[EP-tech] Re: Europe PubMed as a home for all RCUK research outputs?

Stevan Harnad amsciforum at gmail.com
Tue Oct 9 14:08:31 BST 2012


On Tue, Oct 9, 2012 at 8:20 AM, Jan Velterop <velterop at gmail.com> wrote:

Fred,
>
> ... It is a matter of interpretation, of course, but I don't think the
> Finch Report (HM Gov't) "blocks" the use of institutional repositories. I
> don't read that in the report, and it is an interpretation I fail to see as
> obvious or inevitable.
>

"The [Green OA] policies of neither research funders nor universities
themselves have yet had a major effect in ensuring that researchers make
their publications accessible in institutional repositories… [so] the
infrastructure of subject and institutional repositories should [instead]
be developed [to] play a valuable role complementary to formal publishing,
particularly in providing access to research data and to grey literature,
and in digital preservation [no mention of Green OA]…"


http://www.researchinfonet.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Finch-Group-report-FINAL-VERSION.pdf


> But face up to it, subject repositories, such as the superb UKPMC (soon to
> be Europe PMC, confusing as that name may be — naming it Enhanced PMC would
> have been clearer and reflecting reality more closely) do present so much
> more in terms of usability, interoperability, internet connectivity, than
> most institutional repositories, that scepticism with regard to the latter
> as the preferred venue for open access is understandable. What I don't
> quite understand is why institutional repositories don't raise their game.
> They could, for instance, easily set up harvesting mechanisms — actually,
> linking would suffice — to collect articles relating to their affiliation
> from the limited number of subject repositories.
>

Institutions should *back-harvest* their own research output, because it is
deposited in (multiple<http://roar.eprints.org/cgi/roar_search/advanced?location_country=&software=&type=subject&order=-recordcount%2F-date>)
institution-external collections rather than in the authors' own
institutional repository?

Doesn't the reverse (deposit once, institutionally, and let
institution-external collections import or harvest) make more sense -- and
make for more effective compliance verification (for both institutional and
funder mandates)?


> And they could enhance the functionality of deposited articles, too. Just
> an example: UKPMC makes linking to species, diseases, chemicals, genes,
> proteins, and the like possible. That is, in a different way, but still,
> also available to content in institutional repositories by using tools such
> as, for instance, the freely available Utopia Documents (utopiadocs.com —
> which actually offers more internet connectivity for PDFs than most HTML
> versions have). I'm sure there are more tools available to increase the
> usability of repositories. Why don't repositories tell their users about
> them? And why don't repositories convince their depositing authors to
> attach a CC-BY licence to the manuscripts being deposited so that the reuse
> issues are resolved? If they are indeed the manuscript versions and not the
> formally published ones, that shouldn't be a problem.
>

Research output is not used or searched at the individual repository level
but at the harvester level.

Repositories cannot attach CC-BY licenses because most publishers still
insist on copyright transfer. (Global Green OA will put an end to this, but
not if it waits for CC-BY first.)

Moreover, most fields don't need CC-BY (and certainly not as urgently as
they need access).

I haven't seen many efforts in regard of making institutional repositories
> work better by any of the 'green' OA advocates known to me, but maybe I'm
> reading the wrong lists.
>

Try reading  eprints-tech at ecs.soton.ac.uk and
dspace-general at lists.sourceforge.net

It is crystal clear that one strategy to achieve open access won't yield
> 100% success in the foreseeable future. That's why both 'gold' and 'green'
> are needed. 'Gold', of course, includes 'green', and 'green' doesn't
> include 'gold', but that doesn't mean in any way that 'green' should be
> disregarded. It isn't by most 'gold' advocates I know and not dismissed as
> 'gold' seems to be by 'green' advocates, unfortunately. And different
> fields have different needs that are more likely to be satisfied by one
> strategy than the other. In the data-rich physical sciences, 'gold' (CC-BY)
> is more likely to give the best results; for the social sciences and
> humanities it may well be 'green'.
>

Green mandates don't exclude Gold: they simply allow but do not *require* Gold,
nor paying for Gold.

