[OAI-eprints] Re: Cliff Lynch on Institutional Archives

Stevan Harnad harnad@ecs.soton.ac.uk
Mon, 17 Mar 2003 01:50:59 +0000 (GMT)

I basically agree with Thomas Krichel on all the substantive points:

On Sun, 16 Mar 2003, Thomas Krichel wrote:

>   institutional archives will lie empty unless there are better
>   incentives for scholars to contribute to them. If you tell
>   them that it will open their scholarship to the world to
>   read, they will listen. If you tell them, figures in hand, 
>   how much it does, and how much impact they gain---relatively
>   to their colleagues in the offices next door---they will act...
>   Basically RePEc aims to achieve a type of dataset that will allow
>   to measure impact

I agree. Steve Lawrence has gathered some data along these lines. We are
doing so too. And I know you are too. These data will help demonstrate
to the research community, quantitatively, the direct causal connection
between research access and research impact.

>   you have to get authors to self-archive. To do that, you need
>   to find the right incentives...
>   publishing is done more with the academic colleagues in mind
>   rather than with the university's central administration 
>   in mind. Then you inevitably end up with a situation where
>   you have to get a whole discipline along to self-archive. As
>   long as others in the discipline are not doing it, there 
>   is little interest in the individual scholar doing it. 
>   You have to demonstrate that to individual academics, figures at
>   hand. In the meantime you have to collect formally archive contents.

I also agree completely that until OAI-compliant self-archiving prevails,
havesting or centralized links to authors' arbitrary websites is extremely
desirable and useful. I expect that there is an order of magnitude
more non-OAI self-archived content (preprints and postprints) on the
Web today then there is OAI. Harvesting it (citeseer-style) or linking
to it with OAI-equivalent metadata (RePec-style) is not only valuable
in itself (making a lot of open-access work more visible and usable)
but it will help encourage more self-archiving, as well as providing the
access/impact causality data that will help inspire still more! 

[Les Carr is doing it now with the 2001
UK-wide RAE returns, generating "RAEprints":
http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Temp/Ariadne-RAE.htm ]

(I couldn't quite see the point about why individuals couldn't do it,
and a whole discipline needs to be convinced. Surely individuals
come first, but never mind.) 

>   Incidentally, have you deposited all your papers in institutional
>   archives? I see some ~harnad above.

Of course! All my papers (retroactive to the 70's) have been FTP- and
then web-archived since the late '80's, as well as in CogPrints since
1997 and the Southampton ECS Archive since 1999. Both Archives have since
become OAI-compliant: 

(I practise what I preach!)

Stevan Harnad

NOTE: A complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing open
access to the peer-reviewed research literature online is available at
the American Scientist September Forum (98 & 99 & 00 & 01 & 02):


Discussion can be posted to: september98-forum@amsci-forum.amsci.org 

See also the Budapest Open Access Initiative:

the BOAI Forum:

the Free Online Scholarship Movement:

the SPARC position paper on institutional repositories:

the OAI site:

and the free OAI institutional archiving software site: