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[BOAI] Re: OA policies and their "weight"

From: Stevan Harnad <harnad AT ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2010 21:06:26 +0100 (BST)


Threading: [BOAI] Re: OA policies and their "weight" from isabel.bernal AT bib.csic.es
      • This Message

On Tue, 20 Jul 2010, Frederick Friend wrote:

> I am glad that Isabel Bernal has sent this message about the excellent OA 
> developments in Spain. I was becoming concerned that comments on the 
MELIBEA 
> service - whether justified or unjustified - were giving the impression 
that 
> our Spanish colleagues are adopting a faulty approach to OA

(1) The (friendly) critique was of MELIBEA, not of CSIC or Spain.

(2) The critique was not of an approach to OA but of an approach to
evaluating approaches to OA.

(3) MELIBEA is a (potentially important) project of a CSIC lab (IATA) 
that was presented at OR2010 http://accesoabierto.net/node/61

> (can any way of bringing OA be faulty?).

Yes it can (e.g., if it is unsuccessful, or needlessly less successful
than it could be).

> I have looked at both the Digital.CSIC and 
> Revistas.CSIC sites, and I found them attractive and very easy to use 
(which 
> unfortunately cannot be said about all repositories).

There are more attractive repositories and less attractive repositories.
Their appearance matters infinitely less than their success in capturing
their total target OA contents (which can only be determined by
comparing their annual deposits to their total annual target output).

OA contents are not searched and retrieved at the repository level, but
at the harvester level. Hence the attractiveness of an individual
repository, be it institutional or central, is of rather minor
importance.

(Neither the attractiveness nor even the deposit rate of the CSIC
repository is relevant to the point under discussion, which is about
how to go about evaluating institutional and funder OA policies, e.g.,
as MELIBEA is being designed to do.)

> The policies underpinning the dual approach make a lot of sense 
> as national policies.

I am not sure what "dual approach" policy is the intended referent 
here,
or whose, but I assume it is (1) green OA self-archiving mandates and 
(2) gold OA publishing payment commitments.

The latter (2) only makes sense after the former (1) has been adopted.

As Isabel Bernal indicates below, CSIC has not yet mandated green OA
(1).

None of this has anything to do with evaluating MELIBEA, the evaluator
of OA policies.

> OA supporters in every country have to encourage OA in whatever 
> way suits their political and cultural environment, and it seems 
> to me that this is what our Spanish colleagues are doing very effectively.

Until a country or funder or institution mandates green OA
self-archiving, it has not yet been effective in promoting or providing
OA.

the substantive is wondering about what might be the substantive issue
underlying this exchange with Fred, it is the usual one, about putting
the gold cart before the green horse.)

