[LINK] Australian government open access policy for research publishing?

Tom Worthington Tom.Worthington at tomw.net.au
Mon Dec 18 17:48:42 AEDT 2006

At 10:50 AM 12/18/2006, Roger Clarke wrote:
>At 9:51 +1100 18/12/06, Tom Worthington wrote:
>>ps: The endorsement of Professor Sale's proposal by the ACS set 
>>some sort of record. ...
>... I didn't have ACS's Digital Library in mind (because Tom's only 
>invented that subsequently). ...

I made up the name "ACS Digital Library" for an ANU assignment in 
August, by analogy to the ACM and IEEE digital libraries: 

But the idea goes back to my response to Evan Arthur's thought 
experiment in 2004 <http://www.tomw.net.au/2005/dm/masticate.html>. 
My suggestion was that university repositories could automatically 
harvest open access papers by their authors directly from the 
publisher's system, or via the National Library of Australia. This 
would save each university having to laboriously enter the details of 
each paper.

It would also boost the status of Australian researchers by 
encouraging new publishing, rather than going cap in hand to overseas 
publishers begging for copies of papers which they had given away the 
copyright to. It would also improve the balance of payments as we 
would not have to pay to import copies of those publications.

This followed an overview of e-publishing options for ACS I presented 
to the ANU students in 2001 
That in turn was based on the discussions on publishing I had at a 
meeting with other leaders of the world's IT societies in 1996 

>... I was actually thinking of the many well-established 
>disciplinary and domain-based collections.  (The university 
>repositories, excellent idea though they are, actually appear to be 
>the slowest growing).

The current crop of university repositories do not make a lot of 
sense to me. There is little incentive for authors for registering 
material in the university repository: they do not get paid extra, 
nor any more kudos, as that material has already been published. So 
it is not surprising that university repositories are not growing fast.

It would make more sense for the universities (and government) to 
invest in open access publications. The author has an incentive to 
enter the data into the system, because they get a publication 
credited to them. The university can automatically harvest the 
details from the publisher's system. In the long run it might even be 
cheaper to create new e-publications, than enter the details from 
existing publications.

Of course the few high status authors in Australia who can easily get 
their material easily published by prestigious international 
publishers will not like this. But perhaps they can be persuaded by 
being offered positions on the boards of the new e-publications.

This might also make university presses viable, as the publishers of 
this academic material. As it is university presses are stuck in a 
twilight world of being neither commercially viable nor academically 
respectable. Instead they could publish journals (which are 
academically respectable) and conference proceedings (which are profitable).

Tom Worthington FACS HLM tom.worthington at tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd            ABN: 17 088 714 309
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617                http://www.tomw.net.au/
Visiting Fellow, ANU      Blog: http://www.tomw.net.au/blog/atom.xml  

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