Re: Guide for the Perplexed (about how to inspire institutions to adopt Green OA self-archiving mandates)

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 09:18:34 -0400

Once 1000 universities (instead of 100) have deposit mandates (as
Southampton already does), the (already minuscule) problems you
mention will be off the screen (and universal OA will be in sight,
fast approaching)...

On 23-Mar-10, at 8:57 AM, Hugh Glaser wrote:

> Thanks Arthur.
> I actually know quite a lot of academics who are delinquent in one
> or more
> of the things that they are mandated to do, or only do the minimum
> they can
> get away with without being hassled.
> That is sort of the point here.
> I am not saying mandates are bad.
> Mandates are great, if you want to put get stuff into your repository.
> But once you have the mandate, the work is not finished.
> Compliance must be tackled, and simply telling academics there is a
> mandate
> is not the only way of improving it. Carrots of the right taste are
> good, as
> well as sticks.
> By the way, I see people talking about mandates working or
> repositories
> being full.
> One of the things I noticed when we built*) was
> that when I
> looked at ECS at Southampton, which had had a mandate for many
> years, there
> were significant numbers of papers that had been published by
> members of
> staff that were not in ECS ePrints.
> I keep meaning to write a utility that will identify them, but
> haven't found
> the time yet.
> Is there research that identifies the proportion of an institution's
> publications that do not get deposited for a steady state mandate?
> If so, does it manage to relate the different compliance rates to
> the way
> the policy is presented?
> I also see people (on this list and elsewhere) asking for help in
> convincing
> people to deposit. The response is frequently to say that the
> mandate is the
> whole answer. I find that disappointing. Perhaps if a more inclusive
> approach was taken, the mandate uptake and compliance would not be
> quite as
> painful.
> There was a time I was the person in charge of the ECS Southampton
> repository, so please don't think I am against mandates. But I think
> it does
> mean I am aware of some of the problems.
> Best
> Hugh
> (*) is a system that harvests many sources of
> publications,
> including oai archives, dblp, acm, citeseer (some with older data),
> and
> gives a unified view of an individual's research activity.
> On 23/03/2010 04:37, "Arthur Sale" <ahjs_at_OZEMAIL.COM.AU> wrote:
>> Perhaps I can add something to this discussion. The reason we know
>> that
>> mandates are the only way to get repositories full is simple- it
>> works and
>> nothing else does.
>> Long experience over many years has consistently proven that
>> persuading
>> academics to deposit their papers is a Sisyphean task. A few
>> academics stay
>> persuaded, but the persuasion for most wears off after a while, and
>> the
>> persuaded academics drop out. The balance seems to be around 15%,
>> maybe
>> slightly higher like 20% where the benefits are more obvious.
>> Neither level
>> is satisfying and no-one has found any good argument for persuasion
>> as a
>> strategy, except as a route to a mandate.
>> Let's not get hung up about mandates. Academics are mandated all
>> the time.
>> Indeed it is an intrinsic part of what it means to be an academic.
>> They are
>> required to turn up to scheduled lectures. They are required to set
>> exam
>> papers, and even worse to mark them. Most academics are required to
>> undergo
>> performance management evaluation, or to go through promotion
>> procedures to
>> proceed in rank. Academics are required not to molest their
>> students or show
>> personal preferences. When things like the RAE/REF are contemplated,
>> academics are required to take part. Academics are also required to
>> publish
>> their research. Academics happily mandate that their students must
>> submit
>> assignments on time, and turn up to exams. I could keep going on
>> for quite a
>> long time...
>> The only immediate solution in this transitional time is deposit
>> mandates.
>> Once mandates are universal, they become the community norm but a
>> mandate
>> nonetheless.
>> Arthur Sale
>> University of Tasmania
>> Australia
Received on Tue Mar 23 2010 - 13:25:05 GMT

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