Stevan Harnad

> Fred Friend
> JISC Scholarly Communication Consultant
> Honorary Director Scholarly Communication UCL
>
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Isabel Bernal" 
> <isabel.bernal AT BIB.CSIC.ES>
> To: <JISC-REPOSITORIES AT JISCMAIL.AC.UK>
> Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 5:27 PM
> Subject: Re: [BOAI] Re: OA policies and their "weight"
>
>
> Good afternoon everybody,
>
> Following the ongoing discussion in which the CSIC (Spanish National
> Research Council) and its open access efforts have been mentioned, we 
would
> like to clarify the following:
>
> The CSIC Presidency signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access in 
January
> 2006, and as a result of it the Spanish National Research Council is 
driving
> and implementing open access principles through 2 institutional 
initiatives:
>
> -Digital.CSIC (https://digital.csic.es/) is the institutional repository
> that provides open access to, organises and preserves the scientific 
output
> resulting from the research activities by CSIC 147 institutes and centers.
> The repository is a project by CSIC Libraries Coordination Unit.
>
> -Revistas-CSIC (http://revistas.csic.es/) provides open access to the 35
> scientific Journals published by the institution, covering a wide variety 
of
> scientific disciplines. To date, 14 Journals provide immediate open 
access,
> while 22 apply an embargo period of six months. Before the end of this 
year,
> at least 4 more Journals are planned to move to full OA. Revistas-CSIC is 
a
> project run by the CSIC Publication Department, and is a member of OASPA
> under the category of OA Professional Publishing Organization.
>
> These 2 initiatives fall within the CSIC Vice-presidency of Organization 
and
> Institutional Relations.
>
> To date, CSIC does not have an open access institutional mandate. In the
> absence of a nation-wide open access related law yet, there are regional
> laws in favour of open access that have a direct effect on CSIC, such as
> that of the Government of the Community of Madrid.
>
> Thus, MELIBEA should not be considered a CSIC institutional project.
>
> Best wishes,
>
> Agnčs Ponsati, Director of CSIC Libraries Coordination Unit
>
> Ramón Rodríguez, Coordinator of Revistas-CSIC
>
>
>
> -----Mensaje original-----
> De: boai-forum-bounces AT ecs.soton.ac.uk
> [mailto:boai-forum-bounces AT ecs.soton.ac.uk] En nombre de Stevan Harnad
> Enviado el: lunes, 19 de julio de 2010 15:56
> Para: boai-forum AT ecs.soton.ac.uk
> CC: SPARC Open Access Forum; JISC-REPOSITORIES AT JISCMAIL.AC.UK;
> AMERICAN-SCIENTIST-OPEN-ACCESS-FORUM AT LISTSERVER.SIGMAXI.ORG
> Asunto: [BOAI] Re: OA policies and their "weight"
>
> Dear Reme, if I may also make an intervention in your exchange with Steve
> Hitchcock about the MELIBEA OA policy evaluator:
> http://www.accesoabierto.net/politicas/
>
> The MELIBEA service is extremely timely and promising, and could be
> potentially useful and even influential in shaping OA mandates -- but that
> makes it all the more important to get it right, rather than releasing
> MELIBEA prematurely, when it still risks increasing confusion rather than
> providing clarity and direction.
>
> You are right to point out that -- unlike the CSIC's University Ranking 
and
> the Repository Ranking -- the policy evaluator is not really a ranking. 
But
> you have set up the composite algorithm and the graphics to make it a
> ranking just the same.
>
> You are also point out, correctly, that the policy criteria for 
institutions
> and funders are not (and should not be) the same. Yet, with the MELIBEA
> coding as well as the algorithm, they are treated the same way.
>
> You also point out, rightly, that gold OA publishing policy is not central
> to institutional OA policy making, yet there it is, as part of the MELIBEA
> algorithm.
>
> You also point out that the color code has nothing to do with the 
"green" OA
> coding -- yet there it is, competing with the widespread use of green to
> designate self-archiving, and thereby causing confusion, both overt and
> covert.
>
> I would be more than happy to give you feedback on every aspect of MELIBEA
> -- it could be a useful and natural complement to the ROARMAP registry of 
OA
> policies.
>
> But as it is designed now, I can only agree with Steve Hitchcock's points
> and conclude that consulting MELIBEA today would be likely to induce
> confusion and would not help in bringing the all-important focus and
> direction to OA policy-making that I am sure CSIC, too, seeks, and seeks 
to
> help bring about.
>
