Global Map of Institutional Repositories from Eprints

Here is the link to an interesting map from Eprints of newly added Institutional Repositories. It helps in creating a vivid image of the Open Access awareness growing on a truly global scale.
Links to repositories are also available with short descriptions added. Hopefully, the creators will utilize the potential of this map becoming a useful and illuminating tool for Open Access advocates.

OA Week: Mandate Adoption Challenge for Institutions and Funders

University of Southampton/EPrints is launching a week-long Open Access Mandate Adoption Challenge for OA Week.

On October 18, the first day of OA week, the results of a study will be published in PLoS ONE demonstrating that the well-known higher probability of being used and cited for research that has been made OA is indeed caused by the OA itself, and not an artifact of a researcher bias toward self-selectively making research OA that has a higher probability of being used and cited. The proof is that when OA is mandated by researchers’ institutions for all research output, the OA citation advantage is just as great as for self-selective OA.

Self-selective OA levels today vary between 5-25% of research output, whereas when mandated, OA levels jump to 60% and rise toward 100% within a few years of mandate adoption.

The implication of these findings is that — in order to maximize research usage, citation and impact for the benefit of the tax-paying public that funds the research — all research institutions and funders should mandate making all their research output OA.

Representatives of universities, research institutions and research funders the world over that have adopted (or are planning to adopt) an OA mandate are invited to register their policy in ROARMAP (the Registry of Open Access Material Archiving Policies) as a show of force during OA week, setting an example to encourage other institutions and funders worldwide to do likewise.

If you know of an OA mandate — already adopted or proposed — that has not yet been registered in ROARMAP, please register it (or encourage a relevant official to register it).

Please register your mandate in ROARMAP HERE

Progress in mandate growth during OA week will be charted by Dr. Alma Swan (a Program Advisor for OA Week) in the Open Access Information Sourcebook OASIS [reaches growth chart directly], EnablingOpenScholarship EOS [click here twice to get to growth chart] and elsewhere.

Cornell, Arxiv and Institutional vs. Central Repositories

On Thu, 7 Oct 2010, Joseph Esposito wrote (in liblicense):

What is the current uptake on arXiv for physics articles? Is it 100%, that is, are there any articles in the field that are published in traditional physics journals that do not appear in arXiv?

It varies by field. In HEP and Astro, most published journal articles are also self-archived in Arxiv.

To understand the meaning of this, however, it is important to note that extremely few papers that are self-archived in Arxiv are not (eventually) published in journals: Arxiv is an access-provider — to published and pre-publication research papers. Arxiv is not a publisher: Arxiv neither peer-reviews its contents, nor does it certify that they have been peer-reviewed; the publisher does that.

Hence, like all open access repositories, Arxiv is a supplement to publication, not a substitute for it.

Considering the centrality of arXiv to the physics community, it is difficult to imagine that it would ever disappear (or that anyone would want it to).

No one wants Arxiv to disappear, but I’ll bet that within a decade or sooner Arxiv will just be another automated central harvester of distributed local deposits from authors’ own institutional repositories (IRs), not a central locus of direct, institution-external deposit. In the age of IRs, it is no longer necessary — nor does it make sense — for authors to self-archive institution-externally. It is also a needless central expense to manage deposit centrally. It makes much more sense to deposit institutionally and harvest centrally.

My understanding is that arXiv is funded by a combination of support from Cornell, a large government grant, and contributions from other research universities. If this funding were to disappear (I heard it was threatened a year or two ago), would arXiv be resurrected by the community?

Once all universities have IRs and IR self-archiving mandates, there will be no need to fund repositories for institution-external deposit. Harvesting is cheap. And each university’s IR will be a standard part of its online infrastructure.

Finally, once again taking the centrality of arXiv to the community it serves into consideration, what would happen if a modest deposit fee were assessed–say, $50 per article?

The IR cost per paper deposited will be closer to 50c than $50, once all universities are hosting their own output, and mandating that it be deposited.

I am not suggesting that this should or should not happen; I am simply wondering what the outcome would be. (BioMed Central, PLoS, and Hindawi all charge more than this, though they provide additional services.) Would the number of deposits remain about the same? Would the number drop? And if it dropped, how precipitously?

