Re: Mandating OA around the corner?

From: Jim Till <till_at_UHNRES.UTORONTO.CA>
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2004 00:09:26 -0400

On Fri, 13 Aug 2004, Stevan Harnad wrote [in part]:

> Excerpt from Peter Suber's Open Access News
> The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL)
> has written a Brief to the Social
> Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, June
> 29, 2004.
> The brief recommends ways in which Canada's Social Science
> and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
> might transform itself, especially to
> promote new and more effective forms of scholarly
> communication.

Two of the recommendations in the brief from CARL to SSHRC

* Investigate the feasibility for recipients of SSHRC
research grants to publish in open access journals
and/or deposit research articles in institutional
repositories (p. 5).

* Encourage the use of the new institutional repositories
infrastructures being built at Canadian research libraries
to house Canadian research output (p. 6).

The authors of the brief to SSHRC did _not_ include a
recommendation that Canadian granting agencies should set up
their own electronic repositories/archives.

Why not? After all, as long as all of the repositories in a
distributed network of repositories are interoperable, it
doesn't matter whether or not they have been set up by
institutions, or by granting agencies, or by other more
discipline-oriented entities. And, if granting agencies set
up their own (interoperable) repositories, they wouldn't
need to wait for individual universities to do so.

However, perhaps it should be noted that the source of the
brief is the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, and
that research libraries are mainly based at universities.
So, perhaps the authors had an understandable bias in favour
of electronic repositories based at their own institutions
(the Canadian universities), rather than ones set up and
maintained by (one or more) Canadian granting agencies.

Of course, it doesn't matter to search engines (including
already-popular ones, such as Google) where the repositories
are based, as long as they are openly accessible, and
provide metadata that demonstrate that the sponsors of the
archive have (because of their participation in an
appropriate interoperable network) credibility.

Jim Till
University of Toronto
Received on Mon Aug 16 2004 - 05:09:26 BST

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