Thursday, May 01, 2008

Best open access funder mandate anywhere?

Working on an open access policy for your funding agency or university? Here is potential model to point people to! The recently announced policy of the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology is described by Peter Suber as possibly the best funder mandate anywhere on Open Access News.

From the IRCSET Press Release: The Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering & Technology (IRCSET) has taken moves today to ensure that research papers published by its funding recipients will be made available in an open access repository, within six months of their first publication. The new development is in line with best international practice and is designed to enhance the public accessibility of State funded research.

From the Policy:
Conditions to which IRCSET funded Award Recipients
should adhere:

1. All researchers must lodge their publications resulting in whole or in part from IRCSET-funded research in an open access repository as soon as is practical, but within six calendar months at the latest.

2. The repository should ideally be a local institutional repository to which the appropriate rights must be granted to replicate to other repositories.

3. Authors should deposit post-prints (or publisher’s version if permitted) plus metadata of articles accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals and international conference proceedings;

4. Deposit should be made upon acceptance by the journal/conference. Repositories should release the metadata immediately, with access restrictions to full text article to be applied as required. Open access should be available as soon as practicable after the author-requested embargo, or six month, whichever comes first;

5. Suitable repositories should make provision for long-term preservation of, and free public access to, published research findings.

6. IRCSET may augment or amend the above requirements wherever necessary to ensure best practice in Open Access.

Comment: as Peter Suber points out, strengths of this policy are that it is a requirement, "part of IRCSET’s terms and conditions in offering and providing funding to researchers", the maximum 6-month deposit, the requirement for immediate deposit even when access is delayed (very important to fit in with the workflow of the busy researcher). Congratulations to IRCSET!

The full Press Release and Policy are very much worth reading.