Guess again! Once the burden of hosting, access-provision and archiving is offloaded onto each author’s institution, the only service that journals will need to provide is peer review, and hence journals will be charging institutions a lot less than they are charging now. (Print editions as well as online editions and their costs will be gone too.)

On Fri, Oct 8, 2010 at 12:57 AM, Simeon Warner wrote (in jisc-repositories):

The IR cost per paper deposited will be closer to 50c than $50, once all universities are hosting their own output, and mandating that it be deposited.

I do not think the 50c number is supported by fact or by trend. I know that for Cornell’s IR the number is much closer to $50 than to 50c if one divides cost to operate by the number of new submissions in the same period. (I would love to see data for other IRs.)

Simeon, I can only repeat the premise under which that prediction is made:

“once all universities are hosting their own output, and mandating that it be deposited.”

Cornell has not mandated deposit, and it is far from hosting all of its annual output. Ditto for all but about 100 universities so far worldwide.

(Not to mention that Cornell and many other universities may not have picked the optimal free IR software solution either ;>) …)

For arXiv the number is <$7. We have the benefit of significant scale (65k submissions/year) and a user community that require very little hand-holding.

Yes, you have significant scale. But, for Arxiv, it is Cornell, a federal grant, plus funds from some universities that are paying for all the deposits, from all universities, in that one central repository.

To repeat: The sensible solution (and probably the only practical, affordable, sustainable one) is for Arxiv — and any other central archives like it in other fields — to harvest their respective content automatically from Institutional Repositories that host their own research output. (Institutions, after all, are the universal providers of all that content.)

The annual cost per paper deposited will be far less for an Institutional Repository — hosting only its own research output — once the institutions are indeed hosting all of their own annual research output — and not just a small fragment of it, as now.

Most institutions today have IRs that are still near-empty rather than at full capacity (as far as OA’s target content is concerned). (The cost/benefit of universities hosting their own grey literature output and other kinds of content they generate is another matter, but not to be reckoned into this comparison with Arxiv regarding per-article cost. IRs can archive lots of kinds of things, including departmental reports or family photo albums, if desired…)

And Cornell, of course, has the double burden of hosting a near-empty, unmandated IR for its own refereed research output, plus the (partial) expense of hosting Arxiv for the rest of the world!


Annual Costs Per Deposit of Hosting Refereed Research Output Centrally Versus Institutionally

Why Cornell’s Institutional Repository Is Near-Empty


This is not to say that IRs aren’t worth the support from their local institution! Compared with the cost of doing research resulting in an article, $50 is pocket change. I think that a key driver for IRs is that they align well funding with mission. At Cornell we consider it a worthwhile service for our faculty to provide considerably more support for the IR than arXiv could provide its users.

There are many valid reasons for institutions creating and supporting their IRs — but only if they mandate that they be filled with their target content.

Among those many valid reasons are economic ones:

ABSTRACT: Among the many important implications of Houghton et al?s (2009) timely and illuminating JISC analysis of the costs and benefits of providing free online access (?Open Access,? OA) to peer-reviewed scholarly and scientific journal articles one stands out as particularly compelling: It would yield a forty-fold benefit/cost ratio if the world?s peer-reviewed research were all self-archived by its authors so as to make it OA. There are many assumptions and estimates underlying Houghton et al?s modelling and analyses, but they are for the most part very reasonable and even conservative. This makes their strongest practical implication particularly striking: The 40-fold benefit/cost ratio of providing Green OA is an order of magnitude greater than all the other potential combinations of alternatives to the status quo analyzed and compared by Houghton et al. This outcome is all the more significant in light of the fact that self-archiving already rests entirely in the hands of the research community (researchers, their institutions and their funders), whereas OA publishing depends on the publishing community. Perhaps most remarkable is the fact that this outcome emerged from studies that approached the problem primarily from the standpoint of the economics of publication rather than the economics of research.

Harnad, S. (2010) The Immediate Practical Implication of the Houghton Report: Provide Green Open Access Now. Prometheus 28 (1). pp. 55-59.

(As a side note I mention that at arXiv we consider free access and free submission to be foundational and thus did not consider an author-pays model. See for more details of our business planning process.)

Arxiv is a repository for articles that have been or will be refereed and published by journals. There is an “author pays” model for paying for that refereeing and publishing through author/institution publication fees (for OA journals, and a subscription model for non-OA journals, which are still the vast majority). — But there is not, never was, and never need be an “author pays” model merely to pay for the deposit of the author’s draft of those same articles.

