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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Institutional mandates work

Stevan Harnad, Administrative Keystroke Mandates To Record Research Output Can Serve As Open Access Mandates Too, Open Access Archivangelism, November 28, 2007.

There is no need to keep waiting for governmental OA mandates.
Harnad, Stevan (2005) The OA Policy of Southampton University (ECS), UK: the "Keystroke" Strategy [Putting the Berlin Principle into Practice: the Southampton Keystroke Policy] . Delivered at Berlin 3 Open Access: Progress in Implementing the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, University of Southampton (UK).

University OA mandates are natural extensions of universities' existing record-keeping, asset management, and performance-assessment policies. They complement research-funder OA mandates, and are the most efficient and productive way to monitor and credit compliance and fulfillment for both. Australia's Arthur Sale has done the most work on this. Please read what he has to say:

Arthur Sale wrote in the American Scientist Open Access Forum:

The evidence is quite clear that advocacy does not work by itself, and never has worked anywhere. To repeat the bleeding obvious once again: depositing in repositories is avoidable work under a voluntary regime, and like all avoidable work it will be avoided by most academics, even if perceived to be in their best interests, and even if the work is minor. The work needs to be (a) required and (b) integrated into the work pattern of researchers, so it becomes the norm. This is the purpose of mandates - to make it clear to researchers that they are expected to do this work.

My research and published papers show that mandates do work, and they take a couple of years for the message to sink in. Enforcement need only be a light touch - reporting to heads of departments for example. (See references below.) ...