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

Are Green OA Self-Archiving Mandates Maoist Monstrosities?

Apparently those who lived in or near the Soviet Fortress for many years were (understandably) so traumatized by it that they can now no longer distinguish between the abuses and absurdities of Bolshevik control and genuinely beneficial rules. It might help if Jan contemplated whether the longstanding publish-or-perish mandate (which ensures that researchers bother to publish at all) is likewise a Maoist aberration... (or, for that matter, anti-smoking and pro-seatbelt rules...)

Stevan Harnad

On Tue, 15 Jan 2008, Jan Szczepanski wrote:

In his latest talk with with prominent open access advocates
Richard Poynder is talking to Dr Alma Swan. It's a fascinating
and scary picture that is presented.

In the late fifties Mao Zedong introduced that Great Leap and now
fifty years later we are going to take a giant leap according to
Dr Swan.

In China backyard steel furnances would do the job; in Dr Swans
world it's the mandate and local institutional repository that is
going to change the world away from big industry and the
capitalist society.

Open Access is inevitable according to Dr Swan, as once Socialism
was. Mandate is the key to the Open Access World.

Instead of Five Year Plans we will have Metrics to see to it that
the way forward is the Green Way.

The commissars overlooking that the Giant Leap will happen is
"Pro-Vice- Chancellors" at the universities, the real
reprsentatives of the research communities.

A citatation from Wikipedia:

These reforms (sometimes now referred to as /The Little Leap
Forward/) were generally unpopular with the peasants and usually
implemented by summoning them to meetings and making them stay
there for days and sometimes weeks until they "voluntarily"
agreed to join the collective.

A citation by Dr Swan:

AS: Mandates are essential for lots of reasons. One reason is
that they make researchers aware of Open Access where they
weren't before. The level of ignorance is still very high. And if
their university suddenly requires them to do something it will
focus researchers' minds. More mportantly, of course, a mandate
will actually make them do it, because regardless of the Open
Access Advantage, they won't put their research into a repository
if they don't have to. It's another bureaucratic thing to do. And
they still have worries about the legality of it. Being told by
their institution to do it gives them the feeling that it is safe
and sensible to do it. So to make them do it you need to tell
them that they have to!

Richard Poynder's comment:

Dr Swan has a clear eye for what is needed

How will the future be?

AS: Once the content and the infrastructure are in place we are
going to see knowledge take a giant leap. The way to view it is
that the last 7-8,000 years or so of human civilisation's
struggle for knowledge has taken place on one plane, determined
and constrained by what our own brains can absorb, put together
and make sense of: now we are about to move to another plane
altogether, with the help of machine brains.

From profit makers to machine brains, what a future!

Jan Szczepanski
Forste bibliotekarie
Goteborgs universitetsbibliotek
E-mail: Jan.Szczepanski@ub.gu.se