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From: "Stevan Harnad" <harnad@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Subject: A Simple Way to Optimize the NIH Public Access Policy
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 2004 04:10:59 +0100

                ** Apologies for Cross-Posting **

Below is an extremely simple suggestion for NIH that, if adopted, will
give the NIH public access policy for NIH-funded research articles an
impact far, far beyond just the research that NIH funds: The practice
of providing Open Access to articles through self-archiving will spread
across all other departments at each NIH fundee's institution and will
quickly bring us all closer to Open Access for *all* research articles,
in all fields, in all institutions.

The change required is tiny, and preserves every feature of the present
proposed NIH policy; it is merely a specification of the way in which
the articles can be submitted to NIH.

The current wording of the NIH policy is this:

    "NIH intends to request that its grantees and supported Principal
    Investigators provide the NIH with electronic copies of all final
    version manuscripts upon acceptance for publication if the research
    was supported in whole or in part by NIH funding...  We define final
    manuscript as the author's version resulting after all modifications
    due to the peer review process. Submission of the final manuscript
    will provide NIH supported investigators with an alternate means by
    which they will meet and fulfill the requirement of the provision
    of one copy of each publication in the annual or final progress
    reports. Submission of the electronic versions of final manuscripts
    will be monitored as part of the annual grant progress review and
    close-out process."

This wording is fine, and all it needs in order to promote, at the very
same time, the much wider objective of encouraging all non-NIH research to be
made open-access too, is the following simple -- but critically important
-- additional passage (specifying the *way* in which the submission to
NIH can be done):

    Submission may be done either by depositing the manuscript in the
    author's own institutional eprint archive and emailing NIH the URL
    or by emailing the manuscript itself to NIH.

All this does is to introduce an efficient and simple way for the author
to *submit* the text to NIH. But in doing so (and especially if, as I
would urge, the institutional URL submission option is mentioned *first*)
it also implicitly specifies and encourages institutional self-archiving,
explicitly linking it to the NIH policy, yet without requiring it:
merely as a potential mode of submission!

It cannot be overstated just how important this seemingly trivial
implementational detail will prove, if only NIH adopts it (and adopts
it in a high-profile way, making it a prominent part of the formal
statement of the policy, rather than just a fulfillment option mentioned
obscurely somewhere else).

Harvesting the full-text from the URL of the author's institutional
eprint archive is not only simpler and more uniform for NIH than receiving
it as an email attachment -- because the harvesting can be made automatic
and standardized, and automatically monitored -- but it also means that
the NIH system is then easily adaptable and extendable to harvesting
relevant non-NIH texts (or their metadata) -- likewise self-archived in
institutional eprint archives -- into PubMed Central as well! It also
means institutions will help in monitoring and fulfillment. But the most
important consequence is that it will make the self-archiving practice
propagate naturally across the other departments in each author's
institution in a way that just requesting that the text be emailed to
NIH will not.

By way of further support for making this tiny change, here is an
excerpt from the UK JISC report on central vs distributed institutional
self-archiving and OA.

        Delivery, Management and Access Model
        for E-prints and Open Access Journals
        within Further and Higher Education

    Study commission by U.K. Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)
    Alma Swan, Paul Needham, Steve Probets, Adrienne Muir, Ann O'Brien,
    Charles Oppenheim, Rachel Hardy, and Fytton Rowland (2004).


    "This study identified three models for open access [OA] provision in
    the UK .... In considering the relative merits of these models, we
    addressed not only technical concerns but also how [OA] provision
    (by authors) can be achieved, since without this content provision
    there can be no effective [OA] (for users).

    "For technical and cultural reasons, this study recommends that
    the centralised model should not be adopted... [The] central archiving
    approach is the 'wrong way round' with respect to e-print provision.
    [For] reasons of academic and institutional culture and so long
    as effective measures are implemented, individual institution-based
    e-print archives are far more likely to fill (and fill quickly)
    than centralised archives, because institutions and researchers
    share a vested interested in the impact of their research output,
    and because institutions are in a position to mandate and monitor
    compliance, a position not enjoyed by centralised archives."

Excerpts from American Scientist Open Access Forum contribution by Alma Swan:

    "How may authors be 'encouraged' to self-archive? The evidence shows
    that whilst a carrot approach produces some success, 'encouragement'
    would best take the form of a stick - by someone, somewhere,
    mandating self-archiving. Why authors need such a mandate can be
    debated at length by those with the inclination for such things. The
    fact is that when there is a mandate by some authority that has clout,
    authors will comply.

