Dear Colleagues,

Stevan Harnad's posting today about RoMEO and OpenDOAR seems to have a
number of confusions.

Regarding the OpenDOAR Policy Tools:

> Users
> will not be consulting OpenDOAR in order to find out what 
> they may *not*
> do with their content.  Let them find that out from the IRs 
> themselves,
> when they actually search and use.

That is correct. I think Stevan Harnad has misunderstood the purpose and
the use of the OpenDOAR Policy Tools. These are to create policies for
the IRs themselves to house on their sites, for harvesting by service
providers and other interested parties that need formal permissions.
End-users are not expected to consult OpenDOAR, but to simply use the
service providers to access the contents of the repositories.

> Restrictions are bad enough, but helping to 
> advertise and
> propagate them is not something a service that is meant to encourage
> OA ought to be doing.

This is a significant issue and a criticism that Stevan Harnad makes of
both OpenDOAR and RoMEO. 

Do we report restrictions? Yes we do - and yes, we should. 

If a publisher puts a condition in place, we will try and faithfully
report it.  This certainly does not mean that we approve of the
conditions imposed, or even think that they make logical sense. We spend
much time discussing odd clauses with publishers to try to get them to
clarify their contracts. 

However, we will report what publishers have said as their policy, and
report the terminology that they have used within these legal contracts.

To do otherwise, to ignore a clause in a contract because we don't agree
with it, is to misrepresent the publishers' contract and potentially
mislead authors and administrators. Given the information in RoMEO,
self-archiving authors and repository administrators can then decide if
they wish to ignore something.

If we wish to get simplicity and clarity, then we must lobby publishers
to change their contracts, not suppress information and report what we
think they *should* have said. Obscuring uncomfortable facts or
ambiguities from the public to suit one's own ends may be effective
politics, but it is hardly trustworthy practice.




Bill Hubbard
SHERPA Manager

OpenDOAR -

Greenfield Medical Library
University of Nottingham
Queens Medical Centre

Tel  +44(0)  115  846 7657
Fax  +44(0)  115  846 8244

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