Designing the Optimal Open Access Mandate

Keynote Address to be presented at UNT Open Access Symposium, University of North Texas, 18 May, 2010.

OVERVIEW: As the number of Open Access (OA) mandates adopted by universities worldwide grows it is important to ensure that the most effective mandate model is selected for adoption, and that a very clear distinction is made between what is required and what is recommended:

By far the most effective and widely applicable OA policy is to require that the author’s final, revised peer-reviewed draft must be deposited in the institutional repository (IR) immediately upon acceptance for publication, without exception, but only to recommend, not require, that access to the deposit should be set immediately as Open Access (at least 63% of journals already endorse immediate, unembargoed OA); access to deposits for which the author wishes to honor a publisher access embargo can be set as Closed Access.

The IR’s “fair use” button allows users to request and authors to authorize semi-automated emailing of individual eprints to individual requesters, on a case by case basis, for research uses during the embargo.

The adoption of an ?author?s addendum? reserving rights should be recommended but not required (opt-out/waiver permitted).

It is also extremely useful and productive to make IR deposit the official mechanism for submitting publications for annual performance review.

IRs can also monitor compliance with complementary OA mandates from research funding agencies and can provide valuable metrics on usage and impact.

(Mandate compliance should be compulsory, but there need be no sanctions or penalties for noncompliance; the benefits of compliance will be their own reward.)

On no account should a university adopt a costly policy of funding Gold OA publishing by its authors until/unless it has first adopted a cost-free policy of mandatory Green OA self-archiving.

Stevan Harnad

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

Gargouri, Y., Hajjem, C., Lariviere, V., Gingras, Y., Brody, T., Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2010) Self-Selected or Mandated, Open Access Increases Citation Impact for Higher Quality Research.

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.) 

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

? “Which Green OA Mandate Is Optimal?” 

? “The Immediate-Deposit/Optional-Access (ID/OA) Mandate: Rationale and Model

? “Optimizing OA Self-Archiving Mandates: What? Where? When? Why? How?” 

? “How To Integrate University and Funder Open Access Mandates” 

? “Upgrading Harvard’s Opt-Out Copyright Retention Mandate: Add a No-Opt-Out Deposit Clause” 

? “On Not Putting The Gold OA-Payment Cart Before The Green OA-Provision Horse