Peter Suber: "The UK can do better…"

Mark Thorley wrote: “Stevan, …As an advocate of Open Access I would like to think that you appreciate the fact that the UK is leading the world here…”

Mark, no, the UK is no longer leading the world with its new Finch/RCUK/BIS OA policy.

It’s time to heed OA advocates that have been at this far longer than you, and fix the RCUK Policy:

Peter Suber: “The UK can do better. In fact, the RCUK can do better. Its 2006 policy was better than the new policy. It only needed to be enforced.”

The RCUK Policy is fixable. Indeed it can be made much better than the old RCUK policy. And the UK can once again take the worldwide lead in OA Policy:

I. Drop the 9 words that make the RCUK Policy say the opposite of what it means.

II. Adopt an effective compliance-verification mechanism for Green OA self-archiving:

(IIa) Deposit must be in the fundee’s institutional repository.
      (This makes each UK institution responsible for monitoring and verifying timely compliance.)
(IIb) All articles must be deposited immediately upon acceptance for publication.
      (Publisher embargoes apply only to the date on which the deposit is made OA.)
(IIc) Repository deposit must be designated the sole mechanism for submitting publications for UK research assessment (REF).
      (Articles’ deposit URL required in all requests for RCUK funding or renewal.)

It is still widely hoped that RCUK will act in a flexible, constructive way rather than a rigid, dogmatic one, in the face of the growing expression of the concerns of the research community and its OA advocates, in the UK and worldwide, about the ambiguity and the potential for perverse effects of the new RCUK OA Policy.

Stevan Harnad

BOAI-10 RECOMMENDATIONS

— 1.1. Every institution of higher education should have a policy assuring that peer-reviewed versions of all future scholarly articles by faculty members are deposited in the institution?s designated repository…

— Deposits should be made as early as possible, ideally at the time of acceptance, and no later than the date of formal publication.

— University policies should respect faculty freedom to submit new work to the journals of their choice. [emphasis added]

— University policies should encourage but not require publication in OA journals [emphasis added] …

— 1.3. Every research funding agency, public or private, should have a policy assuring that peer-reviewed versions of all future scholarly articles reporting funded research are deposited in a suitable repository and made OA as soon as practicable.

— Deposits should be made as early as possible, ideally at the time of acceptance, and no later than the date of formal publication…