Re: ClinMed NetPrints

From: Jim Till <till_at_UHNRES.UTORONTO.CA>
Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 15:07:48 -0400

On Thu, 24 May 2001, Tim Brody wrote (about my proposed 2nd criterion for
evaluation of an eprint archive, which was: 2) its suitability for
yielding citation data [an 'impact-ranking' criterion?]):

[tb]> One might also add the facility to export "hit" data, as an
[tb]> alternative criterion (or any other raw statistical data?).

What kind of raw statistical data might be most useful, in the future, for

At the arXiv archive, one section of the FAQ section (under Miscellaneous)
addresses the question: "Why don't you release statistics about paper
retrieval?". (See:

The short answer provided is: "Such 'statistics' are difficult to assess
for a variety of reasons". The longer answer also includes the comments

"It could be argued perhaps correctly that statistics may provide some
useful information at least on the relative popularity of submissions,
since the distributed access and other factors may be subsumable into some
overall scale factor. But even this information is ambiguous in many
cases, and publicizing, even when accurate, could merely accentuate
faddishness in fields already excessively faddish".


"Most significantly, however, there is a strong philosophic reason for not
publicizing (or even saving) these statistics. When one browses in a
library it is very important (in fact legislated) that big brother is not
watching through a camera mounted on the wall; for the benefit of readers
it is very important to maintain in every way possible this sense of
freedom from monitoring in the electronic realm".

Thought-provoking comments?

Jim Till
University of Toronto
Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

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