Re: RE : [SERIALST] Plan B for NIH Public Access Mandate: A Deposit Mandate

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2008 13:25:20 -0400 On
Mon, Sep 15, 2008 at 11:35 AM, Kumiko Vezina
<> wrote:
      Hello Dr. Harnad,

      I was wondering, about your "Email Eprint Request" Button
      used with a Closed Access article, do you know of any
      institution where this feature is implemented?

      I have seen your demonstration on this webpage
      but I would like to see it used in a "real" context by an
      academic institution or repository to point out at my
      next conference on institutional repositories. Do you
      know of any? Has anyone contacted you indicating that
      they followed your example and are using your button?

Dear Kumiko, the blog version of the posting:

Plan B for NIH Public Access Mandate: A Deposit Mandate 

contains a link to an implemented EPrints instance of the Button.
Here's another, closer to home. For a DSpace instance, see the U.
Minho Repository. To try it out for yourself, from all standpoints
(author, user, moderator), go to the DemoPrints EPrints Demonstrator
and deposit an item as Closed Access, specifying your email address
as author. (That is how I constructed the example I used.)

A Deposit Mandate (mooting all copyright concerns and immune against
publisher lobbying) plus the Button, although most people still think
they are some sort of an air-gun or flyswatter, will sooner or later
be discovered to be the killer-app that conveys the global research
community to universal OA at long last.

Just wait till the token drops...

Stevan Harnad

      Thank you,
      Kumiko Vézina
      Electronic Resources Coordinator
      Concordia University

      Re: "Bill Would Block NIH Public Access Policy" (Science,
      11 September)

      Conyers Bill:

      Plan B for NIH Public Access Mandate (And It's Stronger
      Than Plan A!):
      A Deposit Mandate

      I hope the Conyers Bill, resulting from the publisher
      lobby's attempt to
      overturn the NIH Public Access Mandate, will not succeed.

      But in case it does, I would like to recommend making a
      small but
      far-reaching modification in the NIH mandate and its
      implementation that
      will effectively immunize it against any further
      publisher attempts to
      overturn it on legal grounds. And this Plan B will
      actually help hasten
      universal OA more effectively than the current mandate:

      (1) NIH should mandate deposit of the refereed final
      draft of all NIH-funded
      research, immediately upon acceptance for publication.

      (2) But access to that deposited draft need only be made
      Open Access when
      there is no publisher embargo on making it Open Access;
      otherwise it may be
      made Closed Access.

      (3) Open Access means that the full text of the deposited
      draft is freely
      accessible to anyone, webwide, immediately.

      (4) Closed Access means that the full text of the
      deposited draft is visible
      and accessible only to the depositor and the depositor's
      employer and
      funder, for internal record-keeping and grant-fulfillment
      (Publishers have no say whatsoever in institutional and
      funder internal

      (5) For all deposits, however, both Open Access and
      Closed Access, the
      deposited article's metadata (author, title, journal,
      date. etc.) are Open
      Access, hence visible and accessible to anyone, webwide.

      (6) Now the essence of this strategy: NIH should also
      implement the "Email
      Eprint Request" Button, so that any would-be user,
      webwide, who reaches a
      link to a Closed Access article, can insert their email
      address in a box,
      indicate that a single copy of the postprint is being
      requested for research
      or health purposes, and click.

      (7) The eprint request is then automatically transmitted
      immediately by the
      repository software to the author of the article, who
      receives an email with
      a URL that can then be clicked if the author wishes to
      have the repository
      software automatically email one individual copy of that
      eprint to that
      individual requester.

      (8) This is not Open Access (OA). But functionally, it is

      (9) Many journals (63%) already endorse immediate OA.

      (10) Closed Access plus the Button will provide almost-OA
      for the remaining

      (11) That means an NIH Deposit Mandate guarantees either
      immediate OA (63%)
      or almost-OA (37%) for 100% of NIH-funded research.

      (12) In addition, an NIH Deposit Mandate will  encourage
      universities in the
      US and worldwide to adopt Deposit Mandates too, for all
      of their research
      article output, not just NIH-funded biomedical research

      (13) The spread of such Deposit Mandates across
      institutions and funders
      worldwide will inevitably lead to universal OA for all
      research output
      eventually, once the mandates ensure the universal
      practice of immediate

      (14) In addition, because it makes the almost-OA Button
      even more powerful
      and easier to implement -- NIH should stipulate that the
      preferred locus of
      deposit is the author's own Institutional Repository,
      which can then export
      the deposit to PubMed Central using the automatized SWORD

      The fact is (and everyone will see this clearly in
      hindsight) that, all
      along, the online medium itself has made OA a foregone
      conclusion for
      research publications. There is no way to stop it

      It is only technological short-sightedness that is making
      publishers and OA
      advocates alike imagine that the outcome is a somehow a
      matter of law and
      legislation. It is not, and never has been.

      It is only because we have been taking an obsolete,
      paper-based view of it
      all that we have not realized that when authors wish it
      to be so, the Web
      itself has made it no longer possible to prevent authors
      from freely
      distributing their own writings, one way or the other.
      There is no law
      against an author giving away individual copies of his
      own writing.

      And NIH need only mandate that authors deposit their
      (published research
      journal) writings: giving them away for free can be left
      to the individual
      author. The eventual outcome is obvious, optimal and

      I strongly urge OA advocates to united under this back-up
      strategy. It will
      allow us to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      Stevan Harnad
Received on Mon Sep 15 2008 - 18:40:24 BST

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