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

From: leo waaijers <>
Date: Fri, 05 Dec 2008 10:55:41 +0100

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Dear Stevan,

Thanks for your reply. You have a point that there are 58
self-archiving mandates and no licence-to-publish mandates so far. I
will allow for that in the future.

Best wishes,

Stevan Harnad wrote:
      On 1-Dec-08, at 5:55 AM, leo waaijers wrote (in

      Dear Stevan,

      Most authors do not self-archive their publications
      spontaneously. So they must be mandated. But, apart
      from a few, the mandators do not mandate the
      authors. In a world according to you they
      themselves must be supermandated. And so on. This
      approach only works if somewhere in the mandating
      hierarchy there is an enlightened echelon that is
      able and willing to start the mandating cascade.

Leo, you are quite right that in order to induce authors to
provide Green OA, their institutions and funders must be
induced to mandate that they provide Green OA (keystrokes).
Authors can be mandated by their institutions and funders, but
institutions and funders cannot be mandated (except possibly by
their governments and tax-payers), so how to persuade them to
mandate the keystrokes?

The means that I (and others) have been using to persuade
institutions and funders to mandate that authors provide OA
have been these:

(1) Benefits of Providing OA: Gather empirical evidence to
demonstrate the benefits of OA to the author, institution, and
funder, as well as to research progress and to tax-paying
society (increased accessibility, downloads, uptake, citations,
hence increased research impact, productivity, and progress,
increased visibility and showcasing for institutions, richer
and more valid research performance evaluation for research
assessors, enhanced and more visible metrics of research impact
-- and its rewards -- for authors, etc.).

(2) Means of Providing OA: Provide free software for making
deposit quick, easy, reliable, functional, and cheap, for
authors as well as their institutions. Provide OA metrics to
monitor, measure and reward OA and OA-generated research

(3) Evidence that Mandating (and Only Mandating) Works: Gather
empirical data to demonstrate that (a) most authors (> 80%)
will deposit willingly if it is mandated by their institutions
and/or funders, but they will not deposit if it is not mandated
(< 15%)  (Alma Swan's studies); and that (b) most authors (>
80%) actually do what they say they would do (deposit if it is
mandated [> 80%] and don't deposit if it is not mandated [<
15%] even if they are given incentives and assistance [< 30%]
(Arthur Sale's Studies).

(4) Information about OA: Information and evidence about the
means and the benefits of providing OA has to be widely and
relentlessly provided, in conferences, publications, emails,
discussion lists, and blogs. At the same time, misunderstanding
and misinformation have to be unflaggingly corrected (over and
over and over!) 

There are already 58 institutional and funder Green OA
mandates adopted and at least 11 proposed and under
consideration. So these efforts are not entirely falling on
deaf ears (although I agree that 58 out of
perhaps 10,000 research institutions [plus funders] worldwide
-- or even the top 4000 --  is still a sign of some hearing
impairment! But the signs are that audition is improving...)

      To create such a cascade one needs water (i.e.
      arguments) and a steep rocky slope (i.e. good
      conditions). The pro OA arguments do not seem to be
      the problem. In all my discussions over the last
      decade authors, managers and librarians alike
      agreed that the future should be OA also thanks to
      you, our driving OA archevangelist.

But alas it is not agreement that we need, but mandates (and
keystrokes)! And now, not in some indeterminate future.

      So, it must be the conditions that are lacking.
      This awareness brought me to the writing of
      an article about these failing conditions. Only if
      we are able to create better conditions mandates
      will emerge and be successful on a broad scale. A
      fortiori, this will make mandates superfluous.

I am one of the many admirers of your splendid efforts and
success in the Netherlands, with SURF/Dare, "Cream of Science,"
and much else.

But I am afraid I don't see how the three recommendations made
in the Ariadne article will make mandates emerge (nor how they
make mandates superfluous). On the contrary, I see the
challenge of making the three recommendations prevail to be
far, far greater than the challenge of getting mandates to be
adopted. Let me explain:

            Recommendation 1: Transferring the
            copyright in a publication has become a
            relic of the past; nowadays a ?licence
            to publish? is sufficient. The author
            retains the copyrights. Institutions
            should make the use of such a licence
            part of their institutional policy.

