bjoern.brembs.blog » Maybe try another kind of mandate?
peter.suber's bookmarks 2018-11-28
"For about the same time as the individual mandates, if not for longer, funders have also provided guidelines for the kind of infrastructure the institutions should provide grant recipients with. In contrast to individual mandates, these guidelines have not been enforced at all. For instance, the DFG endorses the European Charter for Access to Research Infrastructures and suggests (in morethan just one document) that institutions provide DFG grant recipients with research infrastructure that includes, e.g., data repositories for access and long-term archiving. To my knowledge, such repositories are far from standard at German institutions. In addition, the DFG is part of an ongoing, nation-wide initiative to strengthen digital infrastructures for text, data and code. As an example, within this initiative, we have created guidelines for how research institutions should support the creation and use of scientific code and software. However, to this day, there is no mechanism in place to certify compliance of the funded institutions with these documents.
In the light of these aspects, would it not be wise to enforce these guidelines to an extent that using these research infrastructures would save researchers effort and make them compliant with the individual mandates at the same time? In other words, could the funders not save a lot of time and energy by enforcing institutions to provide research infrastructure that enables their grant recipients to effortlessly become compliant with individual mandates? In fact, such institutional ‘mandates’ would make the desired behavior also the most time and effort saving behavior, perhaps making individual mandates redundant?
Instead of monitoring individual grant recipients or journals or articles, funders would only have to implement, e.g., a certification procedure. Only applications from certified institutions would qualify for research grants. Such strict requirements are rather commonplace as, e.g., in many countries only accredited institutions qualify....
Open standards underlying the infrastructure ensure a lively market of service providers, as the standards make the services truly substitutable: if an institution is not satisfied with the service of company A, it can choose company B for the next contract, ensuring sufficient competition to keep prices down permanently. For this reason, objections to such a certification process can only come from one group of stakeholders: the legacy publishers who, faced with actual competition, will not be able to enjoy their huge profit margins any longer, while all other stakeholders enjoy their much improved situation all around."