Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, February 08, 2008

New roles for IRs

Jean-Gabriel Bankier and Irene Perciali, The Institutional Repository Rediscovered: What Can a University Do for Open Access Publishing?, Serials Review, in press (posted online February 6, 2008). The full text is not OA, at least so far. Abstract:
Universities have always been one of the key players in open access publishing and have encountered the particular obstacle that faces this Green model of open access, namely, disappointing author uptake. Today, the university has a unique opportunity to reinvent and to reinvigorate the model of the institutional repository. This article explores what is not working about the way we talk about repositories to authors today and how can we better meet faculty needs. More than an archive, a repository can be a showcase that allows scholars to build attractive scholarly profiles, and a platform to publish original content in emerging open-access journals.
Comment. See also Stevan Harnad's comments on the piece.
The authors, B&P, note (correctly) that Institutional Repositories (IRs) did not fill spontaneously upon creation. But their article does not mention or take into account today's swelling tide of funder and university Green OA self-archiving mandates. ...

Mandates... have consistently proved highly effective [in accelerating the transition to OA], in every instance where they were adopted, and mandates are now growing rapidly. Researchers comply, and comply willingly. It is apparent that mandates play the role of welcome facilitation, not unwelcome coercion, serving to allay author fears about copyright and author uncertainty about priorities.