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[BOAI] Publication Lags, Green OA Embargoes and the Liege/HEFCE/BIS Immediate-Deposit Mandate
From: Stevan Harnad <harnad AT ecs.soton.ac.uk>
On 2013-09-13, at 7:20 AM, David Solomon <dsolomon AT msu.edu> wrote: > We have made the data available for the paper: "The publishing delay ↵ in scholarly peer-reviewed > journals" by Bo-Christer Björk & David Solomon recently accepted ↵ for publication in > Journal of Informetrics. > > Paper http://tinyurl.com/ms5dk2u > Codebook http://tinyurl.com/m2fwxtk > Data http://tinyurl.com/mslr3c7 > > Abstract: Publishing in scholarly peer reviewed journals usually entails ↵ long delays from > submission to publication. In part this is due to the length of the peer ↵ review process and > in part because of the dominating tradition of publication in issues, ↵ earlier a necessity of > paper-based publishing, which creates backlogs of manuscripts waiting in ↵ line. The delays > slow the dissemination of scholarship and can provide a significant burden ↵ on the academic > careers of authors. > Using a stratified random sample we studied average publishing delays in ↵ 2700 papers > published in 135 journals sampled from the Scopus citation index. The ↵ shortest overall > delays occur in science technology and medical (STM) fields and the ↵ longest in social > science, arts/humanities and business/economics. Business/economics with a ↵ delay of 18 > months took twice as long as chemistry with a 9 month average delay. ↵ Analysis of the > variance indicated that by far the largest amount of variance in the time ↵ between submission > and acceptance was among articles within a journal as compared with ↵ journals, disciplines > or the size of the journal. For the time between acceptance and ↵ publication most of the variation > in delay can be accounted for by differences between specific journals. Now it's time to put two and two together (and this pertains more to the lag ↵ between acceptance and publication: the timing of peer review and revision is another ↵ matter): 1. The research community is clamoring for access, particularly those who are ↵ denied access to articles in journals to which their institutions cannot afford to ↵ subscribe. 2. In many fields, the most important growth region for taking up and building ↵ upon new findings, hence research progress, is within the first year of publication. 3. The average delay from acceptance to publication for subscription journals ↵ is about 6 months (and especially long for arts & humanities journals) 4. Björk and Solomon point out that for Gold OA journals the delay is much ↵ shorter: under 2 months. 5. The delay for Green OA self-archiving is even shorter: zero if ↵ self-archiving is immediate (and even negative if a pre-refereeing preprint has also been made OA even earlier). 6. Subscription journals say they are in favor of OA, but they need an embargo ↵ in order to keep their subscriptions sustainable. 7. Subscription journals already have a built-in "embargo" because of ↵ the 6-month delay between acceptance and publication. 8. So the 6-12-month Green OA embargoes demanded by STEM fields and even longer embargoes demanded by arts & humanities journals not only impedes ↵ research progress by denying access during the embargo, but they compound the ↵ publisher-end delays between acceptance and publication. This is why the Liege-model immediate-deposit mandate ( together with the repository-mediated copy-request Button) -- now recommended by both HEFCE and BIS -- is so important: It makes it possible for researchers to request -- and authors to provide -- ↵ immediate access with one click each as soon as the final, refereed, revised draft is ↵ accepted for publication, irrespective of publication lags or publisher OA embargoes. Stevan Harnad
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