Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2007 11:51:36 -0000
Reply-To: American Scientist Open Access Forum
Sender: American Scientist Open Access Forum
From: "Jeffery, KG (Keith)" <K.G.Jeffery@RL.AC.UK>
Subject: Re: Inaccessible Research Publications Versus Unpublished Research
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
Of course I agree with Stevan that this topic is not direcly relevant to
the OA debate.
However, increasingly research funding depends on research outputs
leading to wealth creation and improvement in the quality of life and so
there is a strong case for partners in EU research projects (espeially
the acedemics) to make their research output publications (patents and
products are different things) available OA.
Of course, I would also add that when the objects in an OA repository
are cross linked with a CRIS (current research information system) then
the evaluation of research output is more effective and efficient and
benefits everyone. For details of CRIS see www.eurocris.org
PA to Professor Keith Jeffery
Director IT and International Strategy
CCLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Tel: +44 (0)1235 445634
Fax: +44 (0)1235 445147
From: American Scientist Open Access Forum
Behalf Of Stevan Harnad
Sent: Wednesday 21 March 2007 10:36
Subject: Inaccessible Research Publications Versus Unpublished Research
On Mon, 19 Mar 2007, Andrew A. Adams wrote:
> I think I can help clarify some of these discussions about EU research
> (Principally Framework Programme funded) and OA mandates.
> It is indeed the case that most commercial (as opposed to HE institute
> or non-profit research institute who are the other major players, in
> my experience, in EU projects) are reluctant to commit to
> dissemination of the results of the research of the project.
This is regrettable (and deserves to be remedied) but it is also
completely irrelevant to OA, which is about providing free online access
to published research for those would-be users who cannot afford paid
access to the journal.
Problems with funded research not getting published are problems, to be
sure, but they are not OA problems.
> However, the EU insists and in my own
> area of research, we seem to be doing quite well in acting as the
> dissemination partner on security-research projects where all or
> almost all of the other partners are commercial companies. Of course,
> Universities have the greatest experience in dissemination activities,
so that isn't surprising.
Again: not pertinent to OA. Whatever does get published should be
For unpublished research, OA is moot. (Not a non-problem: a non-OA
> However, unless they have been gulled by the publishing industry (and
> it may be the case with SOME commercial companies, but only until
> well-informed OA advocates can make the obvious case to them).
> Peer-reviewed journal articles are already revealing some of the
> results of the EU-funded research. As has been stressed, it is in the
> interests of those gaining funding from the EU that the already
> published elements of the results of those programs are readily
> available to researchers around the world, since this increases their
pool of possible non-profit partners in future research.
It is indeed in the interests of research and researchers to make their
published research OA, but I still cannot discern why this is being
linked in any way with the red herring of unpublished research (although
it is of course also in the interests of research and researchers to
publish their findings wherever possible).
> As has been pointed
> out, other commercial players are rarely inconvenienced by the costs
> of access to research, principally because of their much narrower
> interests and higher concentration on a small number of fields - it is
> rare to find a company involved in commercialising research developed
> in universities that cannot fund the necessary small number of
> journals necessary for it, partly because they will tend to have 50 or
> more researchers working in closely related fields. Universities are
> broader within subjects and across the spectrum - oh, and typically we
> have other issues to balance our small budgets with.
Yes, R&D industries can afford paid journal access. It is not for that
reason that it is in the R&D industries' interest to ally with the OA
movement. It is because OA opens access (to published research) from
researcher to researcher, and thus generates more research findings for
R&D industries to use and apply. It is researchers' institutions
(universities, mostly) that cannot afford the paid journal access. (This
again has nothing to do with unpublished research.)
> In addition, not all research-intensive companies working in the EU
> actually get involved directly with EU-funded research. A lot of them
> work as suggested by Miradon, by taking the publicly available work of
> universities and developing it into products, sometimes in direct
> collaboration with the academics involved, and sometimes by working
> primarily from what the academics publish. These companies can also
> afford the publications they need, but as Miradon points out they are
> likely easily persuadable that their growth potential is based on the
output of university researchers.
That is the same point I just made above, and it again has nothing at
all to do with unpublished research.
> Better-informed university researchers will produce more useful things
> for them, and we have a lot of evidence of the improvements that will
> be wrought by much greater OA of research output.
Hear hear! This is why there a strategic alliance indeed needs to be
forged between the research community and the R&D industry in lobbying
(But this again has nothing to do with unpublished research. Or rather,
OA has nothing to do with getting unpublished research published. The
more research that gets published, the better, but that is not the
burden of OA. The problem of research that is inaccessible because it is
unaffordable and the problem of research that is inaccessible because it
is unpublished should not be conflated. They are completely different