US Federal Agency Open Access Mandate Implementation

Stevan Harnad harnad at ECS.SOTON.AC.UK
Sat Oct 25 18:24:38 EDT 2014

On Oct 25, 2014, at 5:42 PM, David Wojick <dwojick at CRAIGELLACHIE.US> wrote:

> Stevan, I do not expect the various agencies to agree on a process. If they do it will be the DOE
> approach, because the software is there. It might be like the portal, which OSTI operates.
> Ideally they will get all their articles via CHORUS and that is the hope.

David, CHORUS, with its reliance on publishers is not an ideal hope, it is a worst-case nightmare!

> The primary consideration is cost because there is no new funding for the Public Access program.

That’s just fine. No money is needed from the Feds, just the adoption of the right OA mandate. And
that happens to be the one that entails no cost to the Feds: Institutional Repository deposit,
monitored and ensured by the institutions, as part of the fulfillment conditions for the funding.

> PMC is rich while the other agencies have very little money for this.

PMC is not a research funder! PMC does not mandate anything. NIH does. And NIH too,
rich or not, should mandate institutional deposit (and then exporting to PMC). All cost-free
software functions.

> However, there was a rumor about 5 months ago that NSF would go with an "any repository”
> approach, but still with the 12 month embargo. IPA covered it.

Fine, but it won’t work unless NSF specifies institutional repository deposit and adds an
immediate-deposit clause, to ensure compliance monitoring and verification by institutions.
The 12-month embargo on OA will be mooted by the institutions’ automated copy-request
Button — as long as authors must deposit immediately and not just after the embargo!

> Now the rumor is that NSF will go the DOE route, but no one really knows what the agencies
> will do because the decisions simply have not been made. Hence my newsletter.

Fine, good to hear they are still open to different options. Let’s hope some of us can draw
their attention to the objective evidence.

> The feds have little, if any,interest in what the Brits are doing. 

I hope and believe you are wrong about that. The interest should not be in the UK per
se but in empirical evidence on which to base an evidence-based policy.

> Neither APC nor immediate deposit are on the table. 

Good to remove APCs from the table, because the evidence there is negative.

But I hope other factors — like immediate deposit and institutional deposit — remain
on the table, because the evidence is in their favor.

> But most of the agencies probably have to go through rulemaking to implement their programs 
> so you can comment then, as can everyone. 

I will of course comment again, as I have always done in the past. The question is whether I will be
unheeded again, as in the past...

Harnad, S. (1999) Critiques of H. Varmus E-biomed  Proposal

(2004) Recommendations to UK Science/Technology Committee Open Access Self-Archiving Mandate

 (2011) What Is To Be Done About Public Access 
to Peer-Reviewed Scholarly Publications Resulting From Federally 
Funded Research? (Response to US OSTP RFI).

(2012) Public Access to Federally Funded Research 
(Harnad Response to US OSTP RFI)  Open Access Archivangelism 865/866

(2013) Follow-Up Comments for BIS Select Committee 
on Open Access. UK Parliament Publications and Records, Spring

(2013) Comments on HEFCE/REF Open Access Mandate Proposal.  
Open access and submissions to the REF post-2014 

(2013) Evidence to House of Lords Science and Technology
Select Committee on Open Access. House of Lords Science and Technology
Committee on Open Access, Winter Issue,

(2013) Evidence to BIS Select Committee Inquiry on Open Access. Written
Evidence to BIS Select Committee Inquiry on Open Access, Winter

(2013) Recommandation au ministre québécois de l'enseignement supérieur.

(2013) Harnad Comments on Canada’s NSERC/SSHRC/CIHR Draft Tri-Agency Open Access Policy. 
Canadian Tri-Agency Call for Comments, Autumn Issue

Stevan Harnad

> On Oct 25, 2014, at 5:00 PM, Stevan Harnad <harnad at ECS.SOTON.AC.UK> wrote:
>> Adminstrative info for SIGMETRICS (for example unsubscribe): On Oct 25, 2014, at 4:24 PM, David Wojick <dwojick at CRAIGELLACHIE.US> wrote:
>>> Stevan, as I keep pointing out, the Federal government does not see it your way,
>>> so repeating your way is rather beside the point.
>>> As for my role, when I have a Federal client I do not advocate policy. I do issue analysis
>>> to facilitate policy decisions, or program design to implement them, or trouble shooting
>>> when a program does not work. 
>>> In the case of the Public Access program, the OSTP mandate was preceded by a lengthy
>>> interagency deliberation. The DOE OSTI Director co-chaired that effort and I did a lot of
>>> his staff work. The group failed to reach consensus because there were two opposing
>>> schools of thought, which accounts for some of the vagueness in the mandate.
>>> One school, led by PMC, wanted a PMC approach wherein the government ran its own repository.
>>> (I call it PubFed Central.) The other, led by DOE, wanted to maximize the use of existing resources
>>> in a 3 tiered approach. Use the publisher's version of record and website where possible, or a
>>> repository if the publisher's version was not available, or a Federal repository as a last resort.
>>> There was never, ever, any consideration of a repository mandate, much less immediate deposit.
>> It sounds to me more like the "Federal government" has not yet worked out a coherent implementation 
>> of the OSTP mandate, which is vague or moot on the crucial implementation parameters we are 
>> discussing, and the many agencies — of which DOA/OSTI is only one — have not yet come to an 
>> agreement about them either.
>> What is seems obvious is that the “3-tiered approach,” where the OA provision distributed two ways 
>> between the fundees (who are bound by the funder mandate) and publishers (who are not), and where 
>> the locus of the OA provision is distributed between institutional repositories, central repositories and 
>> publisher websites is the worst possible one, both for the authors and for monitoring and ensuring
>> compliance.
>> Yes, you’re quite right that the agencies did not consult me, as they did you. But I prefer to believe 
>> that they — like the UK funding councils, who have been at it much loner — remain open to 
>> evidence-based recommendations on the crucial implementation parameters, such as what should 
>> be deposited, how, when, where, by whom — and above all why. 
>> The optimal mandate is of course institutional deposit, with compliance monitored by the institution,
>> and then central export or harvest if desired. (Users find OA content on the web these days, e.g.,
>> via google and google scholar: the notion of a central collection is already obsolete. No one deposits
>> directly in google. But institutional deposit is crucial for compliance monitoring as well as institutional
>> record-keeping.
>> 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.
>>> At 12:10 PM 10/25/2014, you wrote:
>>>> Adminstrative info for SIGMETRICS (for example unsubscribe): David,
>>>> 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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