Open Access - repositories: where are we now?
Tom Wilson has produced a useful summary of institutional open archives in the latest issue of the CILIP Library + Information Update (5(4) - April 2006). Among other things it contains a couple of figures showing the annual growth in archiving and the University annual growth from 1990 to 2004. Unsurprisingly, University of Southampton has about 4 times as many items archived as its nearest competitor. According to the table, there were 21 institutional archives of note in 2004.
In 2006, we could point to a few more, but as Tom Wilson writes, "No one could claim that open archiving has taken off in UK universities". There are increasing numbers of publishers allowing authors to deposit pre- and post-print versions of the articles published in their journals, but it seems that authors are often caught between a rock and a hard place. Unless their own institution has a repository in place, many publishers - although 'green' on the face of it - do not allow archiving. Open Access News reported recently that:
...Elsevier policy permits authors to post a personal version of the final paper on a personal site or their institute’s website. ... we do not permit posting of the papers in a third party repository.So Open Access is only open if you live in one of those universities that have understood and acted on the open access philosophy. Otherwise - and note that the Guardian reported recently that future RAEs will be based on metrics, and that depositing articles in a repository increases citations - you are doomed to be read less than your fortunate colleagues.