Stevan, as I keep pointing out, the Federal government does not see it
so repeating your way is rather beside the point.
As for my role, when I have a Federal client I do not advocate policy. I
do issue analysis
to facilitate policy decisions, or program design to
implement them, or trouble shooting
when a program does not work.
In the case of the Public Access program, the OSTP mandate was preceded
by a lengthy
interagency deliberation. The DOE OSTI Director co-chaired
that effort and I did a lot of
his staff work. The group failed to reach
consensus because there were two opposing
schools of thought, which
accounts for some of the vagueness in the mandate.
One school, led by
PMC, wanted a PMC approach wherein the government ran its own repository.
(I call it PubFed Central.) The other, led by DOE, wanted to maximize the
use of existing resources
in a 3 tiered approach. Use the publisher's
version of record and website where possible, or a
repository if the
publisher's version was not available, or a Federal repository as a last
There was never, ever, any consideration of a repository mandate,
much less immediate deposit.
It sounds to me more like the "Federal government" has not yet worked out a coherent implementation
of the OSTP mandate, which is vague or moot on the crucial implementation parameters we are
discussing, and the many agencies — of which DOA/OSTI is only one — have not yet come to an
agreement about them either.
What is seems obvious is that the “3-tiered approach,” where the OA provision distributed two ways
between the fundees (who are bound by the funder mandate) and publishers (who are not), and where
the locus of the OA provision is distributed between institutional repositories, central repositories and
publisher websites is the worst possible one, both for the authors and for monitoring and ensuring
Yes, you’re quite right that the agencies did not consult me, as they did you. But I prefer to believe
that they — like the UK funding councils, who have been at it much loner — remain open to
evidence-based recommendations on the crucial implementation parameters, such as what should
be deposited, how, when, where, by whom — and above all why.
The optimal mandate is of course institutional deposit, with compliance monitored by the institution,
and then central export or harvest if desired. (Users find OA content on the web these days, e.g.,
via google and google scholar: the notion of a central collection is already obsolete. No one deposits
directly in google. But institutional deposit is crucial for compliance monitoring as well as institutional
At 12:10 PM 10/25/2014, you wrote:
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I am afraid I am less interested in your role as journalist than in your
role as policy consultant to OSTI.
As journalist you are reporting what the federal agencies are doing, but
as a consultant you were
influencing what a federal agency was doing.
To cut to the quick: The simplest way to keep publishers out of federal
agency or university OA policy
is not to consult them at all.
All Green OA mandates should require institutional deposit of the
refereed final draft immediately
upon acceptance for publication, and the allowable OA embargo length on
the deposit should be
decided by the federal agency (or university).
That’s all. Publishers have nothing to do with it — it needs neither
their approval nor their collaboration.
It is attempts to get publishers involved in the implementation of
the mandate that cause the needless
confusions and conflicts:
1. Federal funders fund researcher (with tax-payer money).
2. Institutional authors conduct and report the research.
3. Peer researchers review the research reports.
4. Publishers fund the administration of the peer review (and in
exchange they get exclusive
subscription sale rights).
5. Funders and institutions mandate Green OA self-archiving (as a
condition of funding,
and university research performance evaluation)
6. Authors comply with the Green OA mandates — by depositing immediately
and making the deposit OA immediately, or after the allowable embargo at
That’s all there is to it: Publishers have nothing to do with compliance
with the mandates.
Have you advised otherwise, in your capacity as consultant?
On Oct 25, 2014, at 11:31 AM, David Wojick
Stevan (I prefer to reply at the top like most people here),
As you should know, I am now a journalist, which I was prior to joining
DOE in 2004. In this role I get to criticize everyone, including the
publishers. My rag is
http://insidepublicaccess.com/ which you might consider subscribing
to in order to know what is actually going on. If you think the
publishers have any sort of control you are mistaken, as the Feds are in
charge. I have written about this in some detail. However, if you know of
any US agency that is taking your proposals seriously I would love to
hear about it.
