Quality Bias vs Quality Advantage
harnad at ECS.SOTON.AC.UK
Thu Feb 22 07:04:40 EST 2007
On Thu, 22 Feb 2007, Franck Laloe wrote:
> >With nonmandated self-archiving, there can be a QB. But with mandated
> >self-archiving, especially once the %OA is high...
> Aha! This sentence shows that you have actually
> understood what I meant. If this percentage is low (and it is),
> your signal is totally buried in
> a parasicic signal, and your measurement is not
> valid. Just simple scientific logics, nothing deep ...
I understood perfectly. And for the institutions on which we based the
calculations, the percentage is high, not low. You mistakenly thought
we were basing our analyses on the c. 10%-level funder mandates, but we
were not. We were basing them on the >50%-level institutional mandates.
As I said, anywhere less than 100% there is the logical possibility of
the QB epicycles (low %OA, unmandated: "the better authors self-archive
spontaneously"; high %OA, mandated: "the worse authors don't comply
with the mandate"), but, as I said, I think it is obvious that
this is Ptolemeic theory-saving rather than inference to the most
likely explanation. (And even with lower %OA, as long as the mandated
self-archiving came from a significantly higher percentage OA than the
unmandated self-archiving, a significant statistical tendency could
> > SH:
> > "Mandate" has two senses, and as it happens, *both* senses are sufficient to
> > generate 100% institutional OA. The first sense is the usual one: a requirement
> > that researchers (employees, or fundees) deposit, personally or by proxy (student,
> > secretary, documentalist). The second sense of mandate is when the institution
> > itself takes it as its own mandate to ensure that all of its researcherch output
> > is deposited.
> Yes. My point was that CERN falls in neither of these cases: there is no
> requirement or mandate at all, just a tradition which pushes physicists
> in this field to spontaneously deposit in ArXiv (exactly as in my own of
> research). Yes, you may call it "mandate", or "self-mandate", or
> "spontaneous mandate", etc.. In physics, we have "spontaneous
> processes", and "stimulated processes", they are different categories
> and correspond to different diagrams. Of course we could speak of
> "stimulated spontaneity" and "spontaneous stimulation", it would be kind
> of nice, but would it be the simplest vocabulary to use?
> Well, English is not my mother tongue, maybe I will make a fool of
> myself if I launch is a discussion about semantics? You are a thousand
> times betten than me at this game Stevan!
This is not a matter of the semantics of "mandate". There is a substantive
point here, and I believe you are mistaken about it:
(1) It is simply not true that the reason CERN now has virtually 100%
of its current annual output self-archived is that its researchers all
spontaneously self-archive in Arxiv, and the CERN archivists simply
harvest if back from there.
(2) It is not even correct that CERN now has virtually 100% of its output
self-archived because *most* CERN research is spontaneously self-archived
(3) The reason CERN now has virtually 100% of its current annual output
self-archived is twofold:
(3b) CERN has mandated that its institutional repository should contain all of
its research output and
(3a) CERN documentalists are mandated to self-archive it there for all
CERN researchersresearchers andD
(4) This state of affairs is in complete contrast with all other research
institutions in the world except the half-dozen others that likewise have such
mandates, as listed in ROARMAP. (If all universities and institutions worldwide
had CERN's policy -- call it what you like! -- OA would be home free by now!)
(5) Yes, CERN's task of ensuring that 100% of its current annual research
output is self-archived is made easier by the fact that many (not all,
not most, but many) CERN researchers self-archive spontaneously in Arxiv,
so those papers can be harvested back, instead of having to be requested by
the CERN staff from their authors directly.
(6) But that is still a self-archiving mandate: In an institution with no such
mandate, the staff would be wasting their time begging the authors for a copy to
deposit, as the authors would not provide it (for the 34+ reasons that they do not
self-archive spontaneously, but only if mandated: they are too lazy, they don't
think it's necessary, they are worried about copyright, etc. etc.).
(7) Queensland University of Technology, in contrast to the other
institutions that currently have a mandate, does it exactly the same
way CERN does: The Vice Chancellor mandated it, and the library staff
chased the authors to get the papers and do the keystrokes for them.
(8) Without a mandate, whether at CERN or anywhere else, it does not happen.
More information about the SIGMETRICS