    "There are few examples of such mandates in operation as yet (though
    where they exist, they are working), but plenty of promise for those
    to come. KPL's recent, separate, study on open access publishing
    (also commissioned by JISC) produced clear evidence that authors
    have, in general and in principle, no objection to self-archiving and
    will comply with a mandate to do so from their employer or research
    funder. Our findings were that 77% of authors would comply with such
    a mandate. Only 3% said they would NOT comply. [Swan, A and Brown,
    S (2004) Report of the JISC/OSI journal authors survey. pp 1-76.
    Swan, A and Brown, S (2004) Authors and open access
    publishing. Learned Publishing, 17 (3), 219-224.

    "The recent government-level recommendations in the US and the UK on
    mandating self-archiving are therefore perfectly on target to address
    the issue most critical to open access provision. Scholars will
    self-archive if told to do so.  Employers and research funders have
    the authority to do the telling, but they tell authors to do what,
    and which authors? Funders can only tell their grantees, but have
    the choice of telling them to deposit their articles in the funder's
    own archive if there is one, in some other centralised archive,
    or in the researcher's own institutional archive, or all of these.

    "Employers can do all these too, but since they not only have shared
    goals with their researchers in respect of dissemination of research
    findings, but also see additional value in, and uses for, the content
    of an institutional archive, they are very likely to be eager to see
    it maximally populated and will insist on authors depositing there,
    at the very least. Moreover, they can mandate self-archiving across
    the board, including researchers who are not supported by external
    funding (a large number in many subject areas), and in EVERY scholarly
    discipline. This is a far more effective a route to comprehensive
    eprint provision than relying on funder mandates alone, and is much
    more likely to provide eprints in ALL disciplines relatively quickly
    than relying on the eventual establishment of centralised archives
    in all subject areas.

    "Our conclusion was, then, that this scenario is the one most likely to
    provide the maximum level of archived content, a major plank of any
    model for the provision of eprints nationwide in the UK. Our model
    was devised accordingly and would be equally appropriate anywhere
    else in the world."  -- Alma Swan, Key Perspectives Ltd.


If you too see the rationale for this tiny parametric change and its
substantial potential benefits, please do recommend it by adding
your comment at:



Subject: Fwd: Re: Are Chemical Journals Too Expensive and Inaccessible?
Date: Saturday 30 October 2004 12:01 pm
From: Barry Mahon <barry.mahon@IOL.IE>

A comment by Stevan Harnad on his report of the NAS Meeting on the 
topic....contianing some comments and suggestions on the policies of the ACS.

------- Forwarded message -------
From: "Stevan Harnad" <harnad@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: Are Chemical Journals Too Expensive and Inaccessible?
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2004 22:26:44 +0100

Prior Amsci Topic Thread:

    "Are Chemical Journals Too Expensive and Inaccessible?"

    Below is a somewhat asymmetric (read "unbalanced"!) summary of the
    NAS Roundtable Workshop, National Academy of Sciences. Washington
    DC 25-26 October 2004: "Are Chemical Journals too Expensive and
    Inaccessible" http://www7.nationalacademies.org/bcst/Agenda_Pub.pdf

    My summary is unbalanced, but only to redress the huge imbalance on
    the workshop programme itself, which focussed (like so many other
    Open Access [OA]-related meetings today) almost exclusively on OA
    Journal Publishing (the "golden" road to OA) rather than on OA itself,
    to the neglect of the OA self-archiving of non-OA journal articles
    by their authors (the "green" road to OA).

The NAS Workshop "Are Chemical Journals too Expensive and Inaccessible"
devoted 95% of its time to the problem of Cost and only 5% to the problem
of Access. As a consequence, most of the discussion was focused on the
"golden" road to Open Access [OA], and particularly the OA Journal
Cost-Recovery Model (author-institution pays publication costs per outgoing
article rather than user-institution pays costs per incoming journal):
Is gold desirable? Is gold viable? What might gold do to journal revenues
and survival if it prevailed?

Since fewer than 5% of journals are gold so far, this means that 95% of
the NAS Workshop was devoted to the "5% Solution" to the Access problem.

