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[Journal-notes] Promoting Institutional Self-Archiving

Stevan Harnad harnad at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Mon Jul 18 16:48:03 EST 2005

On Mon, 18 Jul 2005, Minh Ha Duong wrote:

> I want to sell to the higher-ups at my national research institution
> the idea of an open evangelization mission to promote open archiving. I
> think that just saying "now everybody on the payroll SHOULD archive"
> is likely not to be efficient. We are especially interested in the
> department of Social Sciences and Humanities, which comprises a few
> hundred lab or research teams.

Do not under-estimate the potential impact of a mandate:

    "[This] international, cross-disciplinary [author] study on open
    access had 1296 respondents:.. The vast majority of authors (81%)
    would willingly comply with a mandate from their employer or research
    funder to deposit copies of their articles in an institutional or
    subject-based repository. A further 13% would comply reluctantly;
    5% would not comply with such a mandate."

    Swan, A. (2005) Open access self-archiving: An Introduction. JISC
    Technical Report. http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/11006/
But it would also help to show researcher *why* they should self-archive
(to maximise research usage and impact):


See especially the findings in Social Sciences (Sociology,


> What do you think? Do you know of any instances of such institutional
> effort to promote OA? How did they go about it, and with what results?

How institutions *promote* OA self-archiving, I don't know. 
Postings from those institutions that do, to let us know how they
are promoting it, would be most welcome. 

The OSI Eprints Handbook http://software.eprints.org/handbook/ as well
as the Self-Archiving FAQ http://www.eprints.org/self-faq/ suggest ways.

But it is the mandate itself that is the most effective way of generating
self-archiving, as can be seen by comparing archive growth and size for
those institutions that have no institutional self-archiving policy
(1), a policy of recommending but not requiring self-archiving (2),
and a policy of requiring self-archiving (3):

The only two institutions in the world so far that have a policy of
requiring self-archiving (3) -- Southampton ECS and CERN in Switzerland
-- have achieved a >90% self-archiving rate for current research output,
exactly as the above JISC Survey findings indicated. The archives of
institutions with only recommended self-archiving (2) are filling less,
and less quickly; those of institutions with no self-archiving policy
at all even less so.

For (2) and (3) see: http://www.eprints.org/signup/fulllist.php
For (1) see: http://archives.eprints.org/eprints.php?action=browse

Stevan Harnad

> Thanks for your attention,
> Minh
> -- 
> Minh Ha Duong, Chargé de recherches au CIRED, CNRS
> http://hal-shs.ccsd.cnrs.fr/aut/ha-duong

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