[LINK] more about open info access ...

Anthony Hornby anthony.w.hornby at gmail.com
Wed Apr 1 14:00:59 AEDT 2009

Thanks Roger,
I'll go off and read the paper tonight - appreciate the link :-)
I'll respond again prior to reading it anyway and probably shoot
myself in the foot - anyway lets see.

> I haven't seen any studies of the proportion of articles
> self-deposited - or submitted by journals - where a mandate is in
> place.  It's to be expected it will be better than the 12-15%
> achieved without mandates;  but I'm not convinced it will achieve
> "high levels".  (Until and unless, as you point out later, submission
> comes to be built into the workflows).

NIH say they get better than 50% now and this is due to the mandate.

There is probably more out there with more digging  (I have to go off
to a meeting soon so can't do more right now).

I agree if we could make deposit part of the publication process it
would be better for everyone, I have seen comments from researchers
using repositories saying that what they actually want is a system
that allows them to develop the items with document versions etc +
store all their working documents / data sets that same system then
carries through the various stages to publication (with license
negotiation etc built-in). I agree the current process of do
everything outside the repository and then self deposit into a system
you have little other interaction with is flawed. We need to look much
harder at reward / motivation and make sure whatever we do pays off
for the researchers in all of this

> Actually, I'm an arguer for the merits of guilds.  It's no longer all
> that painful to run a journal on the smell of an oil-rag, and a great
> many specialist journals have been launched as eJournals, or
> converted from print-only, maybe via print-and-electronic, to cheaper
> e-only.

My mistake.  It is the large corporate commercial "lock-in" publishing
model I am against. Not guilds themselves - I should have thought more
carefully before typing that one ;-)

>>  ... Research is very big
>>business with entrenched interests that mostly don't want a richly
>>connected corpus of research out there for all (unless they own it all
>>and you are buying it from them).  ...
> Very much agreed, *but* a small-but-significant refinement to your
> expression:  '**Publication of** research is very big business ...".
> The research isn't done by business or the fat-cat academies, and
> neither is the substantive QA / reviewing.  They do the
> presentation-QA (pretty-printing), and the marketing, and the
> increasingly easy and cheap publishing, and take the profits.

I agree with one addition. Career progression in public institutions
like universities - I have no knowledge of private research firms - is
often tied to publication in "significant" journals, usually
commercial. So it is not just the commercial publishing world we need
to address - we need to address the motivation / reward mechanisms in
place for researchers where they work as well to fix the problems. If
academics need to be published in Nature to get to the next career
rung this makes it harder to convince them that Open Access journals
in the same field are worth their time. Governments are also requiring
us to measure 'excellence" in research using established "significant"
journals. So while it is good to be looking for better and more
effective ways to publish Open Access and debate the merits of the
various approaches there is going to be a period where the motivation
and reward structure for researchers to participate in these new ways
of doing things needs to undergo some real change and this will
require some strong initiatives by the employers, funding bodies,
governments and some culture shifts in the research community itself.
It also requires the emergence of robust means to measure brilliance
in particular fields in the Open Access environment that employers,
funding bodies, governments etc are willing to agree on - we still
need practical agreed ways to be able to rank and recognise the best
in order to reward them.

I think overall the "what's in it for me?"  for researchers to
participate strongly in Open Access isn't clear enough right now,
though it is getting clearer and some disciplines are well ahead of
others. Some of the cultural shifts will probably need generational
change as well. I would guess new and upcoming researchers are far
more likely to take "risks" and participate strongly in Open Access
rather than those who have established reputations and are doing quite
nicely out of the status quo - just a guess - no evidence to support

I'll revisit this with the benefit of Roger's article tomorrow ;-)


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