Persuading authors to retain copyright is a far bigger task
than just persuading them to deposit (keystrokes): It makes
them worry about what happens if their publisher does not agree
to copyright retention, and then their article fails to be
published in their journal of choice. 

Doing the c.  6-minutes-worth of keystrokes that it takes to
deposit an article -- even if authors can't be bothered to do
those keystrokes until/unless it is mandated -- is at least a
sure thing, and that's the end of it. 

In contrast, it is not at all clear how long copyright
retention negotiations will take in each case, nor whether they
will succeed in each case.

Moreover, just as authors are not doing the deposit keystrokes
except if mandated, they are not doing the copyright retention
negotiations either: Do you really think it would be easier to
mandate doing copyright retention than to mandate deposit? 

(Harvard has adopted a kind of a copyright-retention mandate,
though it has an opt-out, so it is not clear whether it is
quite a mandate -- nor is it clear how well it will succeed,
either in terms of compliance or in terms of negotiation [nor
whether it is even thinkable for universities with authors that
have less clout with their publishers than Harvard's]. But
there is a simple way to have the best of both worlds
by upgrading the Harvard copyright-retention mandate with
opt-out into a deposit mandate without opt-out that is certain
to succeed, and generalizable to all universities -- the
Harvards as well as the Have-Nots. To require successful
copyright renegotiation as a precondition for providing OA and
for mandating OA, however, would be needlessly and arbitrarily
to raise the goal-post far higher than it need be -- and
already is for persuading institutions and funders to mandate
deposit at all.)

      Upgrade Harvard's Opt-Out Copyright Retention
      Mandate: Add a No-Opt-Out Deposit Clause

            Recommendation 2: The classic impact
            factor for a journal is not a good
            yardstick for the prestige of an
            author. Modern digital technology makes
            it possible to tailor the measurement
            system to the author. Institutions
            should, when assessing scientists and
            scholars, switch to this type of
            measurement and should also promote its
            further development.

This is certainly true, but how does using these potential new
impact metrics generate OA or OA mandates, or make OA mandates
superfluous? On the contrary, it is OA (and whatever
successfully generates OA) that will generate these new metrics
(which will, among other things, in turn serve to increase
research impact, as well as making it more readily measurable
and rewardable)!

      Brody, T., Carr, L., Gingras, Y., Hajjem, C.,
      Harnad, S. and Swan, A. (2007) Incentivizing the
      Open Access Research Web: Publication-Archiving,
      Data-Archiving and Scientometrics. CTWatch
      Quarterly 3(3).

      Harnad, S. (2007) Open Access Scientometrics and
      the UK Research Assessment Exercise. In Proceedings
      of 11th Annual Meeting of the International Society
      for Scientometrics and Informetrics 11(1), pp.
      27-33, Madrid, Spain. Torres-Salinas, D. and Moed,
      H. F., Eds.

      Harnad, S. (2008) Validating Research Performance
      Metrics Against Peer Rankings. Ethics in Science
      and Environmental Politics 8 (11)
      doi:10.3354/esep00088  The Use And Misuse Of
      Bibliometric Indices In Evaluating Scholarly

            Recommendation 3: The traditional
            subscription model for circulating
            publications is needlessly complex and
            expensive. Switching to Open Access,
            however, requires co-ordination that
            goes beyond the level of individual
            institutions. Supra-institutional
            organisations, for example the European
            University Association, should take the
            necessary initiative.

The European University Association has already taken the
initiative to recommend that its 791 member universities in 46
countries should all mandate Green OA self-archiving! Now the
individual universities need to be persuaded to follow that
recommendation. The European Heads of Research Councils have
made the same recommendation to their member research councils.
(I am optimistic, because, for example, 6 of the 7 RCUK
research funding councils have so far already followed
the first of these recommendations -- from the UK Parliamentary
Select Committee on Science and Technology. And the 28
universities that have already mandates show that institutional
mandates are at last gathering momentum too.

