Notes on best practices for university OA policies

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  • Currently both the draft guide and these notes are private in the sense that no outside web pages deliberately link to them. However, the front page and this notes page link to the sub-pages, the pages link to one another, and some pages automatically created by the wiki software link to each. Is that private enough for our purposes?

To-do list

  • Lock the pages to prevent random public edits.
  • Identify the authors or current participants somehow.
    • Could do it by institution (eventually, Harvard, MIT, SPARC, EOS...) and/or by the names of individual contributors. Initially I think the former would suffice.
  • Decide the final title. (It will be hard to change later.)
    • I like the present title. But I also like the slightly longer, Guide to best practices for university OA policies.
    • Either way, should we spell out "OA"?
    • If we change the title, the front page URL changes and we have to change cross-ref URLs on all the sub-pages.
    • When title (hence URL) final, then PS make standard short URL.
  • Decide whether every page (section) should have its own "last revised [date]" notice.
  • Decide who is authorized to revise this doc. On the Revising this guide page, we should explain the revision process. Who gets to edit? Who gets to be part of the consensus? Who gets to join the discussions?
  • 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. We could move them to the Revising this guide page.
  • Before release, get other key partners to make their own suggestions and sign on to the result, e.g. SPARC, EOS, EIFL, OAIG, 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.
  • Decide whether to make the preface a separate page, like the main sections. I'm inclined to keep it on the front page, at least while it is comparatively short.
  • I'm in the middle of implementing a CC-BY license for the whole HOAP wiki. (It will add the license automatically to every new and old page in the wiki.) I hope we can all agree to use CC-BY for the guide. If not, then we must either override the licensing code for these pages or we should move the guide out of the HOAP wiki.

Revisions to consider

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

  • Should we add a new entry (to become the very first entry) on the goals of a policy?
    • We could simply recommend that a policy start by describing the policy goals. Or we could recommend specific goals to mention.
  • Should we add a new entry (section on Implementing) on how to handle the Elsevier policy allowing green OA except at institutions with OA mandates?
  • Should we add a new entry (section on Implementing) on handicap access to the repository?
  • 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 "Waiver option" (section on Drafting)
    • Should we include language from the Harvard waiver letter? (Stuart)
    • Should we include a bullet on retroactive waivers? Here's Stuart's position on them: "Our interpretation (consistent with the language of the policy) has been that an author can request a waiver at any time after the policy applies (that is, when copyright vests in an article). Before or after publication is fine. The waiver would mean that the university would no longer hold a license to the article under the OAP (but might by some other means). One reason for this interpretation is allowing a simple remedy for an author who is dinged by a publisher after the article is published."
  • 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?
    • Right now we take a position on what to do if the author wishes to withdraw an article already on deposit (e.g. because it is mistaken, embarrassing, superseded by a newer version, etc.). But should we reclassify this as a point on which there is not yet a consensus best practice?
  • 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.

Works to consult

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