Optimizing the European Commission's Open Access Mandate

From: Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 13:20:22 +0100

On Mon, 28 Apr 2008, N. Miradon wrote:

> Professor Harnad advises that "... It should be a part of the fulfillment
> condition on the recipients of all EC research funding -- both the funded
> researchers and their institutions -- that all refereed research
> publications resulting from the funding must be self-archived in the
> fundee's institutional repository. They (or their metadata) can then be
> harvested/collected/ imported/exported to the EC from the IRs ..."[1]
> Diffidently, I would suggest that the advised "self-archiving in the
> fundees' institutional repositories" should be implemented in the
> Commission's _next_ Framework Programme of Research and Development (FP8).
> This, because in the current Framework Programme (FP7) there is a general
> requirement that "... an electronic copy of the published version or the
> final manuscript accepted for publication shall also be provided to the
> Commission ..." (para II.30.4 of Annex II - General Conditions, FP7 Grant
> Agreement)[2].
> So the Commission already has its own institutional repository, containing
> every single publication produced under FP7.
> Tweaking that repository to make it harvestable is likely to be easier
> than
> making even a minor rewrite of the Grant Agreement.

Not even a minor rewrite of the Grant Agreement is needed (and a great
deal is at stake):

The EC Grant Agreement does not specify HOW "... an electronic copy of the
published version or the final manuscript accepted for publication shall
also be provided to the Commission ..."

This is an implementational detail. All the Commission needs to do is
to specify (in form-letters or instruction to the grant recipients) that the
electronic copy should be provided by providing the Commission with the
URL of the deposit in the grant recipient's Institutional Repository (IR).

That will create a synergy with the European University Association's
recommendation that its 791 universities in 46 countries mandate that
their research output (in all disciplines, whether or not EC-funded) be
self-archived in each university's IR.

It is infinitely more useful, sensible, and conducive to the growth of OA
IRs, OA self-archiving mandates and OA for the Commission's collection
to *harvest* from the recipients' IR -- rather than just for EC-funded
research to be back-harvestable by authors and institutions from the
EC's central collection:

Authors and their institutions already HAVE copies of their own research
output. The objective is to get all that research output DEPOSITED,
whether EC-funded or not. The power of the EC mandate can easily be
extended far beyond merely the research that the EC funds, by simply
specifying the recipient's own IR as the locus of the direct deposit,
with the EC simply harvesting the deposits for its central collection

Exactly the same recommendation -- on how this minor detail in the
implementation of its OA mandate would make a vast difference for the
growth to OA -- has been made to the the US National Institutes of Health
(NIH), which likewise needlessly requested direct central deposit instead
of the institutional IR deposit and central harvesting that would extend the
power and reach of the NIH mandate far beyond just the research it
funds, and help to universalize OA and OA mandates.

The OA mandates of the Europe's ERC, Australia's ARC, Austria's FWF,
Belgium's RFF, India's NKC, Ireland's IRCSET, Russia's CEMI, Switzerland's
SNF, most of the UK's RCUK have already specified institutional deposit
either as the sole mode of direct deposit, or as one of the options.

     How To Integrate University and Funder Open Access Mandates

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

     NIH Invites Recommendations on How to Implement and Monitor Compliance
     with Its OA Self-Archiving Mandate

     A Simple Way to Optimize the NIH Public Access Policy

Stevan Harnad

> [1]
> http://listserver.sigmaxi.org/sc/wa.exe?A2=ind08&L=american-scientist-open
> -access-forum&D=1&O=D&F=l&S=&P=35614
> [2] http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/calls-grant-agreement_en.html#standard_ga
> ftp://ftp.cordis.europa.eu/pub/fp7/docs/fp7-ga-annex2_en.pdf
Received on Mon Apr 28 2008 - 13:46:17 BST

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