Re: Draft Policy for Self-Archiving University Research Output

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 23:29:09 +0000

On Wed, 12 Nov 2003, Philip Pecorino wrote:

> Here are some questions with which I need some assistance.
> What would it mean for a university or other academic institution to support
> or "endorse" Open Access?

It would mean that they either encourage or (better) mandate that all
research output must be made open-access, either by publishing it in an
open-access journal (if one of the 560 existing open-access journals is
suitable for that piece of research or else by
publishing it in one of the remaining 23,440 toll-access journals AND
self-archiving it in the institutional eprint archives (or a suitable
central archive, if one exists).

For this, the institution should create institutional eprint archives (preferably
at the departmental level) and formalize the open-access provision strategy:

Free GNU software for creating OAI-compliant eprint archives:

Model for an institutional or departmental open-access provision strategy:

> What would it mean in theory and in practice?

Both in theory and in practise it means the above.

> Is there a model anywhere for such support or endorsement?

See the above model.

And here is a list of 109 known institutional archives:

Look especially at the bigger ones, like CalTech, Indiana, Australian National,
Lund, Trento, LMU-Muenchen, Melbourne, Queensland, Southampton, Virginia Tech,
Weizmann, CNRS, Nicod, Firenze, as they are the ones with the successful
archive-filling policies.

See also the 239 archives at OAIster (not all institutional)
and the 127 archives at OAI (not all institutional)

> What would the institution be committing to do? Minimally? Ideally?


    - Departmental archives and encouragement to fill them, along
    the lines of the Berlin Declaration. (But not likely to produce


    - a university-wide open-access provision
    policy for all peer-reviewed research output

    - a standardized university online CV for research assessment:

    - a university-library-based proxy self-archiving service,
    along the lines of the CalTech or the St. Andrews

    - a parallel university data-archiving initiative

    - a parallel university book-impact (metadata and bibliography)

    - a programme of promoting, monitoring, measuring and demonstrating
    the maximization of university research impact by maximizing
    university research access

> Would encouraging and providing for self archiving be only a start?

If successful, the institutional open access it provides with certainty
would be an end in itself, for the institution itself. The rest would
follow at a global cross-institutional level.

> Would it mean encouraging faculty who are editors or editorial board members
> to move the toll journals to an open access mode?

Not a bad idea, but not much an institution (or editors) can do there.
Editorial Boards have defected for lower-toll-access publishers, but asking them
to defect to open-access publishers might be asking for too much at this time.
Besides, it does not do much for the institution's own annual research output.

> Would it mean encouraging faculty to submit to open access journals?

Yes, where suitable ones exist.

> Only to open access journals?

Definitely not! Such an unrealistic recommendation at this time would be
a recipe for having the entire institutional open-access initiative fail,
and lose its credibility. There are 24,000 refereed journals today, and
fewer than 600 of them are open-access.

> What would it mean for its libraries?

Initially, little. Institutional open-access provision will not solve the
serials budget crisis. But it is an investment in an eventual solution -- and
meanwhile provides immediate open access, along with its benefits, in terms of
enhanced visibility and impact.

> Thanks in advance to any who care to enlighten me.
> Philip A. Pecorino, Ph.D.
> Professor, Philosophy
> Queensborough Community College, CUNY

The enlightenment is hereby provided. The rest is in CUNY's hands.
Research funding agencies too can help:

Stevan Harnad

NOTE: Complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing open
access to the peer-reviewed research literature online is available at
the American Scientist September Forum (98 & 99 & 00 & 01 & 02 & 03):
    Posted discussion to:

Dual Open-Access Strategy:
    BOAI-2 ("gold"): Publish your article in a suitable open-access
            journal whenever one exists.
    BOAI-1 ("green"): Otherwise, publish your article in a suitable
            toll-access journal and also self-archive it.
Received on Fri Nov 14 2003 - 23:29:09 GMT

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