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

Radu radu@monicsoft.net
Mon, 17 Mar 2003 10:24:52 -0500

Quoting Stevan Harnad <harnad@ecs.soton.ac.uk>:

> (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.) 

Not never mind, because this is a very important point. Disciplines 
are made out of individuals who share (or assume they share), a 
specific body of knowledge.

Yes, individuals should do it, but individuals have enough of a hard 
time doing the research and writing the paper. If you give them yet 
another set of tasks to put their papers online, just for the sake of 
others, with no recognition... they simply won't do it.

Personally I'm against the waste of paper that paper-publishing 
creates. Still, I rarely get the time to put the stuff I place online 
in paper format and vice-versa.

Right now I'm working with Marie-Odile Junker at Carleton University, 
Ottawa, Canada on online documenting the Cree language (an aboriginal 
American couple of dialects). And she's upset that though this effort 
took much more resources than writing a dozen of scholarly journal 
papers, the University does not give her any publication-related 
bonus. THAT is the reason the 'disciplines' have to be made aware of 
the power of open distribution.

While I was doing my Master's thesis on the process of psychological 
research itself, I noticed that people are so burnt out after the 
minutiae of research and publishing that they forget or neglect the 
further steps of archiving, to a point that years later they can't 
find copies of the research materials. They tend to delegate this end 
bit to lab staff who is simply not trained in archival theory and 

So since then, whenever I get a bit of time out of my work and 
studies, I try to put together a system that would allow researchers 
to do the research steps in an organized way, that would allow them 
to really forget about archiving (other than backing up the archive 
files now and then.)

If you ask researchers to make their work available, you should not 
ask them to put more resources into it (not everyone is THAT 
altruistic), but show them how they can make their work easier.

Interestingly enough, most of my research and development has been 
directly or indirectly funded by the Open Society Foundation :)