Re: Electronic archiving and IIS talk

From: Steve Hitchcock <sh94r_at_ECS.SOTON.AC.UK>
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2000 19:42:49 +0100

At 15:11 08/09/00 +0100, Chris Armstrong wrote:
>Steve Hitchcock <> wrote:
> > misunderstanding implied in your comments. It has never
> > been the role of those who provide access to
> > information, librarians or publishers, to FIX
> > content, i.e. to select a particular version, but to
> > enable users to MAKE SENSE of it. In the e-environment
> > that includes versioning, allowing updates, creating
> > links to subsequent and related works, etc. It's a
> > continual process. Fixing versions is an artefact of
> > print.
>Well, not a misunderstanding really. I don't think I implied censorship
>or filtering but rather a refining to the final authoritative version.
>In that sense, once published a text is so defined and perhaps this
>does FIX it in some way, but this only helps scholars to make sense of
>it by giving it stability and authority.

Chris, Authority is fine, and can continue to attach to papers in
various ways, but in the electronic environment notions of stability will
change. Lundberg and Harnad offer alternative views on this point elsewhere
in this thread. I believe authority will attach to an instance of a work at
a given moment, but the authority will have to be maintained and updated to
be useful.

>Something lacking from
>preprints which can only be cited in the knowledge that a later -
>possibly significantly changed - version will supersede it.
> > Why seek to diminish the role of eprints when these
> > issues apply to all electronic publishing? People on
> > this list are finding solutions to these questions,
> > acting on just these issues, and building new services:
> > they are not a road block.
>I have no wish to diminish - I am an advocate of all forms of
>electronic publishing - but I do want the route chosen to be secure. I
>raised the queries in the interests of scholarly debate. It is one
>thing for the knowledgeable among us to locate and use versions and
>updates, but we have to recognise that naive users and less skilled
>searchers may place undue authority in the wrong version. My concern is
>to ensure that the path we take does not produce information rich/poor
>and information fortunate/unfortunate.

So the knowledgeable build services for the naive, just as you are doing
with your Collection Management and Scholarly Electronic Publishing
Resource. There are a number of ways in which this approach can be developed.

> > This is not 92/3. There is substantial experience of
> > eprint/electronic publishing now, so we don't need to
> > invent problems. What real examples are there of this?
>True, but misuse and accidental alterations still happen. I have a
>colleague who had an paper copied from his web site and re-published
>without his permission; it was never updated, etc as was the original
>and several errors were introduced.

Clearly misuse and clearly not accidental. I suspect this type of incident
is more often the result of ignorance rather than willful malevolence. How
did your colleague become aware of the misuse?

>Graham also makes the point that
>inadvertent errors can be introduced if version control is poor.

We seem to be confusing a lot of issues here. They can all be tackled.

>in an ideal world these things should not happen but I think we have a
>duty to attempt to foresee and guard against introducing problems like
>Y2K! The Web is used by millions and not all consider the validity of
>the resources they capture. Some recent research has shown just how
>little graduate and postgraduate students actually consider information

I don't know this research, but does it consider how good these students
might be at evaluating Web content for themselves, not relying solely on
the authority of sources?

> > managed eprints supported by managed QC publishing is
> > the opportunity to make things a great deal clearer.
> > More access is better, not worse.
>Provided that the management make version control and authority level
>clear and facilitates access to the most recent copy. Without some very
>careful control, more access will make things very much worse.

It's not access that causes the problem, it's the integrity of the service
that you use to gain access. With better access we'll get more services to
choose from and quality will rise.

> > The old framework needs to change, not the other way
> > round.
>And now we have to consider future-proofed archiving, future-proofed
>access, bibliographic control and warehousing maintenance.

Some future services will be very good, so what are we protecting here? I'm
still uncomfortable about this persistent idea of control. Where does
warehousing come into this?

Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

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