> Here are just a few prima facie points:
>
> (1) Since MELIBEA is not, and should not be construed as a ranking of OA
> policies -- especially because it includes both institutional and funder
> policies -- it is important NOT to plug it into an algorithm until and
> unless the algorithm has first been carefully tested, with consultation, 
to
> make sure it weights policy criteria in a way that optimizes OA progress 
and
> guides policy-makers in the right direction.
>
> (2) For this reason, it is more important to allow users to generate
> separate flat lists of institutions or funders on the various policy
> criteria, considered and compared independently, rather than on the basis 
of
> a prematurely and arbitrarily weighted joint algorithm.
>
> (3) This is all the more important since the data are based on less then 
200
> institutions, whereas the CSIC University Rankings are based on thousands.
> Since the population is still so small, MELIBEA risks having a
> disproportionate effect on initial conditions and hence direction-setting;
> all the more reason NOT to amplify noise and indirection by assigning
> untested initial weights without carefully thinking through and weighing 
the
> consequences.
>
> (4) A potential internal cross-validator of some of the criteria would be 
a
> reliable measure of outcome -- but that requires much more attention to
> estimating the annual size and growth-rate of each repository (in terms of
> OA's target contents, which are full-text articles), normalized for
> institution size and annual total target output. Policy criteria (such as
> request/require or immediate/delayed) should be cross-validated against
> these outcome measures (such as percentage and growth rate of annual 
target
> output).
>
> (5) The MELIBEA color coding needs to be revised, and revised quickly, if
> there is to be an algorithm at all. All those arbitrary colors in the
> display of single repositories as ranked by the algorithm are both
> unnecessary and confusing. The objective should be to order and focus
> clearly and intuitively. Whatever is correlated with more green OA output
> (such as a higher level or faster growth rate in OA's target content) 
should
> be coded as darker or bigger shades of green. The same should be true for
> the policy criteria, separately and jointly: in each case, 
request/require,
> delayed/immediate, etc., the greenward polarity is obvious and intuitive.
> This should be reflected in the graphics as well as in any comparative
> rankings.
>
> (6) If you include repositories with no OA policy at all (i.e., just a
> repository and an open invitation to deposit) then all you are doing is
> duplicating ROAR and ROARMAP, whereas the purpose, presumably, of MELIBEA,
> is to highlight, weigh and compare specific policy differences among (the
> very few) repositories that DO have policies.
>
> (7) The sign-up data --
> http://www.accesoabierto.net/politicas/nueva.php?directorio=politicas -- 
are
> also rather confusing; the criteria are not always consistent, relevant or
> applicable. The sign-up seems to be designed to make a funder mandate the
> generic option, whereas this is quite the opposite of reality. There are 
far
> more institutions and institutional repositories and policies than 
funders.
> There should be separate criterial lists for institutional policies and 
for
> funder policies; they are not the same. There is also far too much focus 
on
> gold OA policy and payment. If included at all, this should only be at the
> end, as an addendum, not the focus at the beginning, and on a par with 
green
> OA policy.
>
> (8) There is also potential confusion on the matter of 
"waivers": There are
> two aspects of a mandate. One concerns whether or not deposit is required
> (and if so, whether that requirement can be waived) and the other concerns
> whether or not rights-reservation is required (and if so, whether that
> requirement can be waived). These two distinct and independent
> requirements/waivers are completely conflated in the current version of
> MELIBEA.
>
> I hope there will be substantive consultation and conscientious redesign 
of
> these and other aspects of MELIBEA before it is can recommended for 
serious
> consideration and use.
>
> Stevan Harnad
>
>
> On 2010-07-19, at 5:18 AM, Remedios Melero wrote:
>
>>  Dear Steve,
>>
>>  I apologize for the delay in my response, but I will try to give some
> explanations to make clear some issues you raised in your message (my
> comments are in capital letters, to distinguish them from yours)
>> 
>> 
>>
