Learning to share

By , November 15, 2009 10:13 pm

Free, immediate and permanently available research results for all – that’s what the open-access campaigners want. Unsurprisingly, the subscription publishers disagree. Zoe Corbyn weighs up the ramifications for journals, while Matthew Reisz asks how books will fare

Stephen Hicks, a reader in health and social care at the University of Salford, has just uploaded nine of his journal articles to his university’s online open-access repository of institutional papers, and has another ten in the pipeline. Doing so had not crossed his mind before, and it won’t be compulsory until January 2010 (last month, Salford mandated so-called “self-archiving”, becoming the 100th organisation worldwide to do so). But he was turned on to the idea after hearing Martin Hall, Salford’s vice-chancellor and an open-access advocate, speak.

Hicks didn’t make his decision for altruistic reasons or because Hall said it could increase his citations and impact. Rather, he chose to make the papers available because he receives a barrage of requests from other academics for access. Directing them to the repository seemed a logical way to save time and make his life easier. Uploading is straightforward, Hicks says, estimating that it takes about ten minutes per paper. He simply fills in an online form with the details of the peer-reviewed article and sends it, along with the final accepted version, to the repository. Staff there pick up the ball, working out whether the copyright policy of the journal that originally published the paper will allow it to be uploaded. “You don’t have to worry about copyright because the repository staff do that,” Hicks notes, while expressing disappointment that some of his articles haven’t gone online because the journals do not grant permission.

via Times Higher Education – Learning to share.

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