Scientometric aspects of government OA mandates

Scott Weingart weingart.scott at GMAIL.COM
Mon Dec 9 17:34:55 EST 2013


If we care about what taxpayers are getting for their money, and I imagine
all of us on this list do, many of us believe that their getting access to
articles they paid for should be a top priority. Our ability or inability
to measure science should never get in the way of its capacity to do good.


On Mon, Dec 9, 2013 at 6:17 PM, David Wojick <dwojick at>wrote:

> Adminstrative info for SIGMETRICS (for example unsubscribe):
> The scientometric policy issue is agencies claiming impacts they did not
> generate, or how to determine the impacts their various programs are
> actually generating. This is part of what is called in the US the science
> of science policy, in which I am active. The central question is what are
> taxpayers getting for their money?
> Some of us are interesting in designing a federal system that works, which
> may not be one of your concerns. You seem to think that anyone who does not
> subscribe to your crusade is an industry lobbyist. My concern is that the
> government not do harm and I admire the scholarly publishing industry, so I
> am not on your side.
> David
> On Dec 9, 2013, at 3:56 PM, Stevan Harnad <amsciforum at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> Adminstrative info for SIGMETRICS (for example unsubscribe):
> On Mon, Dec 9, 2013 at 1:19 PM, David Wojick < <dwojick at>
> dwojick at> wrote:
>> The Scholarly Kitchen has an interesting article on how to define
>> "federal funding" under the emerging US OA mandate. See <>
>> The scientometric issue is how valid the impact analysis of government
>> agencies can be when "government funding" is poorly defined, such that
>> research with very little actual government funding is included?
>> Conversely, what role might the scientometric community play in resolving
>> this issue? I have raised this issue in the Kitchen article comments, if
>> anyone wants to join the discussion.
> Let me see if I get this:
> Because it is not clear what proportion of the research that a funded
> researcher publishes can be directly attributed to any particular funding
> source, it would be better if funders did not mandate that it must be made
> Open Access (for "scientometric" reasons!)?
> I don't think so.
> In any case, don’t worry: Whatever is not covered by federal funder
> mandates will be covered by institutional mandates like Harvard’s, MIT’s
> etc. All refereed research output, both funded and unfunded, in all fields,
> is the obvious, natural target for OA. No problem for researchers to figure
> that out: they won’t have to think twice.
> And publishers — for all their moaning and groaning, and dire warnings of
> doom and gloom — will, of course, figure out a way to adapt. All the FUD
> they keep trying to raise at each juncture is so unmistakably just smoke
> and delay tactics: futile efforts to stave off the obvious, optimal and
> inevitable outcome for research, researchers, the vast R&D industry, and
> the tax-paying public in the online era: 100% Open Access to all
> peer-reviewed research immediately upon acceptance for publication.
> But why is a policy consultant for OSTI raising this "scientometric"
> smokescreen which sounds, for all the world, as if it were coming from a
> lobbyist for the publishing industry?
> *Stevan Harnad*

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