In contrast, the "95% solution," the "green" road to OA  -- which is for
the authors of the articles in the 95% of journals that are *not* gold
to provide OA to their own articles individually by self-archiving them
in their own institutional OA Archives (or in a Central OA Archive like
PubMed Central or ArXiv) -- was given only 5% of the time and attention,
despite the fact that over 92% of journals are already green! That means
that although they are not ready to take the risk of converting to gold
(i.e., giving away their contents online toll-free), green journals do
not wish to stand in the way of OA itself, and its benefits to authors,
and hence they give their individual authors the official green light
to self-archive their own articles if they wish to make them OA.

The relevance of this to this particular workshop, which was focused
on the Chemical Sciences, is particularly salient, for, unlike the
American Physical Society (APS) -- which is already green, and whose
Editor-in-Chief, Marty Blume set a fine example, along with Nick
Cozzarelli, Editor of the Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences (PNAS), for the American Chemical Society (ACS) to follow --
the ACS is not yet green (even though the Royal Society of Chemistry
[RSC] already is).

One could forgive the ACS for not getting a clear message from the sense
of this Workshop, though, because with all the attention that was being
given to gold, one could get the wrong impression that what was being
urged upon ACS was that it should convert to gold! Yet in reality all
ACS need do now in order to be on the side of the angels is to go green:
That is all that the APS and RSC have done, and the PNAS have only gone
a little further by adopting a policy ("optional gold") of giving each
author the option of paying PNAS to make his own article OA for him
(rather than simply making it OA for himself, by self-archiving it in his
own institutional archive, as he could do instead, with PNAS's blessing,
PNAS also being green!).

(PNAS has also made all of its back-contents fully accessible online
as of 6 months after publication, which is an extremely commendable and
welcome step, but it is not Open Access, which pertains particularly to the
growth region of research, which begins the day the peer-reviewed draft
is accepted for publication -- and, at the author's discretion, even
earlier, in the pre-refereeing preprint stage. The 6-month access-delay
after publication is not OA but merely the Shulenburger NEAR proposal of
1998: http://www.arl.org/arl/proceedings/133/shulenburger.html ).

ACS is already quite close to becoming green, with a policy that provides
all ACS authors with a special URL that connects with ACS and automatically
generates a free "eprint" for the first fifty requesters. Now it is important
to understand that if the ACS simply (1) removed the 50-eprint limit and
(2) made that URL public for every ACS article, then that would amount
to the ACS's immediately turning into a 100% *gold* publisher without
even asking the author to pay for it, as the PNAS does! This is
certainly *not* what the Workshop is urging ACS to do: APS and RSC
are not gold, and PNAS is only optional-gold. At the Workshop, only
PLoS was a gold publisher (represented by Vivien Siegel).

Converting only to green, like APS and RSC, would be far less risky and
radical for ACS: It would just mean giving each ACS author the green light
to self-archive his own final, peer-reviewed draft (but not necessarily
the ACS PDF) in his own institutional OA Archive (or, optionally, but
not necessarily, in a central OA Archive such as PubMed Central or Arxiv).

Why would an author want to self-archive? The data from collaborative ISI
citation studies conducted in the UK, Germany and Canada and presented
by me (Stevan Harnad) showed that across fields -- physics, mathematics,
chemistry, biological sciences, social sciences -- articles made OA by
self-archiving have a significantly (and sometimes substantially) higher
citation impact than non-OA articles in the very same journal and year. OA
articles also have a higher download impact. This all stands to reason
as OA articles can be accessed by far more potential users than just
those whose institutions can afford the paid-access to the journal.
It also means that authors are losing research impact daily until they
self-archive their articles.

ACS going green will demonstrate ACS's support for Open Access and the
enhanced research impact it provides, thereby immunizing ACS from criticism
and pressure from the movement for OA worldwide, and it will encourage ACS
authors to maximise the usage and impact of their research even before
the self-archiving mandates currently being contemplated or already
proposed in the UK, US, France, Germany, Australia, Canada, Norway,
Switzerland, Scotland, Japan, India and elsewhere are actually implemented.
Most important, it will show historically that ACS did not try to
stand in the way of ACS authors wishing to maximize the impact of their

Stevan Harnad


Subject: NFAIS 2005 Annual Conference
Date: Sunday 31 October 2004 11:16 am
From: Barry Mahon <barry.mahon@IOL.IE>


Whose Mind is it Anyway?
Identifying and Meeting Diverse user Needs in the Ongoing Battle for

The preliminary program, registration forms, and related information on
the 2005 NFAIS Annual Conference scheduled for February 27 - March 1,
2005 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia is now available at

Building upon the theme of the highly successful 2004 NFAIS Annual
Conference, it will focus on the differences and commonalities in the
search and retrieval behavior of information professionals/librarians
and desktop searchers, and the implications for data providers and
librarians who must offer products and services that will meet the needs
and expectations of these diverse user groups.