Something very interesting is going on, namely a group of medical
students is investigating DOE, probably looking for improper liaison with
the publishers (which I doubt exists). Here are some excerpts from this
weeks issue of Inside Public Access:
DOE hit with Public Access FOIA request
Synopsis: The US Energy Dept. is responding to a Freedom of
Information Act request targeting correspondence between DOE and the
"publishing industry" regarding the Department's Public Access
program. The FOIA request comes from the American Medical Student
Association and appears to be related to their "Access to
Medicine" campaign. The purpose of the request is unclear at this
AMSA and the FOIA request
Ms. Reshma Ramachandran from the American Medical Student Association
(AMSA) has filed a Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) request with the US Energy Department. The request
is reportedly for "Copies of all correspondence including electronic
and paper communications, between all Department of Energy personnel
tasked with developing the Department of Energy's plan for providing
access to the results of federally funded research and the publishing
industry relating to the development, drafting and implementation of said
plan for providing access to the results of federally funded research
released on August 4, 2014." DOE is working to collect and deliver
all the requested documents. Everything prior to September 11, 2014, when
the request was finalized, will be included.
Interestingly, there is a recent precedent for the AMSA FOIA action. Kent
Anderson, editor of the prestigious Scholarly Kitchen blog and President
of the Society for Scholarly Publishing, did a FOIA action against PubMed
Central that yielded a considerable amount of potentially damaging
information. In particular, Anderson made a
number of allegations of conflict of interest and other wrongs in
some collaborations between PMC and certain publishers.
FOIA actions have a tendency to chill communications between agencies and
the public. Unfortunately this AMSA enquiry comes just when that sort of
communication is most important, because DOE and the scholarly community
must work closely together if Public Access is going to work well. As
they say, the devil is in the details, and the details are now upon us.
As we have documented here in Inside Public Access, there are a
host of serious and complex procedural issues yet to be worked
I have trouble believing it is worth it, but it remains to be seen what,
if anything, AMSA finds. Perhaps the real danger is that innocent
statements will be taken out of context and used politically, rather than
to improve the Public Access program. On the other hand maybe there is
something wrong going on. In any case the results may be quite
interesting, now that the spotlight is on.
A surprising development. Med students!
At 09:02 AM 10/25/2014, you wrote:
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- On Oct 24, 2014, at 5:05 PM, William Gunn
- DOA as an
acronym for "Delayed Open Access" does have a certain ring to
it, now that I think about it...
- William Gunn | Head of Academic Outreach, Mendeley | @mrgunn
http://www.mendeley.com/profiles/william-gunn | (650)
- On Oct 25, 2014, at 7:41 AM, David Wojick
- Are you referring to the fact that DOA usually means Dead On Arrival?
Given that the US Public
- Access program has opted for delayed access it is more like Dominant
On Arrival, since the Feds
- fund a significant fraction of all published research. In that regard
I notice that the definition of DOA
- does not mention government mandates, which it should. The US action
may be decisive.
- Also the references to hybrid are somewhat muddled. Hybrid is not a
kind of article access at all,
- rather it is a kind of journal access. Perhaps we need a different
set of definitions for articles and journals.
- What does seem funny to me, as an observer, is that the publishers
have basically said "Okay, if you
- insist on giving us money to publish your articles, then we will take
it." Wiley, for example, is bringing
- out a bunch of new APC journals. At this point it looks like DOA and
APC are the future of OA. Of course
- that may change given time.
- David Wojick
IDOA instead of DOA to bring access back to life immediately,
and to hasten the (inevitable and well-deserved) demise of OA
And the feds will lead the way only if they ignore
consultants who try to steer them in the direction
of publisher control, publisher embargoes and DOA, and go IDOA
(Bravo to William Gunn for his spot-on pun!)
- Harnad, S (2014)
The only way to make inflated journal subscriptions unsustainable:
Mandate Green Open Access.
- LSE Impact of Social Sciences Blog 4/28
- Vincent-Lamarre, P., Boivin, J., Gargouri, Y., Larivière, V., &
Harnad, S. (2014).
- Estimating Open Access
Mandate Effectiveness: I. The MELIBEA Score. arXiv preprint