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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Will France's HAL deter university OA mandates?

Stevan Harnad, 50th Green OA Self-Archiving Mandate Worldwide: France's ANR/SHS, Open Access Archivangelism, July 29, 2008.  Excerpt:

...[The] Green OA self-archiving mandate [at the ANR/SHS is] France's first funder mandate, its second mandate, and the world's 50th....

Note that the situation in France with central repositories is very different from the case of NIH's PMC repository: France's HAL is a national central repository where (in principle) (1) all French research output --from every field, and every institution-- can be deposited and (again, in principle) (2) every French institution (or department or funder) can have its own interface and "look" in HAL, a "virtual" Institutional Repository (IR), saving it the necessity of creating an IR of its own if it does not feel it needs to.

The crucial underlying question -- and several OA advocates in France are raising the question, notably Hélène Bosc -- is whether the probability of adopting institutional OA mandates in France is increased or decreased by the HAL option: Are universities more inclined to adopt a window on HAL, and to mandate central deposit of all their institutional research output, or would they be more inclined to mandate deposit in their own autonomous university IRs, which they manage and control?

Again, the SWORD protocol for automatic import and export between IRs and CRs is pertinent, because then it doesn't matter which way institutions prefer to do it.

PS:  Also see my post yesterday on the new ANR OA mandate.