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News from the open access movement

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

More on the SPARC / Science Commons white paper

Stevan Harnad, Optimal Institutional Open Access Mandate: SPARC/SCIENCE-COMMONS White Paper, Open Access Archivangelism, April 28, 2008. 

Summary:  The SPARC / SCIENCE COMMONS WHITE PAPER on "what faculty authors can do to ensure open access to their work through their institution" proposes the key modification that will upgrade the Harvard self-archiving mandate to the optimal alternative -- a universal, no-opt-out, Deposit Mandate, plus a licensing clause with an opt-out option -- making the mandate suitable for adoption by all universities and funders worldwide. The crucial difference is that the deposit clause must be no-opt-out -- a true mandate. (I hope Harvard too will consider making the tiny change that would upgrade its mandate to this optimal alternative.) This upgraded mandate, more powerful even than what the White Paper notes, should now also make it more evident why it is so important to integrate university and funder mandates, both converging deposit on (and then harvesting from) the repositories of the institutions that are the providers of all the research (attention NIH!).

From the body of the post:

...It is such a pleasure (and relief!) to be able to endorse this paper unreservedly.

There are distinct signs in the text that the drafters have been attentive, and paying close heed to what has proved empirically to work and not work elsewhere, and why....