Re: The UK report, press coverage, and the Green and Gold Roads to Open Access

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 21:23:11 EDT

On Thu, 22 Jul 2004, DECLAN BUTLER, NATURE wrote:

> Its strongest recommendation is that the UK government should ensure that
> funders make it compulsory for researchers to post their papers online.
> "Our idea - a rabbit out of the hat - will make the university library
> system sit up and listen," says Gibson.
> The idea of posting material online has been around for a decade, and an
> increasing number of institutions are building online repositories.
> DSpace, for example, developed at the Massachusetts Institute of
> Technology, aims to store the institute's entire intellectual output,
> including data and course materials (see Nature 420, 17-18; 2002).

MIT/HP's DSpace, with a good deal of dosh in subsidy, is predicatably
getting most of the mentions, but it is Southampton's GNU EPrints that is
getting most of the archives:

    * GNU EPrints v2 (113)
    * other (45)
    * DSpace (28)
    * GNU EPrints v1 (18)
    * ARNO (2)
    * DiVA (1)
    * CDSWare (1)

and, more important, providing the guidance and policy on how and why and
with what to fill the archives:

Not that it's the software that matters:

    "EPrints, DSpace or ESpace?"

What it will all come down to is institutional self-archiving
policies. Once those policies are mandated, the OA era will be upon us.

It is quite true that the idea of self-archiving has been around for a decade: (1994)

It is historians who will have to explain why it took us so long to get
down to implementing it: (1998) (1999) (2001) (2001)

> Gibson says he hopes the report will make researchers aware of the issue.
> "The sad thing is that academics don't really care as long as they get
> their work published," notes Gibson. According to a recent survey by the
> Centre for Information Behaviour and the Evaluation of Research at City
> University London, 82% of working scientists say they know little or
> nothing about open access.

That is why Ian Gibson's committee was wise to recommend the mandating of
self-archiving. Now all that is needed is for institutions to implement
that mandate. (And they will!)

Stevan Harnad
Received on Mon Jul 26 2004 - 02:23:11 BST

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