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Thursday, February 19, 2009

More on the NIH's willingness to work with IRs

Stevan Harnad, NIH Open to Closer Collaboration With Institutional Repositories, Open Access Archivangelism, February 19, 2009.

Summary:  NIH's Acting Director, Raynard Kington, writes that "NIH [is] open to closer collaboration with institutional [repositories]... [D]irect feeds from [institutional repositories (IRs) are worthwhile [but] raise important technical and logistical challenges..."

All technical and logistical challenges to designating Institutional Repositories (IRs) as NIH's preferred locus of direct deposit (followed by "direct feed" to PubMed Central (PMC)) can be successfully met (most already have been):

(1) The SWORD transfer protocol has already solved the problem of automatically exporting IR deposits to other respoitories.

(2) "Author approval": Authors are mandated by NIH to deposit, and NIH specifies the locus of deposit.

(3) "Copyright permissions": If copyright is not an issue with PMC deposit, it is even less of an issue with direct institutional deposit in the fundee's own IR.

(4) "Quality control": The IR deposit can be exported by "direct feed" (via SWORD) to PMC, where exactly the same quality controls can be performed as are now being performed by PMC.

(5) "Formats for electronic transfer": The SWORD protocol does the electronic transfer, and the format for deposit of the author's final, refereed, revised draft is exactly the same.

The benefits of NIH/institutional collaboration on direct feeds will be enormous, and will far exceed the current reach of the NIH mandate. This should also be cited in the defense of NIH's historically invaluable public access policy against the Conyers Bill's attempt to overturn it....