Arxiv is a repository, providing access, not a publisher of refereed research. It is the many different journals in which Arxiv’s depositors publish who are still the ones doing the refereeing and the publishing (i.e., implementing the peer review process and certifying the outcome, if successful, as having met that journal’s established quality standards). And journals need to recover the costs of providing that essential service, either via journal subscriptions tolls or via “author pays” (i.e., article publication fees)

Once the burden of hosting, access-provision and archiving is offloaded onto each author’s institution, the only service that journals will need to provide is peer review, and hence journals will be charging institutions a lot less than they are charging now. (Print editions as well as online editions and their costs will be gone too.)

Overlay journals are also very interesting and I hope will grow in number. This does not seem to be happening yet though. A trend we see right now is a rather problematic increase in the number of low quality author-pays website-and-little-else online journals. They aggressively promote their articles through openaccess services such as arXiv while established journals wrestle with the transition.

On this you are entirely right, Simeon (though I think the term “overlay journals” is a misdescription of what may eventually come to pass, once all refereed, published articles are being self-archived in their author’s IR).

(And Cornell is aiding and abetting the very trend you mention, by agreeing pre-emptively to subsidize “author pays” costs for (some of) Cornell authors’ articles while failing to mandate self-archiving of all of Cornell authors’ articles, cost-free!)


Harnad, S. (2009) The PostGutenberg Open Access Journal. In: Cope, B. & Phillips, A (Eds.) The Future of the Academic Journal. Chandos.

In all of this the tools necessary to use IR content effectively still lag well behind the facilities offered by subject repositories.

Many of the necessary tools are not needed at the individual IR level, because search takes place at the harvester level.

What IRs lack is not tools, but content. Once we have the OA’s target content (refereed journal articles), developing the tools is a piece of cake.

One should also not underestimate the cost of building effective collections over harvested data (see, for example, the NSDL experience)

We can cross that bridge when we get to it — if Google Scholar does not cross it for us — once the target content is indeed being deposited in the IRs, globally — because deposit has been universally mandated at long last.

Stevan Harnad
American Scientist Open Access Forum

"MIT?s OA Policy Related to #3 Ranking Among Top 200 Universities?"

DuraSpace Blog: “A recent Intechweb article, ?MIT Makes All Faculty Publications Open Access?, suggests that MIT?s #3 ranking among the top 200 universities by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings may be related to both MIT?s OA policy and to the actual ability to access MIT?s research output on the Web through DSpace@MIT which now houses nearly 30,000 digital items.

Traditional Publication: Nontraditional Access-Provision

Huge congratulations to MIT! But a slight correction (of the Intechweb article):

What MIT has done is to mandate that the author?s final draft of all MIT articles published in peer-reviewed journals should be self-archived in MIT?s Open Access Institutional Repository. It is indeed very likely true that the ?determination of MIT to shift from the old tradition ? may be the clue to becoming ranked third among world?s top 200 universities.? The enhanced uptake, usage and impact resulting from this enhanced access is the factor that has helped enhance other universities? rankings too (e.g., those of U. Southampton, the first to mandate OA self-archiving).

But the shift that has occurred at MIT and Southampton to enhance their impact rankings is definitely not a ?shift from the old tradition of publishing model to a new publishing paradigm which relies on internet technology?! MIT and Southampton authors continue to publish exactly as they have done all along ? in the best peer-reviewed journals whose quality standards their research can meet. And just about all journals today ?rely on internet technology.?

No, the shift is that of supplementing the old tradition of publishing in an established peer-reviewed journal with the new tradition of self-archiving the author?s final, accepted draft, so that all researchers can access, use, apply and cite their findings in further research, and not just those whose institutions can afford to subscribe to the (traditional) journals in which they happen to have been published.

Credit where credit is due!

Stevan Harnad
American Scientist Open Access Forum

Campus Open Access Resolutions

On Tue, 5 Oct 2010, [identity deleted] wrote:

Hi Stevan,
We are happy to inform you that [university identity deleted] senate passed a campus open access resolution…

[Here] is the text of our open access resolution. We are not sure if we should register it to ROARMAP since it is not a policy or a mandate. Do you have any guidance for us?

