Re: Harnad's faulty thinking on OA deposit and APA policy

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2008 13:51:12 -0400

On Thu, Jul 24, 2008 at 7:42 AM, Guédon Jean-Claude
<> wrote:

> I agree that a repository without a mandate is ineffective.
> arguing that one is not against "institution-external OA
> while "driving against mandating direct deposit" is more than a
> disingenuous.

Perhaps if it is shorter, it will register:

(1) I am and have always been an ardent and vocal supporter of NIH's
self-archiving mandate

(2) I am arguing for one tiny but crucial change in its
implementational detail:
stimulate deposit in IRs and harvest to PMC, rather than direct
deposit in PMC

(3) Purpose: To facilitate universal institutional mandates, covering
all OA output, in all fields, funded and unfunded

> Fighting against the mandate is tantamount to ensuring
> which is of course what Harnad wishes for these
"institutional-external OA
> depositories".

I have no idea what disingenuous motives Jean-Claude is attributing
to me, or why.

I am not fighting against the NIH mandate, I am fighting to make it
more effective.

> The distributed solution of IRs remains flaky when it comes to
retrieving articles.

Let's get the articles deposited in there and we'll see how flaky
retrieval proves to be.

> researchers in a given discipline like to go to a one-stop entry
point to
> find their documentation.

Fine, let them shop at PMC. But let direct deposit be in the IR, with
PMC harvesting therefrom.

> Perhaps Google will be that universal entry point some time in the
> but this is not presently the case...

Wherever OA content is deposited, that is where harvesters -- such as
Google, Oaister, Scirus, Scopus, Web Of Science, Citeseer, Citebase
-- or PMC -- can and will get it.

Or do you think we should be depositing directly in google too?

> For biomedical researchers, knowing that PubMed is the place for
> bibliographic searches *and* document retrieval is a clear
> [this] amply justifies the decision by NIH to have the research
articles they
> finance deposited in their depository.

PM is not the same as PMC. PM links to PMC. And PMC contains only the
articles that have been made OA.

Mandating OA is amply justified. Harvesting into PMC is amply

Mandating direct deposit in PMC instead of IRs is arbitrary, has no
intrinsic justification, and is counterproductive for the growth of
the rest of OA (across institutions and disciplines, funded and

> Furthermore, the NIH deposit does not prevent a parallel deposit in
the local IR.
If the problem were preventing deposits, rather than requiring them,
we would not need any sort of mandate.

The point is that institutions are the research-providers -- of all
research, in all disciplines, funded and unfunded. Funder mandates
need to facilitate institutional mandates, not complicate with them.

> Finally, so long as solutions roughly work in the same direction,
let us agree
> to support them all.

Moving roughly in the direction of OA has already taken a decade and
a half. Let us resolve needless complications that simply delay it

Stevan Harnad
Received on Thu Jul 24 2008 - 18:52:01 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:49:23 GMT