Re: The archival status of archived papers

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Mon, 2 Dec 2002 18:02:28 +0000 (GMT)

I agree completely with Mark Doyle and was not (in my reply to a query
from a user) venturing to suggest policy. I was trying to explain to
the user why one could not keep updating the same archived paper
(whether metadata or text). I leave it to Mark, Chris and the experts
to pick the optimal technical solution. (Chris?)

Stevan Harnad

On Mon, 2 Dec 2002, Mark Doyle wrote:

> Greetings,
> On Tuesday, November 26, 2002, at 08:27 PM, Stevan Harnad wrote:
> > Now it is conceivable that the eprints architecture can be slightly
> > modified, so that the old, suppressed URL for the deleted paper
> > automatically redirects to the new draft if someone tries to access
> > the old one. That I have to let Chris reply about. Here I have merely
> > explained the rationale for not having designed the archive so a paper
> > could be deposited, and then modified willy-nilly under the same URL.
> > For that would not have been an archive at all, and user complaints,
> > about trying to use and cite a moving target, would have far
> > out-numbered
> > depositor complaints about what to do with after-thoughts and
> > successive
> > drafts.
> Well, that is one way to look at it. On the other hand, uses
> version numbers and the persistent name/id and URL (say hep-th/0210311
> and always points to the latest
> version
> with links to the earlier versions.
> I believe you are advocating a poor design choice here. One cannot
> overemphasize
> the importance of human-friendly persistent names that are easily
> converted
> to URL's for linking and quick location. Patching the system to
> redirect to the
> latest linked version is a hack. Is one actually able to download
> the earlier version (which is what was cited)? Generally, a better
> approach
> is to give a good persistent name to a "work" and not a single
> manifestation
> of that work (whether it be a particular format or a particular
> version) and
> then give a reader a single point of entry into the system that can be
> bookmarked
> or cited reliably which gives a choice of what to download. Cutting off
> access
> to an earlier, citeable version is a mistake. Archives should not
> delete items
> or make them hard to access - rather they should show items in context
> and give easy access to an item's history and versioning with a single
> identifier for the work taken as a whole.
> Cheers,
> Mark
> Mark Doyle
> Manager, Product Development
> The American Physical Society
Received on Mon Dec 02 2002 - 18:02:28 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:46:45 GMT