The University of Southampton

ECS Professor calls for new mandates and metrics for Open Access

Published: 7 September 2010

Professor Stevan Harnad, one of the pioneers of the Open Access (OA) movement worldwide, will be reporting on metrics to evaluate the impact of peer-reviewed research papers, at three conferences in Europe this month.

This week, Professor Harnad, from the University of Southampton’s School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS), will deliver a keynote on Friday (10 September) on 'Open Research metrics and the Open Access advantage' at Universiteit Leiden, The Netherlands.

In his keynote, he will point out that as peer-reviewed research literature becomes openly accessible online, the era of open research metrics is approaching. He will present data on the open access citation advantage as well as methodological recommendations for validating metrics.

"Scientometrics will also include semiometrics, derived from full-text data-mining, and chronometrics will track, analyze and project metrics across time,” he will say. "Existing metrics will also need to be used as an incentive to induce researchers to provide the missing open access content." At a public meeting of university and funding council policy-makers in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 3 September, 'Mandating (Green) Open Access to Maximize the Usage and Impact of Danish Research', Professor Harnad presented the findings of the Houghton Report showing that if all Danish research were self-archived, it would save Denmark over two hundred million DK, with a benefit/cost ratio of over 10 to 1. It also found that OA enhances research usage and impact by 25-250 percent.

Next week (13-14 September), at euroCRIS, the annual Current Research Information Systems seminar in Brussels, Professor Harnad will also talk about analysing the impact of research archived in institutional repositories, a topic which will be acknowledged by the conference as one which is becoming increasingly important.

In a presentation entitled 'Institutional Repositories for Open Access: Mandates Deposit Policies', he will discuss why it is that although over 90 per cent of journals already endorse immediate OA self-archiving by their authors, only about 20 per cent of authors go ahead and do it.

"As the studies by OA researchers such as Alma Swan and Bo-Christer Björk have shown, although academic researchers know and value the benefits of OA, just as with ‘publish or perish’, they will not provide OA spontaneously; they will do so only if OA is mandated by their institutions and funders," said Professor Harnad. "A decade of evidence has now shown that to keep waiting for OA to be provided by a spontaneous ‘people's’ impetus is to keep waiting in vain."

For further information contact Joyce Lewis; tel.+44(0)23 8059 5453.

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