Open Access Mandates: Ensuring Compliance 2012-05-21


Use the link to access the interview with an NIH spokesperson. The topic is introduced as follows: “Three years ago, I wondered aloud how we should judge the success of an Open Access (OA) mandate. In particular, I wondered what level of compliance it was reasonable to expect a mandate to attain, and pointed out that OA advocates believe it is possible to achieve a 70% compliance rate within two years, if the mandate is compulsory. It is therefore striking that, although the Wellcome Trust has had a compulsory mandate in place since 2006, The Times Higher Education reported in March that the Trust is still only achieving a 55% compliance rate. As a result, The Times Higher added, Wellcome’s head of digital services Robert Kiley wants to get tough on those who do not comply. The current situation, said Kiley, is ‘simply not acceptable’. Elsewhere, Nature reported that of the 55% of researchers who comply with Wellcome’s mandate, 85% do so by means of Gold OA. One benefit of Gold OA, presumably, is that the author can hope to pass responsibility for compliance over to the publisher. While this does require paying a Gold OA fee, the Trust will pay this fee for the researcher. However, that 85% figure might seem to suggest that authors are more reluctant to comply with a mandate than some assume. In my 2009 blog post I also reported that when, in 2008, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) upgraded its request that researchers deposit their published papers into PubMed Central (PMC) into a requirement, compliance accelerated to 49% by the end of the year (from 19%). In order to establish what level of compliance the NIH is achieving today, I contacted its Office of Extramural Research (ORE). Below is the (slightly edited) transcript of the email conversation I had, which was split over a number of emails. The upshot is that the NIH is now achieving 75% compliance.  This invites a question: Why is NIH proving more successful in achieving compliance than the Wellcome Trust? Here are some quick thoughts: [1] NIH is the largest public funder of medical research in the world, and so perhaps has greater authority than the Wellcome Trust [2] NIH has been more proactive in ensuring compliance [3] Where the Wellcome Trust insists that any embargo imposed by a publisher is no longer than six months, the NIH still permits embargoes to be up to 12 months (so perhaps publishers are more willing to post NIH-funded papers in PMC?) ... One thing I find noteworthy is that, while the NIH clearly takes a close interest in compliance levels, it does not collect statistics on enforcement actions. With the growth in compliance now apparently levelling off at NIH, this would surely be useful information — and not just for NIH itself, but also for other funders like the Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK  (RCUK), both of whom are currently looking to beef up their open access policies...”



08/16/2012, 06:08

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Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) »

Tags: oa.npg oa.pubmed oa.business_models oa.publishers oa.licensing oa.comment oa.mandates oa.usa oa.nih oa.copyright oa.deposits oa.impact oa.preservation oa.reports oa.funders oa.fees oa.wellcome oa.rcuk oa.compliance oa.preprints oa.ostp oa.libre oa.policies oa.versions oa.journals oa.repositories



Date tagged:

05/21/2012, 17:29

Date published:

05/21/2012, 20:22