Re: Incentives for encouraging staff to self-archive

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Sun, 22 Aug 2010 00:42:18 -0400

I hope I will be forgiven for being unable to answer this question
quite as patiently as I used to when it first began being raised, well
over a decade ago ago:

#23. Version control (from the OSI Self-Archiving FAQ):

On Sat, Aug 21, 2010 at 10:26 PM, JQ Johnson wrote:

> On Aug 19, 2010, at 9:10 AM, Stevan Harnad wrote:
> > SH:
> > for the most part, the final draft will be
> > sufficient for the purposes of Green Open Access
> JQJ:
> Although I want to agree with Stevan on this, I'm not sure that it's
> actually an acceptable position to most academics.

Which academics are you asking, J.Q.? And what question are you asking them?

Because the academics to ask are not those who have subscription
access to an article, but those who do not -- and who want and need

And the question to ask them is not whether they'd rather have access
to the publisher's version-of-record than to the author's final
refereed draft (postprint).

The question to ask them is whether they would rather have access to
the author's final refereed draft of a paper they want and need, or no
access at all.

And if you are asking authors rather than users, ask them whether they
would rather that would-be users of their paper have no access at all
than access only to the final refereed draft.

And remember that the only reason this question is coming up at all is
because there are far fewer publishers that have endorsed immediate
open access self-archiving of the version-of-record than of the
author's final draft. Hence Green OA mandates must stipulate that it
is the author's refereed, accepted draft that needs to be

Otherwise there would be no question at all, and everyone could
self-archive whichever draft they liked.

But most authors still aren't self-archiving -- not even those whose
publishers endorse it. And that's the real problem. To which the
reality-independent contemplation of the non-problem of preferred
drafts (as long as they are refereed drafts) is not the solution but
merely part of the problem itself.

> JQJ: When I talk to researcher colleagues in disciplines that don't have an existing preprint culture I often get pushback about the importance of having people view the version of record and not be confused by multiple versions.

Wrong question again. This is not about the version of record versus
multiple versions. It is about the author's version versus no version
at all.

And it is not about unrefereed preprints, or preprint culture, but
about refereed postprints, and users that otherwise have no access at

>  JQJ: Is there any research that actually looks at how strong faculty attitudes are in this area?

No research that asks the right questions. Lots of anecdotal answers
to the wrong questions, but they are completely uninformative, and
miss the point, as well as the meaning and purpose of OA.

> JQJ: Does it correlate with whether the citation standards for the discipline require page numbers or with a willingness in the discipline to directly cite a version that is less than the version of record?

Citation standards have nothing at all to do with it. One always cites
the published version of record (if there is one). We are talking
about whether you have any access at all, to read it -- which you need
to be able to do before you can use, apply or cite it.

> JQJ: Assuming that there is in fact a lot of author negativity towards having multiple versions, what can we do to fix the problem?

To repeat, the problem is not access to multiple versions, but access
to no version.

And the problem is not multiplicity of versions: If you have access to
the publisher's version of record, go straight to that. We all know
what that is, and where to find it.

But if you don't have access to the author's version, go to the
author's refereed postprint (if it has been made OA). The difference
between that and nothing is the difference between night and day, to a
scholar/scientist who wants and needs access to an article (as opposed
to one who is simply abstractly contemplating the virtues of having
the version-of-record versus the author's final draft, or multiple
versions, leaving out the reality that the OA movement is all about --
and that self-archiving mandates are needed to remedy).

If there is author negativity here, it is about a hypothetical
nonproblem, not about the real access problems academics face, nor
about their solution, which is to mandate the self-archiving of the
author's final draft, not to wait till publishers endorse
self-archiving their version-of-record.

Your Weary Archivangelist

> JQ Johnson
> Director, Scholarly Communications & Instructional Support
> University of Oregon Libraries
> 1299 University of Oregon       T: 1-541-346-1746; F: -3485
> Eugene, OR  97403-1299          email:
>       office: 115F Knight Library
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Received on Sun Aug 22 2010 - 06:11:23 BST

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