Maximising the Return on Resource Investment in Research

From: Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2006 23:01:06 +0100

In a recent preprint, Houghton & Sheehan (2006), using estimates from
economic modeling, have confirmed the substantial potential enhancement
of the return on resource investment in research if the resulting
articles are made Open Access:

    John Houghton & Peter Sheehan (2006) The Economic Impact
    of Enhanced Access to Research Findings. Centre for
    Strategic Economic Studies. Victoria University. July
    2006. http://www.cfses.com/documents/wp23.pdf

    EXCERPT:
    "Whether applied across the board or to sector specific research
    findings (e.g. open access to publicly funded research) it seems
    that there may be substantial potential benefits to be gained from
    more open access. For example...

         With Germany's GERD at USD 58.7 billion and assuming social
        returns to R&D of 50%, a 5% increase in access and efficiency
        would have been worth USD 3 billion;

         With Japan's GERD at USD 112.7 billion and assuming social
        returns to R&D of 50%, a 5% increase in access and efficiency
        would have been worth USD 5.8 billion;

         With the United Kingdom's GERD at USD 33.7 billion and
        assuming social returns to R&D of 50%, a 5% increase in access
        and efficiency would have been worth USD 1.7 billion; and

         With the United State's GERD at USD 312.5 billion and assuming
        social returns to R&D of 50%, a 5% increase in access and
        efficiency would have been worth USD 16 billion.

    "While it is impossible to calculate the quantum of benefits with
    certainty, these simple estimates of the potential impacts of enhanced
    access on returns to R&D suggest that a move towards more open access
    may have substantial positive impacts...

    "Given substantial R&D expenditures and the scale of the potential
    impacts identified in this preliminary work, these issues represent
    fertile ground for further policy relevant inquiry."
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

These estimates agree substantially with prior estimates that have been
made (e.g., for the UK, Canada and Australia, see Harnad 2005a,b,c, below).

Research Funding Councils and Universities worldwide are at last
beginning to realise that it is high time (indeed well overdue) to
maximise the returns on their research investment by mandating Open
Access self-archiving (see Harnad et al 2003; Sale 2006a,b,c,d,e; Swan
2006, below).

REFERENCES

Harnad, S., Carr, L., Brody, T. & Oppenheim, C. (2003) Mandated online
RAE CVs Linked to University Eprint Archives: Improving the UK Research
Assessment Exercise whilst making it cheaper and easier. Ariadne 35
(April 2003).
http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue35/harnad/

Harnad, S. (2005) Making the case for web-based self-archiving. Research
Money 19 (16).
http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/11534/

Harnad, S. (2005) Maximising the Return on UK's Public Investment in
Research.
http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/11220/
http://openaccess.eprints.org/index.php?/archives/28-guid.html

Harnad, Stevan (2005) Australia Is Not Maximising the Return on its
Research Investment. In Steele, Prof Colin, Eds. Proceedings National
Scholarly Communications Forum 2005, Sydney, Australia.
http://eprints.utas.edu.au/204/
http://openaccess.eprints.org/index.php?/archives/41-guid.html

Harnad, S. (2006) Opening Access by Overcoming Zeno's
Paralysis, in Jacobs, N., Eds. Open Access: Key Strategic,
Technical and Economic Aspects, chapter 8. Chandos.
http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/12094/

Sale, Arthur (2006a) Researchers and institutional repositories,
in Jacobs, Neil, Eds. Open Access: Key Strategic, Technical and Economic
Aspects, chapter 9, pages 87-100. Chandos Publishing (Oxford) Limited.
http://eprints.utas.edu.au/257/

Sale, Arthur (2006b) Comparison of IR content
policies in Australia. First Monday 11(4).
http://eprints.utas.edu.au/264/

Sale, Arthur (2006c) The impact of mandatory
policies on ETD acquisition. D-Lib Magazine 12(4).
http://eprints.utas.edu.au/267/

Sale, Arthur (2006d) Generic Risk Analysis - Open Access for your
institution. Technical Report, School of Computing, University of
Tasmania. http://eprints.utas.edu.au/266/

Sale, Arthur (2006e) Maximizing the research impact of your publications.
Technical Report, School of Computing, University of Tasmania.
http://eprints.utas.edu.au/279/

Sale, Arthur (2006f) The acquisition of open access research articles.
Technical Report, School of Computing, University of Tasmania.
http://eprints.utas.edu.au/375/

Shadbolt, N., Brody, T., Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2006) The Open
Research Web: A Preview of the Optimal and the Inevitable, in Jacobs,
N., Eds. Open Access: Key Strategic, Technical and Economic Aspects,
chapter 21. Chandos. http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/12453/

Swan, A. (2006) The culture of Open Access: researchers'
views and responses, in Jacobs, N., Eds. Open Access: Key
Strategic, Technical and Economic Aspects, chapter 7. Chandos.
http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/12428/

Prior American Scientist Open Access Forum Topic Thread:

    "What Provosts Need to Mandate" (2003)
    http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Hypermail/Amsci/subject.html#3241

    "Maximising the Return on UK's Public Investment in Research" (2005)
    http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Hypermail/Amsci/subject,html#4755.html

Stevan Harnad

AMERICAN SCIENTIST OPEN ACCESS FORUM:
http://amsci-forum.amsci.org/archives/American-Scientist-Open-Access-Forum.html

UNIVERSITIES: If you have adopted or plan to adopt an institutional
policy of providing Open Access to your own research article output,
please describe your policy at:
        http://www.eprints.org/signup/sign.php

UNIFIED DUAL OPEN-ACCESS-PROVISION POLICY:
    BOAI-1 ("green"): Publish your article in a suitable toll-access journal
            http://romeo.eprints.org/
OR
    BOAI-2 ("gold"): Publish your article in a open-access journal if/when
            a suitable one exists.
            http://www.doaj.org/
AND
    in BOTH cases self-archive a supplementary version of your article
            in your institutional repository.
            http://www.eprints.org/self-faq/
            http://archives.eprints.org/
            http://openaccess.eprints.org/
Received on Thu Aug 10 2006 - 00:07:54 BST

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