Taking Publisher Policy Out of the Loop for HEFCE OA Policy

Lee Jones makes some good points, but underestimates the power and purpose of some of the very HEFCE policy points that he questions.

It is the fact that HEFCE proposes to mandate the immediate, unembargoed deposit of the FAV (Final Author Version) in the author?s institutional repository ? even if access to the deposit is not made immediately OA ? that (1) restores authors? freedom of journal choice, (2) protects authors from having to pay Gold OA fees, (3) takes publishers out of the loop for HEFCE OA Policy, and even (4) equips users to request and authors to provide ?Almost-OA? to embargoed deposits, via the institutional repository?s eprint request Button, with one click each.

In the UK, (a) institutional repository start-up costs are mostly already bespoken, (b) repositories have multiple purposes, with OA only one of them, and they (c) allow archiving costs to be distributed and local, keeping them small, rather than big, like the costs of a national archive like France?s HAL or a global one like Arxiv. Central locus of storage is in any case an obsolete notion in the distributed digital network era.