Re: The Beginning of Institutional Repositories

From: Alma Swan <a.swan_at_TALK21.COM>
Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2009 10:38:05 +0100

On 25/06/2009 11:42, "Sally Morris" <sally_at_MORRIS-ASSOCS.DEMON.CO.UK> wrote:

> Isn't it the case that it's only in the case of articles published Open
> Access, and where the fee is paid by Wellcome, that there is any requirement
> on the publisher to do the depositing?

Yes, though I understand that other publishers are voluntarily depositing in
archives like PMC as a service to authors. Some are also looking at
SWORD-like mechanisms for depositing into multiple archives through one

> Many other journals/publishers have a Wellcome-compliant policy for
> self-archiving of the accepted version, but they are not paid anything nor
> are they required to do anything, as far as I am aware

Quite so. I was talking about UKPMC and the poor deposit rate. In answer to
your point - which suggested that researchers were not immediately
responding 100% to mandatory requirements - I just pointed out that neither
were some publishers responding to requirements to which they had signed up.

So, the overall point is that changing very longstanding behavioural norms
and practices takes time and we shouldn't expect instant results in the form
of 95% OA, whichever players are meant to be responsible.

In the case of authors and self-archiving, those institutions that have had
a mandatory policy for some years are now seeing high levels of deposit, as
a forthcoming paper will show. And now that we can start to examine the
effects, some rather spectacular stories are beginning to emerge that
demonstrate the benefit to individual authors.

Alma Swan
Key Perspectives Ltd
Truro, UK

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Scientist Open Access Forum
> Behalf Of Alma Swan
> Sent: 25 June 2009 07:04
> Subject: Re: The Beginning of Institutional Repositories
> A little bird-in-the-know also told Alma that although 91% of
> Wellcome-funded research is published in journals compliant with the
> Wellcome policy, a major reason for disappointing deposit levels in UKPMC in
> the first year of the Wellcome policy (at least) was that the *publishers*
> were not depositing as agreed (and as they were being paid to do).
> I daresay they're shaping up by now.
> Alma Swan
> Key Perspectives Ltd
> Truro, UK
> On 24/06/2009 11:01, "Sally Morris (Morris Associates)"
> <sally_at_MORRIS-ASSOCS.DEMON.CO.UK> wrote:
>> That's what they told Alma. It is not, however, what they are doing so
> far
>> Sally
>> Sally Morris
>> Partner, Morris Associates - Publishing Consultancy
>> South House, The Street
>> Clapham, Worthing, West Sussex BN13 3UU, UK
>> Tel: +44(0)1903 871286
>> Fax: +44(0)8701 202806
>> Email:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: American Scientist Open Access Forum
>> Behalf Of Stevan Harnad
>> Sent: 23 June 2009 14:13
>> Subject: Re: The Beginning of Institutional Repositories
>> On Tue, 23 Jun 2009, Sally Morris (Morris Associates) wrote:
>>> The perceived necessity for institutional and other mandates does, in a
>>> sense, reflect a failing - that researchers simply do not see 'what is in
>> it
>>> for them' and therefore do not, by and large, deposit voluntarily. What
>>> this tells us is an interesting question
>> It is indeed an interesting question. I think a partial answer is given
>> by Alma Swan's surveys, which showed not only that 95% of researchers
>> would comply with a deposit mandate, but that 81% would do so
>> *willingly*, and only 14% reluctantly.
>> To me, that suggests that researchers are inclined to deposit, but not
>> inclined enough to do so without a mandate from their institutions or
>> funders.
>> The reasons most are *inclined* to do so, yet only a few actually do it
>> without a mandate are multiple. I have identified at least 34 of them:
>> Harnad, S. (2006) Opening Access by Overcoming Zeno's Paralysis, in
>> Jacobs, N., Eds. Open Access: Key Strategic, Technical and Economic
>> Aspects, chapter 8. Chandos.
>> The three chief worries are about doing so are that (1) it might be
>> illegal, (2) it might put their paper's acceptance for publication by
>> their preferred journals at risk, and (3) it might be time-consuming.
>> These -- and the 31 other worries -- are all groundless, and individual
>> researchers can be successfully informed about this, one by one; but
>> that is not a very practical route to reaching a deposit rate of 100%
>> worldwide. Official institutional and funder mandates reassure researchers
>> that there is nothing to worry about, their institutions and funders
>> back them, everyone is doing it, and, as they quickly learn, the time
>> it takes to deposit it is minuscule.
>> Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2005) Keystroke Economy: A
>> Study of the Time and Effort Involved in Self-Archiving.
>> I am not saying that this fully resolves the puzzle of why it is taking so
>> long to reach the outcome that is so obviously and demonstrably optimal
>> for research and researchers, and fully within reach. We will have to
>> leave that to future historians and sociologists. What is urgent now
>> -- for the sake of research itself, as well as for researchers, their
>> institutions and funders, and the tax-payers that fund the research --
>> is that this optimal and inevitable outcome should be facilitated and
>> accelerated by mandates, so we reach it at long last. For the longer we
>> delay, the more research impact and progress keeps being lost, needlessly.
>> So full speed ahead with deposit mandates now, and then we can study
>> why it took so long -- and why it needed to be mandated at all -- at
>> our leisure, after we have universal OA.
>> Stevan Harnad
Received on Fri Jun 26 2009 - 10:59:43 BST

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