DOE: The Importance of Requiring Institutional Repository Deposit Immediately Upon Acceptance for Publication

Stevan Harnad amsciforum at GMAIL.COM
Tue Aug 5 09:26:24 EDT 2014


A peer-reviewed journal article is either *accessible* to all its potential
users or it is *not accessible* to all its potential users — only to those
at subscribing institutions.

Open Access (OA) is intended to make articles accessible (online) to all
their potential users, not just to subscribers, so all potential users can
read, use, apply and build upon the findings.

OA comes in two forms

*Gratis OA* means an article is accessible online to all its potential

*Libre OA* means an article is accessible online to all its potential users
*and* all users also have certain re-use rights, such as text-mining by
machine, and re-publication.

For individual researchers and for the general public the most important
and urgent form of OA is Gratis OA.

The reason Gratis OA is so important is that otherwise the research is
inaccessible except to subscribers: OA maximizes
<> research uptake, usage,
applications, impact and progress.

The reason Gratis OA is so urgent is that lost research access means lost
research impact and progress. The downloads and citations of papers made OA
later never catch up <>
 with those of papers made OA immediately:

Gentil-Beccot, A., Mele, S., & Brooks, T. C. (2010). Citing and reading
behaviours in high-energy physics
<>: *Scientometrics*,
84(2), 345-355.

*The date when a peer-reviewed paper is ready to be made OA is the date
when the final, peer-reviewed draft is accepted for pubication.*

Sometimes there can be delays of months between the date of acceptance and
the date of publication of the pubisher’s version of record (VOR).

And some (a minority
of publishers have imposed embargoes of up to 12 months from the date of
publication before authors can make their articles OA.

The delay from acceptance to publication, and the delay from publication
till the end of any OA embargo all add up tp lost research access, uptake,
usage, applications and progress.

DOE and OSTI <> have been directed by OSTP
 to adopt a policy that ensures that OA is provided to federally funded
research —*by 12 months after the date of publication at the very latest*.

This is *not* a mandate to adopt a policy that ensures that OA is provided
"at the very latest possible date."

Yet that is what DOE has done — no doubt under the influence
 of the publishing industry lobby

The interests of research and researchers -- and hence of the public that
funds the research -- are that the research should be made OA as soon as

The interests of (some of) the publishing industry are that it should be
made OA as late as possible

The DOA has adopted a policy that serves the interests of the publishing
industry rather than those of research, researchers and the tax-paying

The simplest remedy for this is *not* necessarily that the permissible OA
embargo length needs to be reduced (though that would be extremely welcome
and beneficial too!).

Even within the constraints of a permissible OA embargo of 12 months at the
very latest, there is a simple way
 to make the DOE policy much more powerful and effective, guaranteeing much
more and earlier access.

All that has to be done is to make immediate deposit of the author’s final,
peer-reviewed draft, in the author’s institutional repository, mandatory
immediately upon acceptance.

Not just the metadata: the full final draft.

If the author wishes to comply with a publisher OA embargo, the deposit
need not be made OA immediately.

Institutional repositories have an automated copy-request Button
 with which a user can request a single copy for research purposes, and the
author can comply with the request, with just one click each.

This is not OA, but it is almost-OA
and it is all that is needed to maximize research access, usage and
progress during any permissible OA embargo.

And besides maximizing access during any permissible OA embargo, requiring
immediate institutional deposit also mobilizes institutions to monitor and
ensure timely compliance
 with the funding agency’s requirement.
The metadata for the deposit can be exported
 from each institutional repository to the DOE PAGES portal
<> immediately, and then the portal, too (like
google and google scholar), can immediately begin referring users back to
the Button at the institution so the author can provide almost-OA with a
single click until the end of any embargo.

There is no need whatsoever to wait either for the publisher’s VOR, or for
the end of the publisher’s embargo, or for Libre OA re-use rights: those
can come when they come.

But immediate institutional deposit needs to be mandated immediately.

Otherwise the DOE is needlessly squandering months and months of potential
research uptake, usage and progress for federally funded research.

Please harmonize the DOE OA policy <> with
the corresponding EU <> OA policy, as well
as the HEFCE <> OA policy in the UK, the FRS
<> OA policy in Belgium, and a growing
number of institutional OA policies <> the world

*Stevan Harnad*
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