The opening sessions will set the stage for the conference.  A speaker
 from Google will address from their perspective how they identify and
meet user needs, and give their thoughts with regard to future user
needs and expectations. This will be followed by a presentation by
Outsell, Inc. on the data that they have gathered with regard to the
information behavior of information professionals and desktop searchers,
while experts close to diverse users will describe the differences and
commonalities that they have observed within the corporate, government,
academic, and public library environments. In addition, a group of
desktop searchers will talk about their information needs within the
context of their daily work environment. The remainder of the conference
will showcase how traditional information providers - including
publishers, librarians, host systems, and technology developers - can
leverage current trends to their advantage through the innovative use of
content, technology, and new business models.

Whether you are an information provider seeking to expand mindshare
within a given user group or across user groups, or an information
professional seeking to meet the needs of your clientele, the 47th
Annual NFAIS Conference will provide a better understanding of the
differences - and commonalities - between diverse user groups across all
market sectors, and how innovative organizations are able to capture
mindshare now by providing content and technology that work seamlessly
within the context of the users' work environment.  The battle for
mindshare has begun!

For more information, contact Jill O'Neill, NFAIS Director of
Communication and Planning (jilloneill@nfais.org or 215-893-1561) or
visit the NFAIS Web site at

Jill O'Neill
Director, Planning & Communications
(v) 215-893-1561

Subject: Evalauation of e-books application in libraries
Date: Sunday 31 October 2004 11:37 am
From: Barry Mahon <barry.mahon@IOL.IE>

At this URL:http://www.dlib.org/dlib/october04/cox/10cox.html

you will find an article on an evaluation of an e-books software.

An extract:
"In summer 2001 the Librarians of the Conference of Heads of Irish 
Universities (CHIU) established a working group to assess the e-books market 
and to examine the potential of this medium for university libraries, along 
with any constraints. The key findings of the group in April 2002 were that 
the market was in a state of flux, uptake was inhibited by poor on-screen 
presentation and limited availability of titles while licencing models were 
highly varied. There was, however, a definite feeling that e-books could 
support learning activities in certain subjects (e.g., business, law, 
computer science) where information is structured in relatively discrete 
blocks and where a high premium is placed on currency. The group recommended 
a one-year subscription to an e-books service, and it was decided to focus on 
business and computing, two closely linked areas with strong teaching 
programmes at all seven universities [2]. Safari Tech Books Online emerged as 
the unanimous choice. The
committed itself to using the subscription period to explore issues for 
libraries, particularly access, licencing and cost-effectiveness, and for 
users, emphasising the exploitation of Safari for teaching and learning. This 
article reports findings from library and user perspectives, seeking to 
relate them to other studies and services and to future e-book development. 
It begins with an overview of the Safari service"



Safari has proved tremendously popular with users at each of the Irish 
universities. Usage statistics for NUI Galway show over 10,000 hits (i.e., 
book sections retrieved) in two semesters. It is interesting to compare the 
online subscription with the traditional print model in terms of 
cost-effectiveness. Returning to the concurrency issue, the comparison may 
appear unfavourable for e-books. NUI Galway initially purchased a three-user 
licence for 54 titles at a cost of €2,610 annually. The cost per title is 
therefore €48.33. Because licencing is applied to the whole subscription 
rather than on a per-title basis, it only needs three active users to render 
the rest of the collection inaccessible. This contrasts with print where 
every title or each copy of every title could be in use simultaneously. The 
cost of Galway's annual subscription would purchase outright a significant 
number of printed titles that the library would own. On this basis, print 
would seem to offer better va
for money"



Best wishes

Peter Strickland
Managing Editor
IUCr Journals

IUCr Editorial Office, 5 Abbey Square, Chester CH1 2HU, England
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