Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Mandating OA department by department

Arthur Sale, The Patchwork Mandate, D-Lib Magazine, January/February 2007. 

This article is written mainly for repository managers who are at a loss as to what policies they (or their universities or research institutions) ought to deploy in order to ensure that most, if not all, of the institution's scholarly output is deposited in the institution's repository. In essence, there are only two pure policies:  [1] requiring (mandating) researchers to deposit, and [2] relying on voluntary (spontaneous) participation, with or without encouragement.  This short article describes a third policy that provides a transitional path between the two....

I call it the patchwork mandate for reasons that will become obvious....What is the patchwork mandate? Simply this:

  1. Knowing that you have been unable to convince the senior executives, you nevertheless personally commit to having a mandate across your institution.
  2. You aim to pursue a strategy that will achieve an institutional mandate in the long term. (It is highly recommended that you register your intention to do this in ROARMAP so as to encourage other repository managers caught in the same dilemma.)
  3. Since you haven't been able to get an institutional mandate, you work instead towards getting departmental (school/faculty) mandates one by one. Each departmental mandate will rapidly trend towards 100%, and little activism is needed to maintain this level....

PS:  This is the published version of paper I blogged as a preprint on November 11, 2006.  See my earlier post for a supportive comment.