US University OA Resolutions Omit Most Important Component

Stevan Harnad harnad at
Mon May 9 22:48:42 EST 2005

On Mon, 9 May 2005, Lisa Dittrich wrote:

> I love all the rhetoric about faculty not "knowing what's good for them"
> and how they simply have to be "educated" about the virtues of OA and IRs.  
> Baloney.  If it was of value to them, they'd know, and they'd do.

Here is a partial reply (re-posted from Alma Swan):

    Date: Fri, 6 May 2005 17:58:46 +0100
    From: Alma Swan <a.swan at TALK21.COM>
    Subject: Re: What Provosts Need to Mandate

    "I can now report that I have completed the data analysis for the
    latest survey on self-archiving and the results on this issue of
    mandating are as follows:

    "Percentage of authors who would willingly self-archive if their
    employer or funder required them to do so = 81%
    Percentage who would do so reluctantly = 13%
    Percentage who would not self-archive, even with a mandate = 5%

    "The 'most willing' country is the USA, where 88% of authors would
    self-archive willingly under a mandate and a further 11% would
    self-archive reluctantly. The 'least willing' is China, where 58%
    would self-archive willingly and 32% would do so reluctantly.

    "The report is now written and out with reviewers. It will be published
    by JISC shortly."

    Alma Swan
    Key Perspectives Ltd
    Truro, UK

> I have been reading lately about how uninterested authors seem to be in
> OA (except a vocal few) and how the response is "we must educate them."
> Too funny.  Summer is upon us:  shall we organize special camps?

I would say that, for example, the 34,000 biologists who signed the
PLoS open letter hardly betoken a lack of interest in OA:

But there is certainly still a lack of awareness on the part of many
researchers about OA, how and why to provide it, and especially about
its dramatic influence of research impact:

I will close with some more data from the remarkable Alma Swan,
along with her recommendations on ways of raising faculty awareness,
from a presentation she is doing in Amsterdam this very day:


    Making the strategic case for institutional
    repositories (CNI, JISC,  SURF) Amsterdam, May 10-11

    Alma Swan (2005) Session on [Raising] "Faculty Awareness"


    Of those who have not self-archived any articles:
        -- 29% are aware of the possibility of providing open access this way
    -- 71% are not
        -- Non-archivers = 51% of the population
    -- 31% of researchers are not aware of the possibility of self-archiving 
        -- Only 10% of self-archivers know about the SHERPA/RoMEO 
           publisher policies directory
    -- Less than 25% are aware of the UK House of Commons Select Committee
        -- Less than 25% are aware of the NIH proposals

    What to do about author awareness, then?  Make them AWARE:

    --  of the citation advantage of open access work
        -- of the existence of IRs and what is in them 
    -- that THEY can self-archive too and reap the benefits 
       easy to do
        -- doesn't take long - just a few minutes, a few keystrokes
    -- copyright
        -- of moves on the official requirement to self-archive 
    -- officially require them to self-archive!


    -- Providing "hit" statistics
        -- Demonstrating the citation advantage
    -- Showing how to find citation counts


Stevan Harnad

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UNIVERSITIES: If you have adopted or plan to adopt an institutional
policy of providing Open Access to your own research article output,
please describe your policy at:

    BOAI-1 ("green"): Publish your article in a suitable toll-access journal
    BOAI-2 ("gold"): Publish your article in a open-access journal if/when 
            a suitable one exists.
    in BOTH cases self-archive a supplementary version of your article
            in your institutional repository.

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