Re: Australian Research Council Expects Fundees to Self-Archive

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Sun, 24 Dec 2006 01:36:40 +0000


has given the Australian Research Council

the following advice:

> Research funders should include in all grants and contracts a
> provision reserving for the government relevant non-exclusive
> rights (as described below) to research papers and data.

Fine, but this is not a prerequisite for self-archiving, nor for mandating
self-archiving. It is enough if ARC clearly mandates deposit; the rest
will take care of itself.

> All peer-reviewed research papers and associated data stemming
> from public funding should be required to be maintained in stable
> digital repositories that permit free, timely public access,
> interoperability with other resources on the Internet, and
> long-term preservation. Exemptions should be strictly limited and
> justified.

That, presumably, is what the ARC self-archiving mandate amounts to.

> Users should be permitted to read, print, search, link to, or
> crawl these research outputs. In addition, policies that make
> possible the download and manipulation of text and data by
> software tools should be considered.

All unnecessary; all comes with the territory, if self-archiving is
mandated. (The policy does not need extra complications: a clear
self-archiving mandate simply needs adoption and implementation.)

> Deposit of their works in qualified digital archives should be
> required of all funded investigators, extramural and intramural
> alike.

Yes, the self-archiving mandate should apply to all funded research.

> While this responsibility might be delegated to a journal
> or other agent, to assure accountability the responsibility should
> ultimately be that of the funds recipient.

Not clear what this refers to, but, yes, it is the fundee who should
be mandated to self-archive.

> Public access to research outputs should be provided as early as
> possible after peer review and acceptance for publication. For
> research papers, this should be not later than six months after
> publication in a peer-reviewed journal. This embargo period
> represents a reasonable, adequate, and fair compromise between the
> public interest and the needs of journals.

The self-archiving mandate that ARC should adopt is the ID/OA mandate

whereby deposit is mandatory immediately upon acceptance for publication,
and the embargo (if any, 6 months max) is applicable only to the date at
which access to the deposit is set as Open Access (rather than Closed
Access), not to the date of deposit itself. During any Closed Access
embargo interval, each repository's semi-automatic EMAIL EPRINT button
will cover all research usage needs.

> We also recommend that, as a means of further accelerating innovation, a
> portion of each grant be earmarked to cover the cost of publishing
> papers in peer-reviewed open-access journals, if authors so choose. This
> would provide potential readers with immediate access to results, rather
> than after an embargo period.

The ID/OA mandate -- together with the EMAIL EPRINT button -- already
cover all immediate-access needs without needlessly diverting any
research money at this time. The time to pay for publication will be if
and when self-archiving causes subscriptions to collapse, and if that
time ever comes, it will be the saved institutional subscription funds
themselves that will pay for the publication costs, with no need to
divert already-scarce funds from research. To divert money from research
now, however, is to needlessly double-pay for OA, which can already be
provided by author self-archiving without any further cost.

Stevan Harnad
Received on Sun Dec 24 2006 - 01:49:55 GMT

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