Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, December 22, 2007

After the NIH mandate

Stevan Harnad, After the NIH Green OA Self-Archiving Mandate, Open Access Archivangelism, December 21, 2007.  Excerpt:

This is from your greedy, never-satisfied Archivangelist:

Now that the NIH Green OA Self-Archiving Mandate looks as if it will shortly be signed into Law:

  1. There is no need to wait to implement the NIH mandate
  2. There is no need to ape it: It can easily be optimised
  3. There is no need to reserve Green OA self-archiving for NIH-funded biomedical research
  4. All universities should mandate that all their research articles in all their disciplines are self-archived
  5. There is no need to self-archive all those articles in PubMed Central: They should be self-archived in each university's own Institutional Repository
  6. There is no need to allow deposit to be embargoed for 12 months: Deposit should be mandated immediately upon acceptance for publication
  7. Embargoed articles can be set as Closed Access during any embargo
  8. Meanwhile the Institutional Repository will allow users webwide to email the author a semi-automatic request for an eprint for individual use immediately for any deposit that is not yet OA.

This will provide either immediate OA (62%) or almost-immediate, almost-OA (38%) for all research articles in all disciplines, worldwide. It will also ensure the natural and well-deserved death of research access embargoes soon thereafter.

Summary of how to optimize the Green OA Self-Archiving Mandate:
I. Universities mandate deposit in their own Institutional Repositories.
II. Deposit is mandated immediately upon acceptance for publication.
III. The permissible embargo is on the date the deposit is set as OA, not on the day the deposit is made.

"Optimizing OA Self-Archiving Mandates: What? Where? When? Why? How?"

Comment.  I agree with all of Stevan's points.  On the other side, I'm sure he agrees that when the NIH mandate finally becomes law, it will be a  major victory.  There's no contradiction in celebrating the victory while remembering that there's still more to do.  If there were, nobody could celebrate anything.