Re: Plan B for NIH Public Access Mandate: A Deposit Mandate

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2008 15:48:00 -0400

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Klaus Graf wrote:

> I cannot see any sense in the Email button before there is an
> empirical study on its success.

(1) How do you propose to do a study without first implementing the
on a sufficiently large sample to be able to draw any conclusions at

(2) What do you call "success"? I call it success if a user does not
access to an article through an institutional license, clicks on the
and gets the article soon thereafter. It is not OA, which would be
without delays of exceptions. But it's the difference between night
day for a researcher who is otherwise denied access to the article

> For Open Access this button has the same status as Interlibrary
> Loan (with the difference that ILL is more successful than the
> We have interlibrary loan so we need no Open Access?

(3) and the difference that ILL takes days or weeks?

(4) and costs money (which is simply a variant of toll-access)?

> On September 7 I received 6 confirmation mails from the Zurich
> repository ZORA which has a similar button for a part of the non-OA
> items. On September 8 I received one PDF - seven days later I can
> that 5 of 6 authors didn't fulfill the request. If you cannot bring
> harder facts this seems me enough empirical proof that the button
> doesn't work.

I cannot speak for Zurich, which seems to be a particular focus for
Graf's scrutiny for some reason. He neglects to mention that he also
the Button for one of my own papers in UQAM's Archipel, and was
emailed a copy within a few moments:

OA, OA Mandates and the Button are alas still relatively new for
But it is a foregone conclusion that as they become familiar, active
researchers, who *do* care about whether their research is being
accessed, used and cited (as evidenced by a half-century of tedious
and costly posting of paper reprints to requesters), will no more
to click the SEND Button when they get an eprint request than I did,
a few moments ago, when I got Klaus Graf's (though I had a pretty
idea as to what Klaus was up to!).

> Professor Harnad, maybe it would be a great idea to suggest a
> letter in English with bootlicking words for those who request but
> are not known to the author.

As you see, it is not necessary, any more than it was necessary in
reprint days. No boot-licking, just stamp-licking.

What is needed now is more Deposit Mandates, with the Button, so that
researchers understand what is going on. (But not for long, because I
confidently predict that as soon as Deposit Mandates, the Button, and
Almost-OA become prevalent, the natural next step, which is OA
will not be far ahead.)

Below, for your interest, is what the author receives from his IR
some of the URL details removed, to prevent unauthorized use).

Stevan Harnad

        From: archipel-admin ----

Subject: Archipel: Request for "First Person Singular "

Date: September 15, 2008 1:57:31 PM EDT (CA)

To: harnad.stevan -----

Une copie du document suivant, pour fins d'utilisation équitable ou
pour tout
autre usage autorisé par la loi canadienne sur le droit d'auteur, est
demandée par :
klausgraf --

Harnad, Stevan
« First Person Singular».
Times Literary Supplement,


Choisir une des deux réponses suivantes.

? Cliquer sur le lien pour transmettre une copie au requérant :

? Cliquer sur le lien pour refuser la demande :


archipel-admin --
Received on Mon Sep 15 2008 - 21:00:20 BST

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