Green Angels and OA Extremists

From: Leslie Carr <>
Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2008 03:12:19 +0000

On 26 Nov 2008, at 21:08, Michael Eisen was goaded to write:
> I will proudly claim the mantle of an OA extremist
No, I'm Spartacus!

It seems to me that institutions have attempted Green Open Access
through various means:
(a) self-archiving - the individual author does all the work

(b) proxy self-archiving - a personal assistant acts on behalf of the
author, with the author's authority and at the author's instigation
and with the author's full knowledge (in the same way that the
assistant might buy plane tickets for the author on his/her credit
card). There is no sensible way of telling the difference between (a)
and (b).

(c) mediated archiving - the author starts the deposit process by
uploading or identifying the full text and entering some rudimentary
metadata; the library finishes the process off.

It seems that the process to which Elsevier are objecting is
(d) bulk archiving - the library initiates the deposit process through
access to bulk sources of full text material (publisher holdings).

There are variations of this process, particularly
(d2) imported keystrokes with catchup archiving - the library uses a
third-party database to import bibliographic metadata into the
repository and a full text is sought from (appropriately licensed)
online sources or from the author's hard disk.

Both (d) and (d2) are initiated by staff other than the authors. The
first is content led, the second metadata led. Both of these
approaches look attractive as a solution to the legacy problem (how to
deposit the last decade of research output), especially in
environments where there has been little progress towards addressing
the current content problem (how to deposit today's research output).

I think that the ultimate issue for achievable and sustainable OA is
cultural change: how can individuals start to take responsibility for
their intellectual assets in such a way as to maximise their
visibility and (re)use for science, scholarship and learning as well
as marketing and promotion (insert agenda here). The conclusion that
our institutional repository team has come to after a number of years
of mediated service is that any approach that sidesteps self-archiving
works against the kind of cultural change that they are trying to
engender and is ultimately self-defeating.

HAVING SAID THAT, the library is in no way adverse to finding
mechanisms that assist individuals and ease their tasks, and I guess
that Elsevier can have no objections to that either! How about a
notification email to be sent to authors of "In Press" papers that
contains a "Deposit this paper" button that initiates the user's
deposit workflow on the ScienceDirect Submitted Manuscript PDF.
Les Carr
Received on Tue Dec 02 2008 - 11:53:17 GMT

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