[Irtalk] Fwd: [GOAL] Re: Request-Copy Button Now Native to DSpace

Hilton Gibson hilton.gibson at gmail.com
Fri May 30 16:44:28 SAST 2014


*Hilton Gibson*
Ubuntu Linux Systems Administrator
JS Gericke Library
Room 1025D
Stellenbosch University
Private Bag X5036
South Africa

Tel: +27 21 808 4100 | Cell: +27 84 646 4758

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum at gmail.com>
Date: 30 May 2014 16:27
Subject: [GOAL] Re: Request-Copy Button Now Native to DSpace
To: "Global Open Access List (Successor of AmSci)" <goal at eprints.org>

On Fri, May 30, 2014 at 9:21 AM, Rory Litwin <rlitwin at gmail.com> wrote:

the working assumption is that depositing a work in an institutional
> archive means making it freely accessible on the web for immediate download.

Not if the funder or institution allows publisher embargoes (*as they all

> That means that anyone who wants to access it (given access to the
> internet) can do so.

 Anyone can access it if the author makes it OA. But not if the author does
not deposit it (which is what the mandates are for); nor if the publisher
embargoes OA (and the author, institution or funder complies).

Please separate the ideology from the pragmatics. Immediate-deposit
mandates plus the Button are the best we can do whenever the author does
not make the deposit immediately OA of his own accord, and whenever the
institution or funder does not mandate immediate OA (as none does).

The reality is that most funders and institutions are mandating *delayed OA* --
i.e., *deposit only after the publisher embargo has elapsed*. That gives
much less access than requiring immediate deposit and using the Button
during any allowable embargo (even if not every author responds to the

To the logic and the pragmatic constraints here, you need to ask yourself
the following questions:

(1) Are you arguing for delayed-deposit mandates, after the embargo
elapses, instead of immediate-deposit mandates and the Button?

(2) If so, why? since both types of mandates provide exactly the same OA
(after the embargo), but the immediate-deposit mandate + Button provides
even more access during the embargo.

(3) Or are you arguing against Green OA mandates altogether? In which case
what alternative do you propose? Gold OA mandates requiring authors to give
up journal choice based on quality and track record and instead pick
journals based on their economic model -- and pay extra for it too (while
their institutions continue to have to pay for subscriptions for the
journals they can no longer publish in, but that their users still need to
be able to access because other authors are still publishing in them)?

the button gives authors the option not to fulfill a request. I think
> [it's] is right that that doesn't fulfill an OA mandate; it effectively
> gives authors control of their own works, which is not the same thing.

It is not the Button that prevents authors from making their papers
immediately OA, or prevents institutions and funders from mandating
immediate OA: It is *publisher OA embargoes*.

> If an author has the option to deny someone access to a work, it can't be
> called open access.

If there were no publisher OA embargoes (or if researchers, institutions
and funders had the good sense to ignore them) then institutions and
funders could mandate immediate OA, and authors would happily provide
immediate OA. (Having published their research for those users whose
institutions can afford to subscribe to the journal in which it was
published, authors have no motivation whatsoever to deny access to
nonsubscribers! What makes some authors fail to do their Button click is
sometimes incomprehension of the Button and sometimes laziness.)

> Stevan argues that there will always be some method of providing access
> and that it will always be to some degree inefficient.

Nothing of the sort! I am working to make Green OA mandates more effective
and universally adopted in order to provide as much access as possible now,
and to hasten the eventual well-deserved demise of all publisher OA

You should ask yourself whether you have a better idea (and evidence that
it works) rather than just focussing on authors who don't press the Button
during the embargo...

> I think that argument ignores the working assumption that an institutional
> archive implies putting a work on a website where it can be downloaded
> immediately, and ignores the fact that the button gives authors the ability
> (if not the right) to refuse access.

To repeat: *It is publisher embargoes that are denying access, not authors*;
And it is because of publisher embargoes that institutions and funders do
not require their authors to provide immediate OA.

Please set aside ideology and "the (out-of-reach) best" and consider
reality, pragmatics and "the (reachable) better" (unless you have another

> If an author is required to give access to his works by the OA mandate in
> place, why use a system that makes it easy for him or her to fail to do
> this by not taking action in a reasonable time-frame, when it is trivially
> easy simply to put the work online?

I will not repeat it again, Rory. You have not understood the nature of
actual OA mandates today, the constraints on them, and what they do and
don't, can and can't, provide. Instead you have focussed on what the Button
cannot do, not realizing that with the Button there is more potential
access than with any other mandate.

* Stevan Harnad*

GOAL mailing list
GOAL at eprints.org
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