Re: JISC/SIRIS "Subject and Institutional Repositories Interactions Study"

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Mon, 1 Dec 2008 07:11:25 -0500

On 1-Dec-08, at 3:58 AM, Ian Stuart wrote (on JISC-REPOSITORIES):

      Stevan Harnad wrote:
            "Institutions, after all, are the producers
            of all refereed research output, in all
            subjects, and whether funded or unfunded."

      Is this strictly true? My understanding was that,
      particularly on the social sciences arena, a number of
      academics continue to write & publish, even though they
      have retired. No? (another example of research output
      that requires the like of the Depot for an OA deposit
      service :) )

On 1-Dec-08, at 4:07 AM, Charles Oppenheim wrote (on
      Ian is correct, especdially in the humanities.  Also,
      there is a large amount of STM scholarly output that
      comes from industry, especially the pharmaceutical

Yes, both "problems" are trivially easily solved, and neither is an
exception to the fact that both institutional and funder deposit
mandates need to be systematically convergent --  on institutional
repository (IR) deposit -- rather than arbitrarily divergent (on
willy-nilly institutional and funder/subject repository deposit):

(1) The drivers of universal OA are institutional and funder
mandates. So, by definition, a retired author, institutionally
unaffiliated and unfunded, cannot be mandated to deposit! But if they
are minded to deposit (as they certainly will be, as OA becomes
universal thanks to OA mandates), they can deposit in back-up
repositories like the UK's DEPOT . (So, yes, DEPOT and similar
back-up repositories elsewhere are an excellent resource for tiding
over authors who do not have institutions, or whose institutions do
not yet have  IRs.)

(2) Or retired academics can deposit in the IR of their former
institution: Universities not only have a long tradition of providing
facilities for their retired academics, but they have a special
interest, now, in showcasing their past and present research output.
Whether officially "emeritus" or not, the research output of their
own retired staff certainly falls within that ambit. (At UQAM, for
example, retired faculty officially retain the right to deposit their
publications in UQAM's IR.)

(3) Universities also have a tradition of providing facilities, where
possible, for unaffiliated academics. So, given that all IRs are
interoperable, and given that we are talking about published,
peer-reviewed research articles, a university tradition will quite
naturally evolve for IRs to host the publications of unaffiliated
scholars and scientists in need of a repository to make their
published work OA.

(4) The pharmaceutical industry may well be secretive about its
unpublished research, but it has exactly the same interest as all
other research institutions in providing access to its own published
research (that's why they publish it!) -- and in gaining access to
the published research of other institutions. Hence it is likely that
the R&D wing of pharmaceutical companies (and other industrial
research producers) will have IRs and IR mandates of their own, as
the movement toward universal OA grows. (And where not, other
institutional hosts or DEPOT will provide the natural solution.)

Again, I have to remind us all that the glaring and pressing
immediate problem today is gapingly empty IRs where they are fully
available to all their institutional authors, who are simply not
depositing of their own accord ("Zeno's Paralysis"). The problem is
not a press of authors desperate to deposit, but having no place to
do so!

And the solution is institutional and funder deposit mandates,
converging on the IRs of the universal providers of all research, in
all subjects, funded and unfunded: the institutions (mostly
universities, partly independent research institutions, partly the
R&D of commercial institutions). 

We should not now be fretting about borderline cases and putative
exceptions whilst we still have not yet taken the obvious and long
overdue steps needed to take care of the mainstay.

Your impatient archivangelist,

Stevan Harnad
Received on Mon Dec 01 2008 - 15:03:56 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:49:36 GMT