In addition, articles need not be deposited until 12 months after publication.
In most fields, especially the fast-moving sciences, the benefits of Open Access (maximised uptake, usage, impact and progress) are biggest and most important within the first year of publication. That is the growth tip of research. Access losses in the first year are never fully caught up in later years. The iron needs to be struck when it is hot.
There are two very simple steps that China can take to minimise the needless loss of research uptake, usage and impact because of lost time:
(1) China should set up the repositories immediately, using the available free softwares such as EPrints and DSpace. It requires only a server and a few hours worth of set-up time and the repository is ready for deposits. There is no reason whatsoever to wait two years. It would also be sensible to have distributed local repositories ? at universities and research institutions ? rather than just one central one. Each institution can easily set up its own repository. All repositories are interoperable and if and when desired, their contents can be automatically exported to or harvested by central repositories.
(2) Although an OA embargo of 12 months is allowed, China should mandate that deposit itself must be immediate (immediately upon acceptance for publication). Access to the deposit can be set as closed access instead of OA during the embargo if desired, but EPrints and DSpace repositories have the ?Request-Copy? Button for closed-access deposits so that individual users can request and authors can provide an individual copy for research purposes with one click each. The repository automatically emails the copy if the author clicks Yes.