But if it is already considerably harder to mandate author
copyright-retention than it is to mandate author self-archiving
in their institutional repositories (Green OA), it is surely
yet another order of magnitude harder to mandate "Switching to
Open Access" from the "traditional subscription model." 

If author's are likely to resist having to renegotiate
copyright with their journal of choice at the risk of not
getting published in their journal of choice, just in order to
provide OA, they are even more likely to resist having to
publish in a Gold OA journal instead of in their journal of
choice, just in order to provide OA. 

And journal publishers are likely to resist anyone trying to
dictate their economic model to them. (Moreover, this goes
beyond the bounds of what is within the university community's
mandate to mandate!) 

So mandating Green OA is still the fastest, surest, and
simplest way to reach universal OA. Let us hope that the
"enlightened echelon" of the institutional hierarchy will now
set in motion the long overdue "mandating cascade."

Best wishes,

Stevan Harnad

         Stevan Harnad wrote:

            ---------- Forwarded message ----------
            Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2008 10:32:17 -0500
            From: Stevan Harnad
            Subject: Re: JISC/SIRIS "Subject and
            Institutional Repositories Interactions

            On 30-Nov-08, at 9:08 AM, Neil Jacobs
            (JISC) wrote:

                  Thanks Stevan,
                  You're right, of course,
                  the report does not cover
                  policies.  The brief for
                  the work was to look for
                  practical ways that
                  subject/funder and
                  institutional repositories
                  can work together within
                  the constraints of the
                  current policies of their
                  host organisations.  There
                  are discussions to be
                  had at the policy level,
                  but we felt that there were
                  also practical things
                  to be done now, without
                  waiting for that.

            Hi Neil,

            I was referring to the JISC report's
            recommendations, which mention a number
            of things, but not how to get the
            repositories filled (despite noting the
            problem that they are empty).

            It seems to me that the practical
            problems of what to do with -- and how
            work together with -- empty
            repositories are trumped by the
            problem of how to get the repositories

            Moreover, the solution to the practical
            problem of how the repositories
            (both institutional and subject/funder)
            can work together is by no means
            independent of the practical problem of
            how to get them filled -- including
            the all-important question of the
            *locus of direct deposit*:

            The crucial question (for both policy
            and practice) is whether direct
            deposit is to be divergent and
            competitive (as it is now, being
            institutional and sometimes central) or
            convergent and synergistic (as it
            can and ought to be), by systematically
            mandating convergent institutional
            deposit, reinforced by both
            institutional and funder mandates,
            followed by
            central harvesting -- rather than
            divergent, competing mandates requiring
            deposits willy-nilly, resulting in
            confusion, understandable resistance to
            divergent or double deposit, and, most
            important, the failure to capitalize
            on funder mandates so as to reinforce
            institutional mandates.

            Institutions, after all, are the
            producers of *all *refereed research
            output, in all subjects, and whether
            funded or unfunded. Get all the
            institutions to provide OA to all their
            own refereed research output, and
            you have 100% OA (and all the central
            harvests from it that you like).

            As it stands, however, funder and
            institutional mandates are pulling
            researchers needlessly in divergent
            directions. And (many) funder mandates
            in particular, instead of adding their
            full weight behind the drive to get
            all refereed research to be made OA,
            are thinking, parochially, only of
            their own funded fiefdom, by
            arbitrarily insisting on direct deposit
            central repositories that could easily
            harvest instead from the
            institutional repositories, if
            convergent institutional deposit were
            mandated by all -- with the bonus that
            all research, and all institutions,
            would be targeted by all mandates.

            It is not too late to fix this. It is
            still early days. There is no need to
            take the status quo for granted,
            especially given that most repositories
            still empty.

            I hope the reply will not be the usual
            (1) "*What about researchers whose
            institutions still don't have IRs?*":
            Let those author's  deposit
            provisionally in DEPOT for now, from
            which they can be automatically
            exported to their IRs as soon as they
            are created, using the SWORD protocol.
            With all mandates converging
            systematically on IRs, you can be sure
            this will greatly facilitate and
            accelerate both IR creation and IR
            mandate adoption. But with just
            unfocussed attempts to accommodate to
            recent, random, and unreflecting status
            quo, all that is guaranteed is to
            perpetuate it.

