Re: Publisher Proxy Deposit Is A Potential Trojan Horse

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2008 12:07:25 +0000

On Wed, 19 Mar 2008, Thomas Krichel wrote:

> Stevan Harnad writes
> > SH: (7) University-external, subject-based self-archiving does not
> > scale up to cover all of OA output space: it is divergent,
> > divisive, arbitrary, incoherent and unnecessary.
> TK: So, do you recommend arXiv, RePEc, E-LIS, etc to close down?

No, I was talking about where institutions and funders should *mandate*
depositing institutional research output.

    (8) ..."(The deposits, or their metadata, can then be externally
    harvested into whatever subject-based, disciplinary, or
    multidisciplinary central collections we may desire.)"

To reach 100% OA at long last, the problem is not the small minority
of articles that are already being deposited, unmandated, for over a
decade now, but the vast majority that have not been, and are not being.

> Disclosure: I am the creator of RePEc...

Disclosure: I am the creator of CogPrints (launched over ten years ago).

We can have all the central collections our hearts desire, and the small
minority (out of all researchers, at all institutions, in all disciplines)
who already deposit centrally can continue to deposit centrally if
they wish.

It is infinitely easier for an institution to hack up a way to back-harvest
the (usually tiny) portion of its own total research output that its
researchers are already systematically self-archiving in an OAI-compliant
central repository (as CERN -- a special case of a physics-only
institution with the majority of its output already being self-archived
in Arxiv -- has done) than to keep imagining that 100% of institutional
output can and will find its way into some central collection, somewhere,
of its own accord.

Or to imagine that the way for an institution to mandate the
self-archiving of 100% of its own research output (and to audit, assess,
archive and showcase its own research assets, and to reward compliance
by its own researchers) is to mandate that it be deposited "somewhere."

(Not mention the even more incoherent and short-sighted notion of
institutional and funder mandates somehow relying on -- and paying
for! -- proxy institution-external deposit by publishers instead of
direct self-archiving by researchers.)

What is needed is a coherent, convergent strategy that will systematically
scale up to cover all of research output, funded and unfunded, from all
disciplines and interdisciplines, from all institutions (most of which are
pandisciplinary universities) worldwide.

Institution-external deposit into arbitrary central collections is not
that scaleable strategy. Mandated institutional deposit is. Both
institutions and funders need to take this into account, when they
mandate OA self-archiving.

Whatever central collections we may desire are then just a matter of
harvesting content from the distributed OAI-compliant IRs -- which
were made OAI-compliant specifically so as to make their content all
interoperable and harvestable.

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 Thu Mar 20 2008 - 13:08:15 GMT

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