Re: How can I convince administrators of the value of an IR?

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2008 12:16:40 -0400

On Thu, 21 Aug 2008, Michael Smith wrote:

> I wonder if readers could provide me with some ammunition to try to
> convince university administrators that an institutional repository
> would be a good idea. When I periodically bug our librarian in charge of
> things digital about this, he says there is no interest at all among
> deans and vice-presidents for a repository. Although I am an
> anthropologist, I have very little understanding of how this local tribe
> (the administrators) thinks and acts. It seems to me that a campus
> obsessed with raising its external image would want to exploit its many
> productive units and make their work widely visible and available. But
> what do I know about the rarefied atmosphere in administration-land?

Here is a document you may find useful in promoting institutional OA
repositories and OA mandates:

The Immediate-Deposit/Optional Access (ID/OA) Mandate: Rationale and

(1) Creating an Institutional Repository (IR) is a good idea, but
creating an IR with an institutional Green OA Self-Archiving Mandate is
an even better idea.

With a mandate, the IR fills; without a mandate a mandate, it languishes
at the worldwide spontaneous self-archiving rate of about 15%.

(2) The reason for adopting both an IR and a Green OA mandate is
research impact:

OA maximizes the accessibility, visibility, usage and impact of
an institution's research output.

(3) Not only are institutions mandating Green OA self-archiving, but so
are research funders. These mandates complement and reinforce one

There are 52 Green OA mandates worldwide and they are growing fast, with
11 more proposed. (The latest 3 adoptions were announced in the last few days).

Among the US institutional mandates are Harvard's (Faculty of Arts and
Sciences and School of Law) and Stanford's (School of Education). Among
the US funder mandates are NIH's and HHMI's.

> Now with the state of Arizona in a financial crisis and budgets being
> cut across the campus, things do not look promising for new initiatives.
> My immediate plan is to try to set up a small repository for my own unit
> (with help from the Library) and hope the campus comes on board later.
> But it would help to have some succinct arguments and evidence,
> presented in a form that administrators will understand. Any
> suggestions?

Try the above.

Your parallel strategy of setting up a small sub-IR of your own is a
good one. It is called the "Patchwork Mandate" and was recommended by
Arthur Sale:,_AHJ.html

You will also find the findings of Alma Swan useful and persuasive to
University Administrators:

Point out to your provost that it is provosts that have been taking the
initiative in OA for years, that provosts petitioned for the NIH OA
mandate, and that Open Access provision begins at home: Universities
are the primary research providers and can make their peer-reviewed
research output OA at source with a Green OA self-archiving mandate.

Good luck!


> Michael E. Smith, Professor
> School of Human Evolution & Social Change
> Arizona State University
Received on Fri Aug 22 2008 - 17:17:39 BST

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