Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, January 20, 2006

Stevan Harnad response to Catherine Candee

Stevan Harnad, Publishing Reform, University Self-Publishing and Open Access, Open Access Archivangelism, January 19, 2006. Excerpt:
Here is a quick summary of points of agreement and disagreement with the University of California (UC) view of Open Access (OA) and Institutional Repositories (IRs) as described by Catherine Candee (CC in her interview by Richard Poynder (RP) in Changing the paradigm [PS: excerpt blogged here on Wednesday]: (1) UC considers publication reform to be the goal, OA merely a means: I would consider OA to be the goal and publication reform merely a hypothetical possibility that might or might not follow from OA. (2) UC considers providing OA to postprints (i.e., final drafts of published journal articles) a lesser priority for IRs, I think they are the first priority. (3) UC moved away from Eprints and postprint self-archiving because of the extremely low level of spontaneous uptake by UC faculty, assuming it was because it was "too difficult." It is far more likely that the low uptake was because UC did not adopt an institutional self-archiving mandate. Those institutions that have done so have dramatically higher self-archiving rates. (4) UC instead outsourced self-archiving to an expensive service that, being a secondary publisher, needs to expend a lot of resources on following up rights problems for each published paper; the result so far is that UC's eScholarship IR is still not self-archiving more than the c. 15% worldwide self-archiving baseline for postprints. (5) The other reason UC moved away from Eprints and postprint archiving is because of its publishing reform goals, including university self-publishing (of journals and monographs). I think monographs are (for the time being) a separate matter, and should be handled separately from journal article OA, and that peer review needs to be implemented by a neutral 3rd party, not the author or the author's institution. The immediate priority is postprint OA.