RE: US University OA Resolutions Omit Most Important Component

From: Alma Swan <>
Date: Sun, 15 May 2005 21:10:28 EDT

In response to a comment by David Prosser, Jan Szczepanski said:
> I would say that You are absolutely wrong. We don't do the things you
> say we do. I don't think you, a director at SPARC or I, a librarian from
> Sweden has that power. NIH could be included in "we", that's power,
> bureaucratic power. As You know bureaucrats are not liked by anyone.
> If it is not we that force the researcher, who is?

It is certainly not up to librarians to issue edicts to researchers on
this matter, but employers and funders do have the right to insist on
researchers carrying out a course of action. If we replace the rather
emotive word 'force' with 'require' then we already know what the outcome
would be. Of the almost 1300 researchers recently polled on this issue,
the results are as follows:

* 81% would WILLINGLY comply with a requirement from their employer or
  funder to self-archive their articles
* 13% would comply reluctantly
* 5% would refuse to comply
> Researchers are part of a research community with a very special and
> nobel agenda and they act civilized.

They do, and they have two other characteristics worth mentioning in this
context. Many are still ignorant of open access and its benefits (over
30%, for example, are unaware of self-archiving as a means to provide open
access) and they are busy people, for whom the few minutes it takes to
self-archive an article may seem a distraction from other work. Just as
funders require researchers to take the time to write an end-of-project
report, and employers levy an implicit requirement for researchers to
publish their results, they can also legitimately require them to spend a
few minutes depositing articles in an open access archive. And expect
little in the way of dissent, too.

Alma Swan
Key Perspectives Ltd
Truro, UK
Received on Mon May 16 2005 - 02:10:28 BST

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