Re: Eprint request button - data on effectiveness

From: Klaus Graf <klausgraf_at_GOOGLEMAIL.COM>
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2009 19:43:17 +0200

2009/7/28 Stevan Harnad <>:
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Michael White michael.white --

> From the data it would seem that you won't be alone in this
> experience, and, certainly with regard to STORRE, your best bet is to
> make these requests during term time ;-). Seriously though, I
> think/hope that as academics get more accustomed to using this
> facility, response rates will improve (and possibly already are).
> This has been a useful/interesting exercise for me (thanks for asking
> the question!), and I hope the above is of some use/interest to
> others.

This is very useful indeed.

As I have argued several times

I do not think that using the request button is a valid OA strategy.
My own experience was that I received few response when requesting an
article. The St. Gallen IR manager said that requesters can obtain
much more positive results when mailing to the scholar directly.

The Oppenheim/Harnad "preprint &
corrigenda" strategy "of tiding over a publisher's OA embargo: Make the
unrefereed preprint OA before submitting to the journal, and if upon
acceptance the journal seeks to embargo OA to the refereed postprint,
instead update the OA preprint with a corrigenda file. " is a valid OA strategy because the eprint is PUBLIC.

If an article is published then the author hasn't any right under OA
aspects to choose which requester has enough "dignity" to receive an
eprint. I cannot accept the arbitrariness of such a decision under OA

On November 22, 2008 Arthur Sale wrote in this list:

"For example if you had asked for a thesis, the following could have happened:

a. The research might have a totally banned commercial reason for
non-disclosure (I have just had a PhD student graduate, and the
company that sponsors him insists on a two year total embargo so they
can exploit the research. This is not peer reviewed and published

b. You might be asking during the exam period / summer holidays (you
will know your northern summer is 6 months out of sync with ours,
ditto academic year).

c. The graduate may have left the University and the email address on
record might be defunct.

Fourthly, the author may still be ignorant or worried about
their rights under Australian copyright law (unfounded, but real)."

If I need an eprint NOW I cannot wait until the Australian summer is over.

My recents findings on Zurich's ZORA are supporting evidence for
the following:

(1) Scholars generally prefer to deposit publisher's PDF even the
closed access is therefore permanent.

(2) If the rate of permanent closed access items in an IR is high the
probability that after years an author's mail adress is still working
is low.

For German law there is very strong evidence that the request button
is clear not lawful. (It's another question if a publisher can or will
enforce the interdiction. Most IR managers are fearful men - it would
be enough if a publisher would send a polite mail as expression of his
discontent with the request button and on the next day the IR manager
will deactivate the button ...)

If depositing needs a few keystrokes and only few scholars are
depositing without mandate - why should they react spontaneously on a
eprint request via button?

Nobody says that ILL is an OA strategy but it is doing more and better
for the research communication than this unfortunate button.

Klaus Graf
Received on Tue Jul 28 2009 - 20:16:01 BST

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