Why open access advocates aren’t thrilled with the DOE’s plan to expand public access to its research - The Washington Post

abernard102@gmail.com 2014-08-05


" ... But some access advocates, such as Heather Joseph, the executive director of Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), say the policy 'falls short in some key areas.'  In February 2013, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy directed Federal agencies that spend more than $100 million a year in research and development to craft plans to ensure the public is able to access the results of their work within a year of publication, with some exceptions for legal or national security reasons. The directive was similar to a policy in place at the National Institutes of Health since 2008.

Academic publishers and open access advocates have sparred over what level of access the public should have to the research they fund with tax dollars and just how such access should be allowed, but the White House directive was seen as a victory for the academics and librarians who make up much of the latter camp.  The directive  required agencies to submit drafts of their plans to OSTP within six months, but the DOE plan is the first to be publicly released. It proposes creation of a portal called PAGES for Public Access Gateway for Energy & Science, now launched in beta, which will host metadata and abstracts for publications resulting from agency funding. If the full paper is available through the publisher or an institutional repository, PAGES will link to the full paper. If not available elsewhere, PAGES will host the full text as submitted by the author after the 12-month guideline laid out by the administration ... "Among Joseph's complaints is that there's a lack of clarity around reuse rights. Under the DOE plan, publishers retain their rights under copyright to their version of the research, while the metadata in PAGES will be in the public domain.  'By simply pointing to articles on individual publisher Web sites, the DOE is missing a big opportunity to lay claim to a comprehensive collection of publicly-funded articles,' she argues. SPARC also argues that this emphasis on defaulting to versions of articles hosted by publishers and the lack of a centralized system for searching  through research is a step in the wrong direction. 'This kind of piecemeal approach also throws up roadblocks to these digital articles being made as useful as possible,' she says. 'It will certainly make it much harder for users to do any kind of computational analysis, text or data mining on DOE-funded articles -- the kind of innovative uses the White House directive was designed to encourage' ..."



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Date tagged:

08/05/2014, 10:04

Date published:

08/05/2014, 06:04