Open Access: Getting the Word Out Early Is the Author’s Job

In my quest for a story on developments in journal publishing, the topic of Open Access to journal articles is bound to come up.

I have been watching a recent discussion on the American Scientist list about Elsevier’s new policy. 

Quoting from the thread:

A short while ago I mentioned on this list that Elsevier are producing PDFs of the final accepted peer-reviewed manuscript and publishing them online as part of their ‘Articles in Press’ system (see attached example). The ‘Accepted Manuscript’ will stay online until the ‘Uncorrected Proof’ replaces it.

Everyone knows that Elsevier’s policy (like most other publishers) allows the use of the final accepted peer-reviewed manuscript in repositories, but I wondered whether they would be happy about us making use of the ‘Accepted Manuscript’ version they are producing and publishing online.

— J. Colin Smith, Open University Library (UK)

Elsevier’s Karen Hunter replied that yes, authors can download a pdf of their peer-reviewed manuscript and submit it to an institutional archive, but institutions are barred from systematically downloading the pdfs of authors and uploading them into their repository.

Smith, in turn, replied that he agreed.  Authors must do the downloading and uploading if Open Access is to have any sustainability. 

"We have to encourage self-archiving because only by doing it themselves, engaging with their IR [Institutional Repository] on a regular basis, will our academics become aware of how much there is to gain for what is actually very little pain," Smith said.

But don’t all these versions floating around on the web create problems?

While at this conference, I’ll be on the lookout for views about Open Access.  Tip me off to items of interest to you by commenting here.

Dick Kaser

ITI VP, Content

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2 Responses to “Open Access: Getting the Word Out Early Is the Author’s Job”

  1. ITI Bloggers December 2, 2008 at 4:26 am #

    Stevan. Thanks for the info.

  2. Stevan Harnad December 1, 2008 at 10:00 am #

    Multiple copies are just fine. (See the multiple versions listed for some paper by google scholar. The important thing is that at least one of them should be Green!) For checking for differences, there are services like VALRec: http://valrec.eprints.org/

    See also the Self-Archiving FAQ on this question:
    http://www.eprints.org/openaccess/self-faq/#23.Version