Notes on best practices for university OA policies

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  • For draft text of the guide itself, see Best practices for university OA policies.
    • The present notes were formerly in the main file itself. They were removed 8/5/12 to prepare the main file for distribution.
  • Currently both the draft guide and these notes are private in the sense that no outside web pages deliberately link to them. (This links to the draft guide.) However, some pages automatically created by the wiki software link to each. Is that private enough for our purposes?

To-do list

  • Lock the page to prevent random public edits.
  • Decide whether to name the authors.
    • If we did, so far we'd name Peter, Stuart, and Emily.
  • Decide whether it's too large for one page. Should we break it into separate wiki pages? It would help to decide this soon so that we can cross-link from one section to another without breaking all the links later.
  • Decide who is authorized to revise this doc. (At the moment, it's just the HOAP principals.) Somewhere on this page, or on a separate page to which we link from this page, describe the revision process.
  • We say in the preface that there are points on which there is no "best practice" yet.
    • Decide whether we should omit any current recommendations until support or evidence for them solidifies further.
  • Before release, get other key partners to make their own suggestions and sign on to the result, e.g. SPARC, EOS, EIFL, MIT.
    • Make offer to COAPI, for courtesy; but don't expect sign-on since it (deliberately) wants to be hospitable to institutions with any kind of policy, strong or weak
    • Find a prominent way to name and link to the supporting/endorsing organizations.
  • Decide whether to launch a discussion forum (other than the wiki page discussion tab) for public discussion once we make a version public. If we do, link to it from this page.

Revisions to consider

This section both for possible new entries and suggested revisions to existing entries.

  • New entry on how to handle the Elsevier policy allowing green OA except at institutions with OA mandates
  • In entry on "Deposit in the repository" (section on drafting)
    • should we include a bullet on deposit in disciplinary repositories? here or in the implementation section?
  • In entry on "Transferring rights back to the author" (section on drafting)
    • Is it fair to say that authors retain/regain all rights to their work, or all rights except the right to allow commercial use?
  • In entry on "Other tips for the adoption process" (section on adopting)
    • Make each bullet a separate entry? Avoid a "miscellany" entry like this one?
    • Where we recommend pointing out how a draft policy uses language successfully adopted and implemented elsewhere, consider linking to our list of institutions with harvard-style policies. If we do, we'll have to decide how to deal with institutions that started with harvard-style language and then botched it in revision.
  • In entry on "Individualized writing" (section on implementing)
    • How does MIT do this? Get details from several other schools.
  • In entry on "Facilitating waivers" (section on implementing)
    • Current draft says that Harvard can share the code for its web form. Is that true?
  • In entry on "Repository withdrawals" (section on implementing)
    • In response to a publisher take-down request, we recommend compliance. But should the article be removed or merely go dark?
    • What if the author wishes to withdraw an article already on deposit (e.g. because it is mistaken, embarrassing, superseded by a newer version, etc.)?
  • In entry on "Working with publishers" (section on implementing)
    • Add a bullet on Harvard-style "treaties" with publishers?
    • Add a bullet on auto-deposit by publishers? on permission to deposit published editions? on permission to harvest published editions from the pub web site? on embargoes?
  • Consider elaborating each entry with some rationale, including (as far as possible) links to literature and evidence.
  • Consider writing an executive summary of the guide, for rapid orientation or busy committees. Or consider making two editions, a short one for busy committees and a full-length version for everyone else.
  • Consider including a section on frequently asked questions and frequently heard objections and misunderstandings
  • Consider adding a glossary, especially for jargon and abbreviations: OA, TA, and terms like gold, green, etc.

Eventually consult and harvest

Eventually incorporate ideas and language from the following works. We needn't do this before the initial release.

Also consider listing and linking to these works. Should we include a short bibliography of recommended other reading?

  • the recommendations in the BOAI-10 doc

Notes toward funder guide

  • Eventually make a second guide for funder policies. It could be a separate doc, or it could be a new section of the first doc.
    • In the latter case: "Follow all the recommendations above but with the following additions and subtractions based on the different circumstances of universities and funding agencies."
  • Entry on why it's OK for funders, but not universities, to limit author freedom to submit work to the journals of their choice.
  • Entry on offering funds to pay publication fees at fee-based OA journals.
    • Entry on similar support for no-fee OA journals.
  • Entry on allowing gold to substitute for green.
  • Entry on what counts as a repository suitable for deposit.
  • Entry on extra terms to require when funder pays for gold or when the author chooses gold as a substitute for green.
    • on libre
    • on immediacy
    • on version
  • Entry on what kinds of work arising from funded research are covered by the policy
    • yes scholarly articles; but what about data? books? conference presentations? theses and dissertations? digitization projects?
  • Entry making clear that policy only works that authors voluntarily publish or make public.
    • Needed to avoid interfering with authors who seek patents on patentable discoveries.
  • Entry on rights retention
    • what rights exactly
    • what addendum or addenda
    • what happens when author wants to publish in a journal that doesn't allow OA on those terms (no waivers)
  • Entry on sanctions for non-compliance
  • Entry on relevant differences (if any) between public and private funding agencies