Re: RCUK policy on open access

From: Steve Hitchcock <>
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 12:22:58 +0100

At 16:59 28/06/2005, Stevan Harnad wrote:
> > Long-term preservation
> > RCUK draws a distinction between two
> > overlapping purposes: (a) making published material quickly and
> > easily available, free of charge to users at the point of use, and
> > (b) long-term preservation and curation.
>... Please do not conflate the two,
>adding a spurious preservation cost to the provision of the
>self-archived OA supplement, as if the self-archived supplement
>were the official version, the only version, and the one with the
>essential need for long-term preservation.
>The self-archived supplements can and will be preserved for long-term
>access, but theirs is not the general problem of digital preservation
>of journal articles! Nor is the latter the problem that the RCUK
>is or should be trying to solve. RCUK is concerned with providing
>access to UK research results for those who cannot afford access
>to the official journal version.

*can and will be preserved*. In the UK JISC is funding two nascent
investigations into preserving the contents of IRs, Preserv
( and Sherpa-DP
( In both cases the emerging
model is to deliver content from the IR to a preservation specialist.

On the point about preservation costs, these need not be a barrier to
launching IRs. Business models for IRs have to be developed, but a broadly
comparable model of preservation services has been adopted by publishers
for journal articles, vesting preservation with specialists with no initial
service costs to the publishers. To take an example, the arrangement
between the KB (Koninklijke Bibliotheek - National library of the
Netherlands) and a number of large international publishers for
preservation services for digital copies of journals is that there are no
up front costs to the publisher from the KB (see e.g.

Steve Hitchcock
IAM Group, School of Electronics and Computer Science
University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 3256 Fax: +44 (0)23 8059 2865
Received on Wed Jun 29 2005 - 12:22:58 BST

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