Stevan Harnad


> Jan Velterop
>
>
> On 9 Oct 2012, at 11:40, Frederick Friend wrote:
>
>   I am grateful to Robert Kiley for clarification of Wellcome’s policy in
> a message which – with his permission – is reproduced below:
>
> ”Can I just make it clear that though the Trust requires publishers to
> deposit content which has attracted an APC fee directly in PMC (which is
> then mirrored to UKPMC/Europe PMC) we do not pay any extra for this
> service? Publishers charge the Wellcome (via the grant holders and their
> institutions) the published APC fee. In terms of the fee paid to
> publishers, we currently spend around £4m pa on OA publication fees -- this
> figure includes publication fees levied by both hybrids and full OA
> journals. Compliance with our OA policy is around 60 per cent. Calculations
> continue to show that if all WT-funded research was routed via the gold
> route, and assuming that the Trust picked up 100 per cent of OA costs (even
> though most WT funded research has another funder supporting the research),
> at current levels of APC, the cost to the Trust would be between 1.25
> percent and 1.5 percent of our annual research spend.
> Hope this helps. Robert.”
>
> What this extra information tells me is that the payment by Wellcome has
> never been a payment to meet the cost of deposit but a payment to the
> publisher for access and re-use rights, just as an APC does. Wellcome had
> every right to begin to make such payments but the issue remains whether
> this model – which Wellcome have the money to pay for – is suitable for
> transfer into policies paid for from the national funds for research
> administered by the RCs. Spending 1.5% of RCUK funds on APCs may have a
> very different effect upon other national research priorities than spending
> 1.5% of Wellcome research funds on APCs has upon Wellcome’s priorities, and
> we do not even know whether 1.5% of RCUK funds will pay for all RC-funded
> UK research outputs. I am still left with the impression that the Wellcome
> model has been accepted without question by the Finch Group and then by HM
> Government.
>
> One question which needs to be asked – if this situation is carried
> through into all UK research outputs - is what happens to the 40% of
> articles not gathered in by this route? The UKPMC deposit rate of 60% is
> clearly higher than UKPMC was achieving through author-deposit alone, but
> open access statistics show that one open access model on its own cannot
> ensure that 100% of research content is made open access. In fact to date
> the repository deposit model has been more successful than OA journal
> publication in increasing the volume of open access. In blocking the use of
> institutional repositories for access to and re-use of current research
> output, HM Government has given us a situation where we may be paying more
> for less open access.
>
> Fred Friend
> Honorary Director Scholarly Communication UCL
> http://www.friendofopenaccess.org.uk
>
>
>
> *From:* Frederick Friend <ucylfjf at UCL.AC.UK>
>  *Sent:* Monday, October 08, 2012 1:01 PM
> *To:* JISC-REPOSITORIES at JISCMAIL.AC.UK
> *Subject:* Europe PubMed as a home for all RCUK research outputs?
>
>   *“Admitting that RCUK was "thinking about" mandatory repository
> deposit, Mr Thorley said that one idea was to expand the Europe (formerly
> UK) PubMed Central repository, which currently covers only biomedicine, to
> encompass all subjects to help publishers automate deposits.” Mark Thorley
> of RCUK quoted in an article by Paul Jump in “Times Higher Education” of 4
> October 2012. *
> **
> I wonder whose idea this was! I can make one or two guesses, but whoever
> suggested it, it is a bad idea! I welcomed the development of UK PubMed
> Central, until the point when Wellcome Trust started to pay some publishers
> to make the deposit on behalf of authors and funders. I do not know whether
> Wellcome will disclose the sums paid to publishers, but my impression is
> that whatever is being paid more than covers the cost of making the deposit
> and is in effect a payment to publishers for open access and re-use rights.
> When people I know who are not in academia ask me about my work and I
> explain that I am working for open access to taxpayer-funded research, this
> is welcomed by whoever I am speaking to – until I say that many publishers
> are asking to be paid by taxpayers for making articles open access, at
> which point the welcome from my listener turns to incredulity. Even more
> incredulity if I mention the level of payments being requested for APCs.
> So, if RCUK were to go down the road of paying publishers to deposit in
> Europe PubMed Central, they should be prepared for challenges on such a
> mis-use of public money, especially if the deposit payment were to be in
> addition to the payment of an APC. Presumably the existing funders of UKPMC
> – some of them charities – would also expect a contribution from the
> non-biomedical RCs towards the high cost of running Europe PMC. This “idea”
> could cost a lot of money.
>
> I suspect that there will also be objections from subject groups who see
> their repository needs as being very different from those of the biomedical
> community. How many times in my long career have I heard that other such
> all-embracing proposals will not work for subject x or y! UKPMC is a
> wonderful service for the biomedical community, a service for which they
> are prepared to pay and have the resources to pay, but its design will not
> fit all subjects without major modification. Already I hear some concern
> about the undue influence of the biomedical community and Wellcome in
> particular upon the Finch Report and thus upon Government policy. The
> suspicion is that the open access policy of the Wellcome Trust, which works
> very well for the Trust and for the biomedical community, is being adopted
> for all UK research outputs without consideration of the way the Trust’s
> open access decisions can be applied within  other very different academic
> structures.
>
> RCUK: please think again! It is good that you are considering mandatory
> repository deposit, but there are other repositories which can provide
> better value for the service you need.
>
> Fred Friend
> http://www.friendofopenaccess.org.uk
>
>
>
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