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July 11, 2007

Major proponents for OA Talk on How to Best Realize Permissions To Archive Postprints

Stevan Harnad, Get the Institutional Repository Managers Out of the Decision Loop, Open Access Archivangelism, June 12, 2007.

Summary: Many Institutional Repositories (IRs) are not run by researchers but by "permissions professionals," accustomed to being mired in institutional author IP protection issues and institutional library 3rd-party usage rights rather than institutional author research give-aways. The solution is to adopt a sensible institutional (or departmental) deposit mandate and then to automatize the deposit procedure so as to take Repository Managers out of the decision loop, completely.

The optimal deposit mandate is to require Open Access deposit of the refereed final draft, immediately upon acceptance for publication, but there is a compromise for the faint-hearted, and that is the Immediate-Deposit/Optional-Access (ID/OA) Mandate:

The only thing standing between us and 100% OA today is keystrokes. It is in order to get those keystrokes done, at long last, that we need OA mandates, and ID/OA is a viable interim compromise: It gets all N keystrokes done for 62% of current research, and N-1 of the keystrokes done for the remaining 38%. For that 38%, the "Fair Use Button" will take care of all immediate researcher usage needs for the time being. The robots will have their day once 100% deposit mandates prevail and the research community tastes what it is like to have 62% OA and 38% almost-OA world, at long last. For then those Nth keys will inevitably get stroked, setting everything to Open Access, as it should (and could) have been all along....

Comments by Peter Suber:

Funding agencies can bypass permission problems because they are upstream from publishers. Researchers sign their funding contracts before they sign their copyright transfer agreements with publishers. Hence, if funders are firm (the Wellcome Trust is the model here), they can mandate OA and publishers will have to choose between accommodating their policies and refusing to publish work by funded researchers. But institutional repositories are downstream from publishers and cannot bypass permission problems in the same way. I don't care much who runs an IR. But we shouldn't assume that a university-level OA mandate will make permission problems disappear. (I'm not saying that Stevan makes this assumption.)

Most journals already permit postprint archiving, so no permission-seeking is necessary. But in the minority of cases for which it is necessary, it's a great boon to have some permission-seekers on staff to assist authors.
When the relevant permission problem is an embargo, Stevan's remedy is exactly right. Authors should deposit their work immediately upon publication, but only flip the access switch from closed to open when the embargo expires. During the period of closed access, the repository can provide OA to the metadata and the author can email copies of the text to readers who request them.

Source: P Suber Open Access News of 13 June 2007

July 08, 2007

Good to know: U of Minnesota Library Teaches on Authors's rights

The University of Minnesota Libraries have created a page of Q & A on Author's Rights. Six of the questions cover the CIC Author Addendum, which UMN adopted on May 3. Excerpt by Peter Suber:

12. What if the publisher says No to the U of MN Author's Addendum?
You still have a choice of action: you could negotiate fewer rights with the publisher, or sign the standard agreement without the addendum, or investigate publishing in another venue with policies you prefer. We are aware of no instance in which a publisher has refused to publish an article where the author initially sought to retain some non-exclusive rights to the article. For more negotiating tips, see Reserving Rights of Use in Works Submitted for Publication: Negotiating Publishing Agreements or Author Rights: Using the SPARC Author Addendum to secure your rights as the author of a journal article

13. Is the U of MN Author's Addendum a threat to the viability of non-profit scholarly society journals?
No, probably not. There is as yet no evidence that publishing revenues are declining or at risk, even with the rapidly growing number of open access policies and amount of publicly available scholarship. Further, the policy contains a key provision that protects journals and the peer review process: for those journals that do not already allow open access to articles within six months of publication, the policy assumes, and faculty may specifically request, a delay of up to six months after publication and before the university places any articles in a public repository. Immediate access continues to be through the published journal.
In some disciplines, freely accessible online archives have proven to be a supplement to journal readership, not a replacement for it. In physics, for example, where nearly 100% of new articles are freely available from birth in the arXiv open-access repository, subscription-based journals have continued to thrive. The American Physical Society and the Institute of Physics Publishing are unable to identify any subscriptions lost as a result of arXiv in more than a decade of its existence [see Swan, A. (2005) Open access self-archiving: An Introduction. Technical Report, JISC, HEFCE.].

14. Is there anywhere I can share my work where I would always retain all rights to reuse it?
The University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy provides long-term preservation and access services for the intellectual and creative output of the University's academic, research, and administrative communities. Authors retain copyright to their submissions and are free to reuse their works elsewhere. Contributing works to the Conservancy does not transfer intellectual property rights. For more information, see the UDC's Copyright Policy and Deposit Agreements page.

July 05, 2007

Bibliography on filling institutional repositories

Adrian K. Ho and Joe Toth, Content Recruitment for Institutional Repositories (IR's), self-archived June 20, 2007.

Abstract: It is an annotated bibliography for a panel discussion at the 2007 American Library Association Annual Conference [Washington, D.C., June 21-27, 2007]. It focuses on relevant articles published from Jan. 2005 through May 2007.

Source: Open Access News Blog by P. Suber (21 June 2007) [FullText]

July 02, 2007

Open Access Journals Gain High Impact Factor by Thompson ISI: Good to Know for Contributors

From Mark Patterson, PLoS Director of Publishing, on the PLoS blog (reported by Peter Suber at OANews Blog):

The 2006 impact factors have just been released by Thompson ISI. The first two PLoS journals continue to perform very well: 14.1 for PLoS Biology (14.7 in 2006); 13.8 for PLoS Medicine (8.4 in 2006). The PLoS community-run journals also received their first impact factors: 4.9 for PLoS Computational Biology; 7.7 for PLoS Genetics; and 6.0 for PLoS Pathogens. (Note that the latter impact factors are based on only around six months worth of publications in 2005, and are likely to increase next year.)

Although the impact factor is an over-used and abused measure of scientific quality, it is a journal metric that is important for the research community, and so until there are alternatives, PLoS has to pay attention to the impact factor...