which stated their
mandate but does not yet seem to have implemented it).

And the funder mandates are growing too, reinforcing the university

    How To Integrate University and Funder Open Access Mandates

> The best way, surely, to get people to do what you want is to let them
> think
> it was their idea, or that it is something they get for nothing.

The demand for OA *is* their (researchers') idea:

Trouble is that they seem to prefer signing petitions and waiting for
publisher reform rather than doing the few keystrokes is takes to provide
OA (for next to nothing).

So that's what the mandates are for.

Besides, they've already *told* us they won't self-archive until/unless
their institutions and/or funders mandate it, but that if/when their
institutions/funders do mandate it, they will self-archive (95%),
most of them willingly (81%).

And if/when mandated (with contingencies), they do.

> I'm not sure that "they" have actually *seen* that it /is/ "feasible
> and beneficial"

It's enough that those unmandated self-archivers and those OA-mandating
institutions who have seen and done it have seen and done it. That's
the existence and feasibility proof. The rest is down to mandating it
(and implementing the contingencies).

> I think we want to have an IR, but we need to consider how it is
> populated....

Consider no further: Your university need merely mandate deposit --
and make it clear that the publication data for all annual review,
performance assessment and RAE returns will henceforth be drawn
exclusively from what is deposited in the IR.

Stevan Harnad

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
    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 Sun Mar 09 2008 - 17:57:12 GMT

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