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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Embargo the OA, if necessary, but not the repository deposit

Stevan Harnad, Don't Make Deposit Timing Policy Conditional On Publisher Embargo Policies, Open Access Archivangelism, April 17, 2007.  Excerpt:

On Mon, 16 Apr 2007, Alexander Borbély, University of Zurich, wrote in the American Scientist Open Access Forum:

I was astonished to read that depositing the final version of the manuscript is prohibited [for Blackwell's European Journal of Neuroscience]... Making available only the version originally submitted is not very useful if major modifications based on the referees' recommendation are made....

Are you familiar with these instructions and what is your opinion?

I am very familiar with these instructions. Blackwell's is a 12-month embargo publisher.

The solution is extremely simple: always deposit the postprint (i.e., the refereed, revised, accepted final draft) immediately upon acceptance for publication (definitely not 12 months later!) and set the access as "Closed Access" instead of "Open Access," if you wish, which means the metadata (author, title, journal, abstract) are openly accessible to anyone on the web immediately, but the full-text is not. In addition...make sure to implement the "Fair Use" Button (in your university's repository, ZORA): EMAIL EPRINT REQUEST.

All searches will lead to the Closed Access Deposit, and that in turn has the Button, which will provide for all usage needs during the 1-year embargo, semi-automatically, almost immediately, via almost-OA....

Several other points:

(1) Unlike Blackwell's journals, most journals (62%) already endorse immediate OA deposit.

(2) There is no reason whatsoever to hold out for the publisher's PDF: The author's postprint is just fine for all research purposes! ...

(3) [I]t is...good scholarly practice, wherever possible, to also deposit, even earlier, the pre-refereeing preprint (especially if submitting to an embargo publisher): The repository will tag the preprint clearly as an unrefereed draft, with a prominent link to the refereed postprint (and from there to the "Fair Use" button); this will also allow search engines to pick up the full-text for full-text indexing in the case of a Closed Access deposit, leading to many more discoveries of both the preprint and the postprint.

I do not for one microsecond believe that any publisher's statement that "a corrected version of the preprint (i.e., the postprint) cannot be made OA immediately" has any legal validity; nor do I think such nonsense could ever be enforced, had it had any legal validity....