Draft report from Australian government recommends OA mandate (fwd)
harnad at ECS.SOTON.AC.UK
Tue Nov 14 06:06:21 EST 2006
From Peter Suber's Open Access News
Draft report from Australian government recommends OA mandate
The Australian Government Productivity Commission has
released an important study, Public Support for Science
and Innovation: Draft Research Report (November 2,
2006). (Thanks to Colin Steele.)
Impediments to the functioning of the innovation system [:]....There
is scope for the ARC and the NHMRC to play a more active role than
they currently do in promoting access to the results of research
they fund. They could require as a condition of funding that research
papers, data and other information produced as a result of
their funding are made publicly available such as in an "open
The Australian Government has sought to enhance access to the results
of publicly funded research through the:
- development of an Accessibility Framework for Publicly Funded
- allocation of funding under the Systemic Infrastructure Initiative
to build technical information infrastructure that supports the
creation, dissemination of and access to knowledge, and the use of
digital assets and their management (box 5.10)....
In a recent report to DEST, Houghton et al. (2006) estimated net
gains from improving access to publicly-funded research across the
board and in particular research sectors (table 5.2).
- The estimated benefits from an assumed 5 per cent increase in access
and efficiency and level of social rate of return were between $2
million (ARC competitively-funded research) and $628 million (gross
expenditure on R&D).
- Assuming a move from this level of improved access and efficiency
to a national system of institutional repositories in Australia over
twenty years, the estimated benefit/cost ratios were between 3.1
(NHMRC-funded research) to 214 (gross expenditure on R&D)....
Of interest, is whether funding agencies themselves could become
more actively involved in enhancing access to the results of the
research they fund....
In their recent report to DEST, Houghton et al. (2006)
made a number of suggestions to improve access to and dissemination
of research including:
- developing a national system of institutional or enterprise-based
repositories to support new modes of enquiry and research; ...
- ensuring that the Research Quality Framework supports and encourages
the development of new, more open scholarly communication
mechanisms, rather than encouraging "a retreat" by researchers
to conventional publication forms and media, and a reliance by
evaluators upon traditional publication metrics (for example, by
ensuring dissemination and impact are an integral part of evaluation);
- encouraging funding agencies (for example, ARC and NHMRC) to mandate
that the results of their supported research be made available in
open access archives and repositories;
- encouraging universities and research institutions to support the
development of new, more open scholarly communication mechanisms,
through, for example, the development of "hard or soft open access"
mandates for their supported research; and
- providing support for a structured advocacy program to raise
awareness and inform all stakeholders about the potential benefits
of more open scholarly communication alternatives, and provide
leadership in such areas as copyright (for example, by encouraging
use of "creative commons" licensing) (pp. xii-xiii)....
Several impediments to innovation should be addressed: ...
- published papers and data from ARC and NHMRC-funded projects should
be freely and publicly available....
Comment [from Peter Suber]: It's important that this report was
written by a government commission and important that it recommends
an OA mandate.
From the file of preliminaries:
You are invited to examine this draft research study and to
provide written submissions to the Commission. Submissions should
reach the Commission by Thursday, 21 December 2006. In addition,
the Commission intends to hold a limited number of consultations
to obtain feedback on this draft.
The Commission intends to present its final report to the
Government in early March 2007.
The Productivity Commission gives no address (and worse, no email
address) specifically for comments, but it does give this contact
info for its Media and Publications division:
2 Collins Street
East Melbourne VIC 8003
Fax: (03) 9653 2303
Email: maps at pc.gov.au
[Peter Suber, Open Access News]
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