[Journal-notes] Re: Public Clarification Needed: Does RCUK Have a Plan B?

Stevan Harnad harnad at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Wed Oct 12 13:07:04 EST 2005


On Wed, 12 Oct 2005, Sally Morris (ALPSP) wrote:

> Stevan, there's nothing to get indignant about!  The RCUK policy always said
> that deposit should be 'subject to copyright and licensing agreements'.  We
> merely sought clarification of that statement, which we obtained.

But, dear Sally, whatever gave you the impression I was indignant
about anything? I am quite happily working to try to help plug the
loopholes of the RCUK policy, and Plan B will do so quite nicely,
while staying quite literally consistent with the original draft, the
letter of the law, the best interests of research and researchers and
your own preferred outcome. So everyone should end up quite happy, both
the research community and the publishing community. Best wishes, Stevan

> > Date:    Sat, 8 Oct 2005 19:02:35 +0100
> > From:    Stevan Harnad <harnad at ECS.SOTON.AC.UK>
> > Subject: Public Clarification Needed: Does RCUK Have a Plan B?
> >
> >    Prior AmSci Topic Threads:
> >
> >    "Please Don't Copy-Cat Clone NIH-12 Non-OA Policy!"
> >    http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Hypermail/Amsci/4308.html
> >
> >    "Open Access vs. NIH Back Access and Nature's Back-Sliding"
> >    http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Hypermail/Amsci/4313.html
> >
> > Is the ALPSP announcement (reproduced at the end of this message from
> > Peter Suber's Open Access News) really true? Has ALPSP indeed been
> > privately promised veto/embargo power over RCUK Policy?
> >
> > I very much hope the ALPSP announcement is not true, and that ALPSP is
> > again vastly overstating its case, because otherwise it sounds as if RCUK
> > has effectively agreed to make the RCUK policy conditional on whether and
> > when each publisher agrees. If that were true it would mean that the RCUK
> > self-archiving policy was even weaker than the deeply flawed NIH policy --
> > indeed, that the RCUK policy was no policy, mandate or requirement at all,
> > but merely a pointer to each publisher's policy.
> >
> > The optimal RCUK policy would of course be:
> >
> >    Plan A: to mandate *both* (1) depositing the full text and metadata
> >    immediately upon acceptance for publication *and* (2) setting
> >    full-text access as Open-Access immediately upon acceptance for
> >    publication.
> >
> > But if RCUK feels it cannot mandate that, the next best thing is
> > certainly:
> >
> >    Plan B: to mandate (1) depositing the full text and metadata
> >    immediately upon acceptance for publication and to also *strongly
> >    recommend* (2) setting full-text access as Open-Access immediately
> >    upon acceptance for publication. (In the case of the <10% of journals
> >    that have not yet given OA self-archiving their green light, full-text
> >    access can be set as Institution-Internal-Access, and external eprint
> >    requests to the author -- based on the immediate webwide visibility
> >    and accessibility of the OAI metadata -- can be made and filled by
> >    email for the time being.)
> >
> > Plan B would immediately remove the RCUK policy from the reach of
> > the ALPSP lobby completely, because only deposit would be mandated,
> > whereas OA access-setting would merely be recommended. Nothing else would
> > then need to be stipulated at all in the RCUK policy -- about publisher
> > policy, copyright or embargoes.
> >
> > To instead build into the RCUK policy a veto and embargo power at each
> > publisher's discretion would be counterproductive in the extreme, not
> > only for the RCUK policy's capacity to provide OA to British research
> > output, but for its capacity to serve as a model for other nations that
> > are closely watching what RCUK will do, and likely to emulate it.
> >
> > We need further public clarification on this from RCUK. Otherwise
> > ALPSP's public claim below -- if uncontested by RCUK -- to having
> > already received RCUK's agreement to publisher veto and embargo power
> > over whether and when the full-text deposit is made will cause negative
> > ripples worldwide through rumour alone, giving the impression that there
> > is in fact no RCUK self-archiving policy at all, but simply a deferral
> > to whatever policy each publisher may or may not happen to have on
> > the matter.
> >
> >    From Peter Suber's Open Access News
> > http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/2005_10_02_fosblogarchive.html#a112869116319287317
> >
> >    ALPSP meeting with the RCUK
> >
> >   On September 16, the ALPSP met with representatives of the RCUK to
> >   discuss publisher objections to the draft OA policy. The ALPSP has
> >   publicly disclosed this much about the results of the meeting:
> >   http://www.alpsp.org/news/rcuk.htm
> >
> >   "We are reassured that RCUK have agreed to explain to grant recipients
> >   why publishers might find it necessary to impose an embargo or time
> >   limit for deposit of articles in order to protect subscription and
> >   licence sales, and also to insist that such embargoes must be observed;
> >   we have offered to help with drafting the wording for this. We are
> >   also pleased to know that RCUK will be consulting publishers over
> >   the specification of the research which will be conducted over
> >   the next two years, to evaluate the likely effects of the policy
> >   (although papers arising from research funded after the beginning
> >   of 2006 are unlikely to have been published by the review date of
> >   2008); we hope that the research will be sufficiently objective to
> >   ensure that publishers do provide data about the effects, if any,
> >   on downloads, subscription/licence sales, and other measures of
> >   journal sustainability. RCUK plan to hold a workshop for societies
> >   in the early part of next year, and ALPSP has offered to help in any
> >   way that might be required."
> >
> >   The ALPSP minutes of the meeting are available to members only.
> >
> >   (Peter Suber: "It looks like the RCUK will not close the "copyright
> >   loophole" in the current draft, which allows publishers to impose
> >   embargoes. Instead, it may even let publishers re-word it to suit
> >   themselves.")
> >
> >   Permanent link to this post Posted by Peter Suber at 10/07/2005
> >   09:14:00 AM.
> > http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/2005_10_02_fosblogarchive.html#a112869116319287317
> >
> > ------------------------------
> >
> > End of AMERICAN-SCIENTIST-OPEN-ACCESS-FORUM Digest - 7 Oct 2005 to 8 Oct
> > 2005 (#2005-185)
> > *****************************************************************************************
> >
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