Leo Waaijers in D-Lib on Green OA Self-Archiving

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2009 10:27:06 -0500

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A new (2009) dialogue on Green OA, with passerby's comments appended.
(Cf. earlier [2001] dialogue's OA version, here).
      Dialog on the Green road to Open Access 
      [Letter to the editor, D-Lib 15 (11/12) November 2009].
      As imagined by Leo Waaijers, Open Access consultant,
      October 2009 -- Author A following the Green road to OA
      encounters "roadworker" L
            A: Hello, L. This morning my publisher has
            let me know that my manuscript has been
            accepted for publication in his journal.
            -- L: Congratulations, A.
            A: Now he wants me to assign my copyrights to
            him first.
            -- L: That's quite classical.
            A: But my funder has mandated that I deposit
            my manuscript in an institutional repository
            from where it will be circulated openly over
            the internet after half a year. I am not sure
            if my publisher will approve this.
            -- L: You may be able to find out about that
            on a web site called RoMeo. For about 10.000
            journals RoMeo gives an overview of what
            publishers will allow you to do.
            A: But what if it turns out that my publisher
            seems less permissive or my journal is not on
            the list?
            -- L: Maybe your funder has included an
            opt-out clause for this situation. Most of
            the so-called mandates do have such a clause.

Mandates may be from funders (42) or from authors? own institutions,
faculties or departments (64). 

No need to opt out. And no need to wait for open circulation in a
half year either. Deposit immediately upon acceptance for
publication. Make deposit Open Access (OA) immediately if the
publisher endorses it (63%, which includes most of the top journals
in most fields). Otherwise, if you wish, make it Closed Access (37%)
and rely on the repository?s ?email eprint request? button to provide
Almost-OA during any OA embargo.

The ?opt-out? clauses in self-archiving mandates pertain to whether
you must successfully persuade the journal to accept the ?author
addendum? that formalizes your right to make your deposit OA
immediate: It's worth trying to adopt this addendum, but not
essential; hence you may opt out if you fail to persuade the
publisher, or do not wish to. But you deposit immediately anyway.
            A: The mandate of my funder seems quite
            -- L: In that case, don't assign your
            copyrights and write a letter to your
            publisher instead.
            A: A letter?
            -- L: It's not so difficult. The European
            Commission has drafted such letters in all
            European languages on their Open Access web
            A: What if my publisher denies my request?
            -- L: Then you have to look for another

Not true, and not necessary. See above.
            A: Oh my God!
            -- L: Well, I have never heard of a publisher
            A: Thank goodness. And then?
            -- L: Sign the copyright transfer and deposit
            your article.
            A: That's it?
            -- L: Yes, that's it. But don't forget to
            mention the half-year embargo period.

Nothing to mention about embargoes. If the copyright agreement
imposes one, and the author wishes to honor it, deposit as Closed
Access rather than OA (and rely on the Almost-OA Button during the
embargo) but in any case deposit immediately, not after an embargo.
            A: OK. Thanks.
            -- L: My pleasure.
            A walks on but returns after a few steps.
            A: By the way, L. How can people find my
            publication during the embargo period?
            -- L: Its metadata will be circulated over
            the internet.
            A: What happens if someone wants to read it
            during this period?
            -- L: She may request that you send her a
            A: So, that may generate extra readers for my
            -- L: Surely.
            A: And extra citations?
            -- L: Yes, could be.
            A: And extra prestige?
            -- L: Well, it depends.
            A: What do you mean?
            -- L: Prestige comes from citation indexes
            like Web of Science or Scopus. Make sure that
            all citations of your publication culminate

This is a nonsequitur: Citations are citations. If they are made by
authors who publish in journals that are indexed by Web of Science or
Scopus, then the citations will be indexed by Web of Science and
Scopus. The author of the cited article has no way to ?make sure?
that authors who cite that article publish in journals that are
indexed by Web of Science or Scopus. The author had no such power in
the pre-OA era, and continues to have no such power in the OA era.
(However, in the online and OA era Web of Science and Scopus and
Google Scholar and Citeseer and Ctebase are indexing more and more
journals, hence more and more citations, because it is becoming so
much easier and cheaper for them to do so.)
            A: How?
            -- L: Make sure that the official title, the
            journal issue and page numbers of the
            published version of your article are tagged
            to the manuscript that is in the repository.
            Then your repository could facilitate things
            so that these data are used for references in
            articles by others. You might check to see if
            they have a policy on that.

The full bibliographic citation (author, title, date, journal, etc.)
is course be part of the deposit?s metadata. From thereon, it?s up to
users whether and where they cite the article, as it always was.
            A: Hmm... And after the embargo period. What
            happens then?
            -- L: Then both versions of your publication
            will be available. The official one only for
            those who work at institutes that can afford
            a subscription, and your manuscript for
            A: Are these versions identical?
            -- L: No, certainly not. But, as regards
            content, most differences are trivial and you
            can always incorporate any ultimate editorial
            correction in your manuscript afterwards.
            A: Thus creating a third version ? let's say
            the post-post-print?
            -- L: Yes, if you wish so.

More important: The repository can also host and track
postpublication revised drafts of the article, containing
corrections, updates and elaborations, alongside the canonical
            A: And the reuse conditions of the versions
            may be different?
            -- L: Yes, they probably will be. Usually,
            the reuse conditions of your manuscript are
            not very well defined.

What ?reuse conditions?? The peer-reviewed final draft, accepted for
publication (along with any author updated drafts) is there to be
linked, downloaded, read, stored, printed-off, data-crunched, quited
and cited by any user. 

What further ?reuses? are at issue? Google?s harvesting? That?s not
the author?s headache... Course packs? Just link the URL.
            -- L: the rest comes with the OA (and
            Almost-OA) territory.
            A: Is it old fashioned if I feel a bit
            nervous about all this?
            -- L: Some people might say so.
            A: Well, I'll entertain the situation. Thank
            you very much. Good day, L.
            -- L: Bon voyage, A.

Keep it simple, as it is in reality: Deposit all refereed
drafts immediately upon acceptance. Set access as OA if the journal
was Green (63%), and as Closed Access otherwise (37%), and rely on
the Almost-OA Button. That?s all there is to it.

Stevan Harnad
American Scientist Open Access Forum
Received on Tue Nov 17 2009 - 15:27:53 GMT

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