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.
  • The doc is far from complete. All the entries to date are tentative. Some are very unpolished. Undecided questions are marked with three slashes (///).
  • Currently the doc is private in the sense that no web pages deliberately link to it. However, I believe that some pages automatically created by the wiki software will link to it. Is that private enough for our purposes?
  • To do list
    • Write a preface.
    • In the draft, we marked undecided questions with three slashes (///). Find and remove all instances.
    • Lock ("protect") the page to prevent random public edits.
    • Elaborate each entry with some rationale, including (as far as possible) links to literature and evidence.
    • 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 how to indicate the growth and evolution of our recommendations. (I suggest version numbers and release dates.)
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Try *not* to make recommendations on points where there is no "best practice" yet, and say so; that will explain some of our omissions; it will also show that we're open to new ideas; decide whether we should omit any current recommendations until support or evidence for them solidifies further
    • Make an offline or separate list of possible new entries and suggested revisions to existing entries.
      • Possible new entries: how to handle the Elsevier policy allowing green OA except at institutions with OA mandates.
    • 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
    • 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 (dynamic) section on frequently asked questions and frequently heard objections and misunderstandings
    • Investigate tools for making nice printouts of wiki pages, or tools for translating wikis into other formats (e.g. PDF) for printing; if possible, built those tools into the best-practices guide so that users can have a handsome, one-click printout of the latest version
    • Add a glossary, especially useful for abbreviations: OA, TA, and terms like gold, green, etc.
    • Eventually make a second guide for funder policies. It could be a separate doc, or it could be a new section of this doc ("Follow all the recommendations above but with these subtractions and additions based on the different circumstances of universities and funders"). When we do, then incorporate ideas and language from these docs: