[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: Russia and Turkey Register Green OA Self-Archiving Mandates in ROARMAP

On Thu, 3 May 2007, Rick Anderson wrote:

> Bravo in particular to the Russian institution, whose policy 
> allows for a reasonable embargo period.

(1) It is odd (and rather sad) to see a librarian applauding an 
embargo on researchers' access to research findings.

(2) The Russian ROARMAP entry says this:

     All researchers of the Central Economics and Mathematics Institute
     of Russian Academy of Sciences are mandated by a director's decree
     to immediately deposit their papers/articles in the institutional
     Open Archive.

     ["...mandate researchers of CEMI RAS to deposit all their completed
     research (in a working paper form), including the full text, in
     institutional OA (repository) not later than 6 months after their

There is some linguistic ambiguity there, which I will write to 
Professor Parinov to clarify. My guess is that CEMI is anxious to 
have the pre-refereeing preprints deposited too, and so the 
director is saying that if an economist writes a paper, it needs 
to be deposited within 6 months of its completion. It is not a 
reference to embargoing access to the final, refereed draft (the 

What I will ask is that (a) the statement clarify that the clock 
starts at the moment of the completion of the preprint, (b) that 
the postprint must be deposited immediately on acceptance, and 
(c) if access to the postprint is not immediately set to "Open 
Access" then the "Fair Use Button" (allowing for semi-automatic 
EMAIL EPRINT REQUESTS) will be implemented to cover any research 
usage needs during any Closed Access embargo period.

(Economics has an established preprint self-archiving practice 
analogous to that in physics. In no field is it possible, or 
advisable, to force authors to make their unrefereed drafts 
public if they do not wish to. Hence my guess is that the 6-month 
window is intended more to ensure that completed papers are 
submitted for publication, rather than sat upon. In other words, 
it is just a manifestation of "publish or perish.")

I will post any clarification received from Professor Parinov.

> The policy of the Turkish institution is presented much more 
> sketchily in ROARMAP: 
> http://www.eprints.org/signup/fulllist.php -- Require their 
> researchers to deposit a copy of all their Masters and Ph.D. 
> theses, published and refereed articles in the Institutional 
> Repository of Middle East Technical University, if there are no 
> legal objections,
> So there may be also be sufficient flexibility in the Turkish 
> model to allow for commercial publishing prior to the OA 
> deposit, but it's not at all clear.

Again, the Turkish statement could be made clearer, specifying 
that the deposit should be immediately upon acceptance of the 
refereed final draft (postprint) and that "legal objections", if 
any, pertain only to the date of access-setting (Open Access vs. 
Closed Access), *not* to the date of the deposit itself, which 
should be immediately upon acceptance for publication. (Again, 
the Fair Use Button can tide over research usage needs during any 
embargo period.)

   "Optimizing OA Self-Archiving Mandates: What? Where? When? Why?

Let me close with a personal observation: I have criticised 
(some) librarians for being part of the problem rather than the 
solution insofar as OA is concerned. I think that is still very 
true, but perhaps misleading, because it is equally true that 
some librarians are not only part of the solution, but leaders of 
the worldwide OA movement toward the optimal and inevitable 
solution. (Prominent examples are Eloy Rodriques of Minho and 
Derek Law of Glasgow; there are many, many others too.)

And history will make it clear that the *real* problem that 
delayed OA for over a decade longer than when it was already 
fully within reach was not those in the library community who 
favored embargoing OA (or ignoring it altogether); nor was it 
"legal objections." The historic cause of the unnecessary and 
conterproductive delay was the vast majority (85%) of the 
research community itself -- the ones who are the providers as 
well as the beneficiaries of OA. Their causal role can best be 
described as inertial inaction. That is why mandates by their 
institutions and their funders became necessary at all.

Applauding access embargoes strikes me as a paradigmatic example 
of the regressive role of some parts of the library community. 
But sitting on their hands until the keystrokes were mandated 
trumps that several times over...

     "...why did the Give-Away authors not flock to the new medium, and the
     free, open, global access to their work that it would provide? This
     is what next year's millennium is poised to chide us for. There are
     some excuses, but at bottom it will be seen to be the sluggishness
     of human nature and its superstitious cleavage to old habits."
     (D-lib Magazine 1999) http://cogprints.org/1685/00/12harnad.html

(I shall abstain from the inevitable ensuing round of speculation 
and counterspeculation about the destruction of journal 
publishing if immediate OA self-archiving is mandated: It is to 
moot and thereby bypass all of that idle conjecturing -- and 
equally idle "legal objections" -- that the 
Immediate-Deposit/Optional-Access compromise mandate plus the 
Fair Use Button were designed.)

     "The Immediate-Deposit/Optional Access (ID/OA) Mandate: Rationale and

     Berners-Lee, T., De Roure, D., Harnad, S. and Shadbolt, N. (2005)
     Journal publishing and author self-archiving: Peaceful Co-Existence
     and Fruitful Collaboration.

     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.

Stevan Harnad