A lot of the momentum propelling the open access movement recently has come from self-archiving mandates from public funders of research – specifically, national-level government entities....
But national agencies are not the only public funders of academic research, at least in the U.S. State and local governments also fund research, as do academic institutions themselves. The dollar figures amount to far less, but the principles are the same; the public access argument applies equally....
OA is a good idea; where are the states willing to try it? (I don’t see any in ROARMAP.) ...
Importantly, states may choose not to follow the NIH precedent that agencies can’t (or won’t) mandate public access without legislative authorization. In other words, if you can convince the agency it’s the right thing to do, the agency itself could adopt the policy, avoiding the need to legislate.
Another potential difference is the way state funders frame their research output. It seems that federal research is seen primarily as a public good that must be provided – “If we don’t do this, nobody will” – and only secondarily as a means to differentiate the U.S. from its peers or selectively advance American researchers or institutions. For states, the reverse is true: funding is seen as a way to attract top researchers to the state, to improve the competitiveness of institutions in the state, and to stimulate local economies (e.g. by germinating start-ups)....I can imagine, for example, a repository to showcase state-funded research might be a popular idea among state funders and legislators....
[I]nstitutional mandates haven’t much caught on....Institutional funders, however, may have more leverage....
Gavin is right that the taxpayer argument for OA applies as much to states and provinces as to national governments.
In the US to date, the state-level initiative with the most energy is the campaign for OA to California-funded stem cell research. For example, the University of California Academic Senate urged California policy-makers to mandate OA for this research (April 2005). The UC President supported the Academic Senate with his own letter (May 2005). After the research-funding agencies agreed to a data-sharing policy, industry lobbyists succeeded in watering down (July 2006). California citizens were invited to make their own case for OA directly to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and many did so, apparently with some effect, using background materials prepared by OA advocates at the UC (September 2006). But as far as I know, the campaign is still stalled at partial success --a story with depressing similarities to the NIH policy. For more detail, see my blog posts on the campaign.
Note that Manitoba has had a progressive, provincial-level open data policy since 2000.
Peter Suber at 9/15/2007 03:05:00 PM.
The open access movement:
Putting peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly literature
on the internet. Making it available free of charge and
free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
Removing the barriers to serious research.