Re: Universidade do Minho Open Access Policy

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2006 00:13:44 -0500

May I point out that the U. Minho mandate is not just carrots but also a
stick? I.e., U. Minho doesn't just reward self-archiving, it *requires* it.

But formally requiring self-archiving -- along with an active library
support system -- is all that's needed for successful implementation.

The JISC/Key-Perspectives author survey

found that 95% of authors would comply (whether the mandate came from
their institutions or their funders) and the four institutions that
*have* mandated it so far (instead of imagining they couldn't, or that
author's wouldn't) are all well along the road toward 100% compliance,
exactly as the JISC study had predicted. In contrast, the institutions
that merely request/encourage/invite it are all languishing at the 15%
level that is the global baseline for spontaneous self-archiving (as
Arthur Sale's analyses have pointed out).

In other words, a self-archiving mandate does not need teeth
(penalties, sanctions); it only needs testosterone (on the part of
the mandating institution): It need merely be formally adopted. It
can and should be treated as an internal record-keeping matter: a
means of providing input for performance review. The intrinsic
benefits (enhanced usage and citations), which are already rewarded
in performance review, will take care of the rest as a matter of
course. The obstacle is not more nor less than digital inertia (lazy
fingers); the only hurdle that now stands between us and 100% OA is not
journal toll-barriers but author keystrokes (only a few minutes'
worth per paper).

The optimal and inevitable outcome merely awaits a keystroke mandate
to accelerate it along its natural course.

Stevan Harnad

On 1-Mar-06, at 11:17 PM, George Porter wrote:

> As Dorothea Salo so eloquently put it
> <
> spaghet
> ti/>, "... "Make IR deposit mandatory!" Sure, that's a magic-bullet
> answer --if you have that kind of power. I don't,...." [Thanks to
> Peter
> Suber, Open Access News
> <
> 2006_02_26_fosblogarchive.html#11412
> 3256050011629> or <>.]
> Jim Neal, University Librarian at Columbia, noted at the ACRL/SPARC
> Forum at ALA Midwinter that a university is a large group of
> independent, entrepreneurial faculty bound together by their common
> concern about parking. Generally speaking, the more august the
> assemblage of faculty, the less directive any person or administrative
> body can dare to be, if they wish to continue to wield any degree of
> authority. In fact, parking policy, which most would agree is a
> volatile issue in most places, is a walk in the park compared to
> instructing faculty how they WILL conduct/communicate their research.
> Funding organizations (NIH, the Wellcome Trust, UK NRC) have that kind
> of leverage and power. It's called the power of the purse.
> Researchers
> who don't care for the (proposed) strings attached to the research
> funding from these sources can pursue funding elsewhere. Their
> academic
> freedom remains unimpaired. Of course, as the current NIH mandate /
> request / recommendation / appeal / plea/ nonbinding resolution has
> amply demonstrated, the strings are currently construed lack the
> tensile
> strength of gossamer and any meaningful level of conviction.
> Minho is to be commended for exploring the frontier of mandated IR
> deposits. They are to be further congratulated on devising a
> sustained,
> competitive reward scheme to establish social behaviors and workflows
> which _may_ persist beyond the carrot stage. Minho's (and Salo's)
> experience is still quite short and therefore dangerous to extrapolate
> into the long term. Further, while there are many similarities
> between
> research institutions, there are also tremendous differences within
> and
> between countries and most other metrics one might try to assess. At
> best, and as always, your mileage may vary.
> George S. Porter
> Sherman Fairchild Library of Engineering & Applied Science
> California Institute of Technology
> Mail Code 1-43, Pasadena, CA 91125-4300
> Telephone (626) 395-3409 Fax (626) 431-2681
> contributor |
Received on Thu Mar 02 2006 - 11:46:50 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:48:13 GMT