Re: Maximising the Return on UK's Public Investment in Research

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 22:30:53 +0100

On Mon, 19 Sep 2005, Brian Lynch wrote:

> Until self-archiving and/or institutional repositories become
> universal, require all granting agencies and/or publishing
> organizations to mandate that all abstracts of published papers of
> electronic or paper issues [to be freely accessible through the
> Internet] must include either an e-mail address for the principal
> author, or an institutional web site providing author access through a
> directory of e-mail addresses.
> If this practice existed, anyone interested in a specific paper could
> ask the author to provide them with a preprint or postprint file.

I quite agree that this would be useful, and indeed it is part of the
"Keystroke Strategy": mandate self-archiving the metadata and full-text
immediately upon acceptance, but leave it up to the author whether they
wish to set full-text access as "OA" or just as "IA" (institution-internal
access), in which case eprints can be emailed to all who email to request
them based on the visible metadata and email address (which are always OA):

> It may be that toll-access journals would claim that an author obliging
> such a request infringes copyright, but surely no
> responsible justice system would or could secure a guilty verdict for
> the supposed "offence".

Neither self-archiving one's own draft nor emailing it is an offence,
but the Keystroke Strategy is a suitable sop for the timid and
unimaginative. They will soon tire of sending emails and hit the "OA" key.
It is only a few keystrokes per paper that have been standing between
us and 100% OA

    Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2005) Keystroke Economy: A Study of the
    Time and Effort Involved in Self-Archiving.

The Eprints software is being designed to make either option easy and natural.

> The proposed action is the modern-day equivalent of providing a
> reproduced copy of a reprint of one's own article
> after you have exhausted your supply of publisher-supplied reprints.

(as has been noted, many, many times: but one can never say it often enough --
until we reach 100% OA)

Stevan Harnad
Received on Mon Sep 19 2005 - 22:53:31 BST

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