Thanks, [Identity deleted]


Congratulations to your university for taking a stance on OA, but I’m afraid there is nothing yet to register in ROARMAP on the basis of this kind of resolution (encouraging OA), for the following reasons:

(1) Ten years of evidence on which kinds of policies succeed and which fail have shown that encouraging deposit simply does not work. Baseline deposit rates remain about 15% of university research output, even with encouragement, recommendations, invitations, and requests.

(2) If the encouragement is accompanied by relentless activism, contacts, incentives and assistance from library staff, the deposit rate can be raised somewhat higher (c. 30%).

(3) But only a deposit requirement (mandate) can raise the deposit rate to 60%, from which it approaches 100% within a few years (especially quickly if deposit is officially designated as the sole procedure for submitting publications for performance assessment). Neither encouragement nor activism will accomplish deposit rates of that order, no matter how long the policy remains in place.

So I am afraid that your university is now destined to have to discover for itself — by losing several more years of research uptake and impact while other institutions (over 100 now) adopt a deposit mandate — that encouragement alone simply does not work.

I also think it is a mistake to foreground the recommendation to publish in open access journals (“Gold OA”): Unlike “Green OA” — i.e. depositing (in the institutional repository) articles that have been published in subscription journals (which still constitute about 90% of journals today, and still include virtually all the top journals) — publishing in Gold OA journals cannot be required; it can only be encouraged. So as a means of providing OA to all the university’s annual research output, publishing in Gold OA journals should clearly be portrayed as merely a supplement to a deposit mandate. Your faculty resolution puts the encouragement to publish in OA journals first, followed by an encouragement to deposit. Not only is the crucial requirement to deposit missing altogether, but the priorities are counterproductively reversed.

Last, I have to point out that your resolution’s statement regarding deposit is so hedged by apparent legal worries that it is virtually just a statement to the effect that “We encourage you to deposit if and when your publisher says you may deposit”!

Not only is that legalistic hedging not helpful, but it is unnecessary and misleading. Your university can and should require deposit of the author’s final, refereed, revised draft, immediately upon acceptance for publication, without exception. Over 60% of journals (including virtually all the top journals in all fields) already endorse immediate OA self-archiving (see the ROMEO registry). If there is a desire to abide by the remaining journals’ OA embargoes, then your university should simply recommend setting access to the (immediate, mandatory) deposit as Closed Access rather than Open Access during the embargo. But the immediate deposit itself should be mandatory, without exception, regardless of publisher policy on the timing of OA. That way even during any OA embargo users can request and authors can provide “Almost OA” on a case by case basis, for research or educational purposes, via the repository’s semi-automatic “email eprint request” button.

All I can do is hope that as you see the growing evidence of the feasibility and success of immediate-deposit mandates registered in ROARMAP, your university will be emboldened to upgrade its policy to an immediate-deposit mandate (as NIH did, after 2 years lost pursuing the vain hope that encouragement would be enough) before your university needlessly loses many more years of uptake and impact for its annual research output.

Invaluable OA policy-making guidance is now available to universities from EOS (Enabling Open Scholarship) Convenor, Alma Swan, Key Perspectives and University of Southampton; Chairman, Bernard Rentier, Rector, University of Liege.

We hope many new deposit mandates will be announced during international OA week (beginning October 18):

Best wishes,

Harnad, S. (2008) Waking OA?s ?Slumbering Giant?: The University’s Mandate To Mandate Open Access. New Review of Information Networking 14(1): 51 – 68

Harnad, S; Carr, L; Swan, A; Sale, A & Bosc H. (2009) Maximizing and Measuring Research Impact Through University and Research-Funder Open-Access Self Archiving Mandates. Wissenschaftsmanagement 15(4) 36-41

Harnad, S. (2010) The Immediate Practical Implication of the Houghton Report: Provide Green Open Access Now. Prometheus 28 (1). pp. 55-59.

Sale, A., Couture, M., Rodrigues, E., Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2010) Open Access Mandates and the “Fair Dealing” Button. In: Dynamic Fair Dealing: Creating Canadian Culture Online (Rosemary J. Coombe & Darren Wershler, Eds.)

Swan, A. (2010) The Open Access citation advantage: Studies and results to date. Technical Report. School of Electronics & Computer Science, University of Southampton.