            Nor is the right reply (2) "*Since all
            repositories, institutional and
            subject/funder, are OAI-interoperable,
            it doesn't matter where authors
            deposit!*" Yes, they are interoperable,
            and yes, it would not matter where
            authors deposited -- if they were
            indeed all depositing in one or the
            But most authors are not depositing,
            and that is the point. Moreover, most
            institutions are not mandating deposit
            at all yet and that is the other
            point. Funder mandates can help induce
            institutions -- the universal
            research providers -- to create IRs and
            adopt institutional deposit mandates
            if the funder mandates are convergent
            on IR deposit. But funder mandates
            have the opposite effect if they
            instead insist on central deposit. So
            fact that both types of repository are
            interoperable is beside the point.

            Une puce à l'oreille (not to be
            confused with a gadfly),

            Stevan Harnad


            Stevan Harnad wrote:

            The /JISC/SIRIS "Report of the Subject
            and Institutional Repositories
            Interactions Study"/ <
            2008) "/was commissioned by JISC to
            produce a set of practical
            recommendations for steps that can be
            taken to improve the interactions
            between institutional and subject
            repositories in the UK/" but it fails
            make clear the single most important
            reason why Institutional Repositories'
            "/desired 'critical mass' of content is
            far from having been achieved/."

            The following has been repeatedly
            demonstrated (1) in cross-national,
            cross-disciplinary surveys (by Alma
            Swan <
            uncited in
            the report) on what authors /state/
            that they will and won't do and (2) in
            outcome studies (by Arthur Sale <
            likewise uncited in
            the report) on what authors /actually
            do/, confirming the survey findings:

               *Most authors will not deposit until
            and unless their universities

               and/or their funders make deposit

            But if and when

               deposit is made mandatory, over 80%
            will deposit, and deposit

               willingly. (A further 15% will
            deposit reluctantly, and 5% will

               not comply with the mandate at all.)
            In contrast, the spontaneous

               (unmandated) deposit rate is and
            remains at about 15%, for years

               now (and adding incentives and
            assistance but no mandate only

               raises this deposit rate to about

            The JISC/SIRIS report merely states:
            "/Whether deposit of content is
            mandatory is a decision that will be
            made by each institution/," but it does
            not even list the necessity of
            mandating deposit as one of its
            recommendations, even though it is the
            crucial determinant of whether or not
            the institutional repository ever
            manages to attract its target content.

            Nor does the JISC/SIRIS report indicate
            how institutional and funder
            mandates reinforce one another <
            nor how to
            make both mandates and locus of deposit
            systematically convergent and
            complementary (deposit institutionally,
            harvest centrally <
            than divergent and competitive --
            though surely that is the essence of
            "/Subject and Institutional
            Repositories Interactions/."

            There are now 58 deposit mandates
            already adopted worldwide (28 from
            universties/faculties, including
            Southampton <
            Glasgow <
            Liège <
            Harvard <
            and Stanford <
            and 30 from funders, including 6/7
            Research Councils UK <
            Research Council <
            the US National Institutes of Health <
            plus at least 11 known mandate
            proposals pending (including a
            recommendation from the European
            Universities Association <
            council, for its 791 member
            universities in 46 countries, plus a
            recommendation to the European
            Commission from the European Heads of
            Research Councils <

            It is clear now that mandated OA
            self-archiving is the way that the
            will reach universal OA at long last.
            Who will lead and who will follow will
            depend on who grasps this, at long
            last, and takes the initiative.
            Otherwise, there's not much point in
            giving or taking advice on the
            interactions of empty repositories...

               Swan, A., Needham, P., Probets, S.,
            Muir, A., Oppenheim, C.,

               O'Brien, A., Hardy, R., Rowland, F.
            and Brown, S.

               (2005) Developing a model for
            e-prints and open access journal

               content in UK further and higher

            /Learned Publishing/, 18

               (1). pp. 25-40.

            *Stevan Harnad
Received on Fri Dec 05 2008 - 09:56:25 GMT

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