How To Integrate University and Funder Open Access Mandates.
Research funder open-access mandates (such as NIH's) and university open-access mandates (such as Harvard's) are complementary. There is a simple way to integrate them to make them synergistic and mutually reinforcing: Universities' own Institutional Repositories (IRs) are the natural locus for the direct deposit of their own research output: Universities are the research providers and have a direct interest in archiving, monitoring, measuring, evaluating, and showcasing their own research assets -- as well as in maximizing their uptake, usage and impact. Both universities and funders should accordingly mandate deposit of all peer-reviewed final drafts (postprints), in each author's own university IR, immediately upon acceptance for publication, for institutional and funder record-keeping purposes. Access to that immediate postprint deposit in the author's university IR may be set immediately as Open Access if copyright conditions allow; otherwise access can be set as Closed Access, pending copyright negotiations or embargoes. All the rest of the conditions described by universities and funders should accordingly apply only to the timing and copyright conditions for setting open access to those deposits, not to the depositing itself, its locus or its timing. As a result, (1) there will be a common deposit locus for all research output worldwide; (2) university mandates will reinforce and monitor compliance with funder mandates; (3) funder mandates will reinforce university mandates; (4) legal details concerning open-access provision, copyright and embargoes will be applied independently of deposit itself, on a case by case basis, according to the conditions of each mandate; (5) opt-outs will apply only to copyright negotiations, not to deposit itself, nor its timing; and (6) any central OA repositories can then harvest the postprints from the authors' IRs under the agreed conditions at the agreed time, if they wish.
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