Re: OA mandate from the US National Center for Atmospheric Research

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Sat, 17 Oct 2009 17:28:37 -0400

(In what follows, I have, as usual, ignored the personal remarks of Herr Graf.)
Klaus Graf wrote:

> There is absolutely no need to have one "central repository" for each
> discipline (like arxiv).

Agreed. But this is a nonsequitur. No one is proposing or discussing
doing this. The issue is funder mandates, and whether they should
mandate institutional or central deposit. That's all.

> * most universities have no repository

This point has been raised and answered many times: There are interim
repositories like DEPOT for authors whose institutions have no
repositories or for authors who have no institutions. Again, this has
nothing to do with whether funders should mandate institutional or
central deposit.

> * most researchers are not affiliated to an institution with an repository.

I'm not at all sure that's true any more (and if so, their institution
is one $2000 server, some free software, and a few days sysad set-up
time away from having a repository).

But never mind. The issue remains the same. The default option for
fulfilling a funder OA mandate is to (1) deposit in the fundee's own
institution's repository. If the fundee has no institution or
repository, then (2) deposit in an interim repository like DEPOT (that
is committed and equipped to export the deposits to the author's IR as
soon as they have one) is the second option. And (3) direct deposit in
the funder's central repository can be *allowed* (but not required) as
the third alternative.

This has all been spelled out in many past postings.

Meanwhile, the OA problem continues to be absence of content in
repositories (not absence of repositories, or institutional
affiliations) and the solution is institutional and funder mandates.

> "An estimated 185,000 people were employed as active researchers in
> the UK during 2006-07, of which around 94,000 were in the business sector,
> 82,000 in higher education and 9,500 in government"

It is not at all evident what point this intended to illustrate.

Inasmuch as these "active researchers: have published peer review
journal articles, the OA movement is interested in seeing them all
made accessible online, free for all. That's what the mandates are
for. And institutional deposit as the default option is in order to
ensure that institutional authors will be willing to comply (as
needlessly requiring competing, divergent, multiple deposit would

(If researchers' employers have any interest at all in their employees
doing and publishing research, then they also have an interest in
their making it OA. All it costs is a mandate -- and some space on a
web server -- no matter how small your organization -- if you have any
interest in managing and showcasing your own organization's research

> This means that one cannot exclude non-university-affiliated
> researchers from OA deliberations.

This is another nonsequitur.

Stevan Harnad
Received on Sat Oct 17 2009 - 22:30:46 BST

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