SPEC Kit 311: Public Access Policies · 55
Challenge 1 Challenge 2 Challenge 3
Resistance to the cumbersome
bibliographic citation formats required
by NIH in grant proposals and progress
reports. Staff have worked with PIs
and administrative staff to customize
Reference Manager and EndNote to
streamline (as far as possible) the
download process.
Over-eager PIs want to deposit all
their articles retrospectively in PubMed
Central, regardless of whether or not
they have the copyright permission to
do so. Staff have counseled the PIs on
the copyright issue, and checked the
PI’s lit of publications to determine
if a) the articles have already been
deposited to PubMed Centra, or b)
the publisher has a blanket policy of
allowing such retrospective deposits.
PIs misunderstand some publishers’
accelerated PubMed Central deposit
programs in which an article will be
deposited earlier than the 12-month
mandate in exchange for extra
publication charges of, in some cases,
several thousand dollars. We counsel
PIs that the mandate calls for release
in PubMed Central 12 months after
publication, and there is no requirement
to pay extra to release an article earlier
than that.
The biggest challenge is getting the
word out to PIs that they must comply
and help is available. We are taking
several approaches to overcome this.
The challenge is trying to understand
the complexities of the policies and to
assist others in understanding them.
Policies are new so there can be a steep
learning curve.
The greatest challenge is getting the
attention of busy researchers. Working
with the Office of Research was helpful,
as researchers seem more likely to pay
attention to their e-mails and they
promoted our Web site on the NIH
PAP to researchers. And in general,
using familiar contact people to make
the initial approach to groups or
departments was most effective.
Once we got the attention of
researchers, the next challenge was
finding time available in their schedules
during which we could present the
information to them. This was solved
mostly by library staff remaining flexible
as to when and how they met with
Authors often don’t pay attention to
the publishing agreements they sign,
so many don’t know what rights they
retain to their papers. This year, library
staff have been making presentations
to academic departments to encourage
faculty to read their publishing
agreements and to consider alternative
publishing mechanisms such as open-
access journals or depositing their work
in a research repository. Funder policies
such as the NIH PAP often come up
during these discussions.
The library received many requests from
authors to negotiate with publishers
on their behalf. The library asked all
the institutes to provide a list of their
priority publishers and one master
priority list was prepared from the
individual lists.
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