>>  El 15/07/2010 11:22, Steve Hitchcock escribió:
>> >  Reme,    Thank you for bringing this new service to our 
attention. OA
> policies are vitally important to the development of institutional
> repositories, and services that can highlight and bring attention to this
> development can be valuable.
>> > 
>> >  There are a few aspects of the validation aspects of the new 
MELIBEA
> service that confuse, and possibly trouble, me. The first is the main
> indicator, %OAval, which is the most visible result for a policy. What do
> you expect this will tell people about a given policy? I randomly selected 
a
> couple of policies, one of which was for my own school, to find they each
> scored about 50%. I would expect these to be among the leaders in terms of
> OA policies, so this seems a surprisingly unhelpful score.
>> > 
>> >  So what's the explanation? Note that the objects being evaluated 
are
> institutional OA policies; they are effectively being presented in 
relation
> to institutional repositories when the policy specifies where to archive 
is
> an IR with a URL. It seems that the scores include ratings for OA
> publication policy, libre vs gratis OA, publisher pdf, sanctions (score if
> Yes), incentives (score if Yes), etc., some of which an institution might
> specify but which might not apply to an IR
>> >  http://www.accesoabierto.net/politicas/politicas_estructura.php
>> >  . However you weight these factors they are still contributors 
to the
> overall score, so a policy that is specific to an IR is immediately
> handicapped, or appears to be unless there is more context to understand 
the
> scores.
>> > 
>> > 
>> >
>>  AS I WROTE BEFORE THIS IS NOT A RANKING, IT IS NOT THE AIM OF MELIBEA 
 BUT
> TO HAVE A KIND OF REFERENCE ON WHAT TOPICS, ISSUES OR MATTERS TO BE 
INCLUDED
> IN AN OA POLICY. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT INSTITUTIONAL POLICIES OF DIFFERENTE
> NATURE, NOT ABOUT REPOSITORIES POLICIES. IF THE POLICY ONLY TALKS ABOUT 
THE
> REQUIREMENT TO DEPOSIT IN A REPOSITORY, IT SHOULD  SPECIFY WHAT, WHEN AND
> UNDER WHAT CONDITIONS, IF ANY. IT IS NOT THE SAME TO SAY WHAT DOCUMENTS  
AND
> WHAT VERSIONS AND WHEN THAN SIMPLY SAY " ANY" OR "AS SOON 
AS POSSIBLE" (this
> could be a month after publication or years after publication, depending 
on
> one's criteria). GOLD ROUTE, NEVER IS REQUIRED ACCORDING OUR APPROACH 
("Gold
> (Recommended in OA journals") AND NOT ALL OA JOURNALS ARE SUPPORTED 
BY  SAME
> ECONOMIC MODEL.
>> 
>> 
>> >  Which leads me to another question on the visualisation of the 
>> >  validator,
> and its use of green, gold (and red) in the meter. Do the green and gold
> refer the the classic OA colours? This would be quite convenient, since it
> would appear that the green repository policies I mentioned above are
> achieving almost full scores in the green zone of the meter. However, I
> suspect this cannot be the case, because it would assume that institutions
> must have a green AND gold policy, but not simply gold (whatever argument
> could be put for that).
>> > 
>> >
>>  COLORS DO NOT MEAN THAT, WE WANTED JUST TO DISTINGUISH ZONES LIKE IT 
WERE
> A SPECTRA.
>> 
>> >  It is important that new services should help reveal and promote 
OA
> policies, as you seek to do, but at the same time not to prejudice the
> development of such policies by mixing and not fairly separating the
> contributing factors, especially where these relate to different types of
> OA.
>> > 
>> >
>>  I DO NOT THINK WE ARE MIXING, IN FACT THERE TWO MODELS, ONE FOR UNIV. 
AND
> RESEARCH CNETRES AND ANOTHER FOR FUNDERS AND GOV. INSTITUTIONS AND THE
> QUESTIONS FOR THEM ARE DIFFERENT, for instance, FOR A FUNDER THE QUESTION
> ABOUT DEPOSIT O THESIS IS NOT APPLICABLE.
>>  IN SUMMARY, OUR MODEL COULD NOT BE "PERFECT" BUT I IS ONE, 
WHICH COULD
> DETECT DIFFERENCES BETWEEN REQUEST AND REQUIRE, WHO, WHAT , WHEN IF THERE
> ARE ANY INCENTIVES OR SANCTIONS (  this has not to be a negative point but
> to remember we should  assume  reponsible attitudes).
>>
>>  However we will revise the model to see if we can make any 
improvement to
> make it clear, we are working also in a graph interface to show some data 
in
> graphical form.
>>  Best wishes
>>  Reme
>> 
>> > 
>> > >  R. Melero
>> > >  IATA, CSIC
>> > >  Avda Agustín Escardino 7, 46980 Paterna (Valencia), Spain
>> > >  TEl +34 96 390 00 22. Fax 96 363 63 01
>> > >  E-mail
>> > >  rmelero AT iata.csic.es
>> > > 
>> > > 
>> > >  http://www.accesoabierto.net
>> > > 
>> > > 
>> > >  --
>> > > 
>> > > 
>> 
>>
>>  --
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