Open Access Week: Series of reports on OA

Stevan Harnad harnad at ECS.SOTON.AC.UK
Sat Oct 25 12:10:54 EDT 2014


I am afraid I am less interested in your role as journalist than in your role as policy consultant to OSTI. 

As journalist you are reporting what the federal agencies are doing, but as a consultant you were 
influencing what a federal agency was doing.

To cut to the quick: The simplest way to keep publishers out of federal agency or university OA policy 
is not to consult them at all. 

All Green OA mandates should require institutional deposit of the refereed final draft immediately 
upon acceptance for publication, and the allowable OA embargo length on the deposit should be 
decided by the federal agency (or university). 

That’s all. Publishers have nothing to do with it — it needs neither their approval nor their collaboration. 

It is attempts to get publishers involved in the implementation of the mandate that cause the needless
confusions and conflicts:

1. Federal funders fund researcher (with tax-payer money).

2. Institutional authors conduct and report the research.

3. Peer researchers review the research reports.

4. Publishers fund the administration of the peer review (and in exchange they get exclusive 
subscription sale rights).

5. Funders and institutions mandate Green OA self-archiving (as a condition of funding, 
and university research performance evaluation)

6. Authors comply with the Green OA mandates — by depositing immediately upon acceptance, 
and making the deposit OA immediately, or after the allowable embargo at the latest.

That’s all there is to it: Publishers have nothing to do with compliance with the mandates.

Have you advised otherwise, in your capacity as consultant?

Stevan Harnad

On Oct 25, 2014, at 11:31 AM, David Wojick <dwojick at CRAIGELLACHIE.US> wrote:

> Stevan (I prefer to reply at the top like most people here),
> As you should know, I am now a journalist, which I was prior to joining DOE in 2004. In this role I get to criticize everyone, including the publishers. My rag is which you might consider subscribing to in order to know what is actually going on. If you think the publishers have any sort of control you are mistaken, as the Feds are in charge. I have written about this in some detail. However, if you know of any US agency that is taking your proposals seriously I would love to hear about it.
> Something very interesting is going on, namely a group of medical students is investigating DOE, probably looking for improper liaison with the publishers (which I doubt exists). Here are some excerpts from this weeks issue of Inside Public Access:
> DOE hit with Public Access FOIA request
> Synopsis: The US Energy Dept. is responding to a Freedom of Information Act request targeting correspondence between DOE and the "publishing industry" regarding the Department's Public Access program. The FOIA request comes from the American Medical Student Association and appears to be related to their "Access to Medicine" campaign. The purpose of the request is unclear at this time.
> AMSA and the FOIA request
> Ms. Reshma Ramachandran from the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the US Energy Department. The request is reportedly for "Copies of all correspondence including electronic and paper communications, between all Department of Energy personnel tasked with developing the Department of Energy's plan for providing access to the results of federally funded research and the publishing industry relating to the development, drafting and implementation of said plan for providing access to the results of federally funded research released on August 4, 2014." DOE is working to collect and deliver all the requested documents. Everything prior to September 11, 2014, when the request was finalized, will be included. 
> Interestingly, there is a recent precedent for the AMSA FOIA action. Kent Anderson, editor of the prestigious Scholarly Kitchen blog and President of the Society for Scholarly Publishing, did a FOIA action against PubMed Central that yielded a considerable amount of potentially damaging information. In particular, Anderson made a number of allegations of conflict of interest and other wrongs in some collaborations between PMC and certain publishers. 
> FOIA actions have a tendency to chill communications between agencies and the public. Unfortunately this AMSA enquiry comes just when that sort of communication is most important, because DOE and the scholarly community must work closely together if Public Access is going to work well. As they say, the devil is in the details, and the details are now upon us. As we have documented here in Inside Public Access, there are a host of serious and complex procedural issues yet to be worked out.
> I have trouble believing it is worth it, but it remains to be seen what, if anything, AMSA finds. Perhaps the real danger is that innocent statements will be taken out of context and used politically, rather than to improve the Public Access program. On the other hand maybe there is something wrong going on. In any case the results may be quite interesting, now that the spotlight is on.
> A surprising development. Med students!
> David
> At 09:02 AM 10/25/2014, you wrote:
>> Adminstrative info for SIGMETRICS (for example unsubscribe): 
>>> On Oct 24, 2014, at 5:05 PM, William Gunn < william.gunn at MENDELEY.COM> wrote:
>>>> DOA as an acronym for "Delayed Open Access" does have a certain ring to it, now that I think about it...
>>>> William Gunn | Head of Academic Outreach, Mendeley | @mrgunn
>>>> | (650) 614-1749
>>> On Oct 25, 2014, at 7:41 AM, David Wojick <dwojick at CRAIGELLACHIE.US > wrote:
>>> Are you referring to the fact that DOA usually means Dead On Arrival? Given that the US Public
>>> Access program has opted for delayed access it is more like Dominant On Arrival, since the Feds
>>> fund a significant fraction of all published research. In that regard I notice that the definition of DOA
>>> does not mention government mandates, which it should. The US action may be decisive.
>>> Also the references to hybrid are somewhat muddled. Hybrid is not a kind of article access at all,
>>> rather it is a kind of journal access. Perhaps we need a different set of definitions for articles and journals.
>>> What does seem funny to me, as an observer, is that the publishers have basically said "Okay, if you
>>> insist on giving us money to publish your articles, then we will take it." Wiley, for example, is bringing
>>> out a bunch of new APC journals. At this point it looks like DOA and APC are the future of OA. Of course
>>> that may change given time.
>>> David Wojick
>> Try IDOA instead of DOA to bring access back to life immediately, 
>> and to hasten the (inevitable and well-deserved) demise of OA embargoes…
>> And the feds will lead the way only if they ignore consultants who try to steer them in the direction 
>> of publisher control, publisher embargoes and DOA, and go IDOA instead.
>> (Bravo to William Gunn for his spot-on pun!)
>> Harnad, S (2014) The only way to make inflated journal subscriptions unsustainable: Mandate Green Open Access. 
>> LSE Impact of Social Sciences Blog 4/28 
>> Vincent-Lamarre, P., Boivin, J., Gargouri, Y., Larivière, V., & Harnad, S. (2014). 
>> Estimating Open Access Mandate Effectiveness: I. The MELIBEA Score. arXiv preprint arXiv:1410.2926.

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