Dramatic Growth of Open Access: September 30, 2010

In brief

The growth rate of open access is robust and growing. DOAJ added 312 titles this quarter (more than 3 per day), for a total of 5,452. There are now more than 6,600 journals using OJS. The number of journals fully participating in PMC continues to grow, while the NIH Public Access Policy compliance rate is about 60%, indicating significant progress but still room for improvement. BASE now searches more than 25 million documents. Hindawi’s monthly submissions have grown to over 2,000 this quarter. The dare to compare section below asks the evocative question of whether the open access sector is, or soon will be, ready for serious comparison with the subscription sector. There are at least four major free or open access journal collections that are more than twice the size of the largest commercial publisher, Elsevier, in terms of number of titles. For example, DOAJ, with over 5,000 titles, has more than twice as many titles than Elsevier. While there is some comparison of apples and oranges here, one conclusion seems reasonable – open access publishing is already comparable to subscription publishing, in terms of capacity if not yet by size. There are also at least two open access metasearch services that may rival, in size, Science Direct. Again, too early for conclusions, but enough to suggest that serious research may be warranted in the not too distant future. Full data are available for download or viewing. Previous editions are available.

Open Access Status as of September 30, 2010

  • Directory of Open Access Journals: 5,452 journals
    • DOAJ growth rate: 3 titles per day
    • # journals searchable at article level: 2,288 (growing at 2 titles per day)
    • # articles searchable at article level: 447,657 (growing at 362 articles per day)

  • Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE): over 25.5 million documents
    • BASE growth rate: 8,000 documents per day

  • REPEC fulltext: 825,000 (growing at over 400 documents per day)
  • arXiv: 629,806 (growing at over 185 documents per day)
  • Open Access Mandate Policies (from ROARMAP): 230 (growth rate: 2 per week)
    • Institutional Policies: 96 (growth rate: 1 per week)

  • PubMedCentral
    • # journals actively participating: 960 (growing at 1 title / day
    • # journals with immediate free access: 556 (growing at 10 titles / month)
    • # journals with all articles open access: 480 (growing at 9 titles / month)
    • estimated NIH Public Access Policy compliance rate: 60%
    • % of articles published within the last 2 years with free fulltext: 19%

Dare we compare?

The following figures are deliberately intended to be evocative, if not provocative. It is acknowledged that there is some comparison of apples and oranges here. The key point is that there are an awful lot of open access apples – or oranges, as you prefer – enough so that comparisons with the subscription based sector either are, or soon will, be worthy of serious research.

There are at least 4 large collections of free and/or open access scholarly journals that are more than double the size of the world’s largest scholarly publisher, Elsevier, by number of titles. Even when we limit to peer-reviewed collections alone, DOAJ now includes more than twice the number of titles in Science Direct. The chart above shows just a few of these large collections for comparison purposes. Electronic Journals Library, with over 26,000 titles, has been omitted from the chart to better illustrate the differences in size of the collections included. This does not mean that open access publishing exceeds subscription-based publishing at this time. However, it is reasonable to draw the conclusion that the capacity of the open access sector already rivals that of the subscription-based sector.

Similarly, there are at least two major metasearch services, Scientific Commons and the Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE), where searches encompass more than twice the number of documents available through Elsevier’s Science Direct. While it is not possible to draw any conclusions about the relative number of articles available from each search (both BASE and Scientific Commons will draw on many more types of items than just articles, and duplication due to multiple deposits is likely), it is reasonable to conclude that the relative amount of articles available open access and through major publishers either is, or soon will be, worthy of comparison through serious research.

Milestones this quarter

Hindawi’s monthly submissions grow to over 2,000 September 7, 2010 announcement from Hindawi’s Paul Peters

More than 25 million records in BASE August 3, 2010 announcement, Dirk Pieper, BASE


The NIH Public Access policy compliance rate of 60%, not too far different from the 44% compliance rate reported by Robert Kiley of the Wellcome Trust for their policy earlier this year, is both a sign of progress and an indication that there is still a great deal of work to do to make works publicly or openly accessible, even with these strong mandates. The continuing strong growth of open access both overall and in the PubMed context, as illustrated by the growing list of journals participating fully in PMC far beyond the mandates, contrasts with this lagging compliance rate, and suggests ongoing polarization within the publishing community.

Methodology notes

Growth rates are calculated on the basis of growth over the past year divided by the relevant time-metric (365 for daily, 12 for monthly, 52 for weekly), and rounded.