Re: Cliff Lynch on Institutional Archives

From: Thomas Krichel <krichel_at_OPENLIB.ORG>
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 19:38:40 +0200

  Lee Miller writes

> The simplest way to aggregate papers within disciplines would be include a
> discipline field in the metadata. This gets back to the problems of subject
> classification, but at the discipline level a short list of defined
> discipline descriptors should be sufficient.
> For example, the discipline of ecology includes plants, animals,
> microorganisms, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, physical environments,
> physiology, applied mathematics, and many other sub-fields. Nevertheless,
> ecologists of all stripes recognize and enjoy common bonds in the general
> discipline. A small number of general journals that publish papers from
> many of the sub-disciplines are followed by many researchers and academics,
> regardless of their specialty fields. Thus inclusion of the discipline
> desciptor "ecology" would allow aggregation of papers at a level that has
> already proved useful to ecologists for over a century.
> A similar level of aggregation in other fields would surely be useful as a
> tool for harvesting papers of particular interest from institutional archives.
  Yes, but this is not what I think is the prime task of aggregator
  services. Your thinking is that such services will make it easier
  for users to find papers belonging to a certain discipline. Within
  that thinking I agree there is scope for value-added user services.
  For example, once you have identified all paper is the area
  of ecology, you can start something like "NEP: New Ecology
  Papers". That is, you can mail a list of all the new papers
  that have appeared within the subject of ecology out to
  editors (who would be working as volunteers) and then have
  them filter those papers that belong to microorganisms,
  terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, etc, and forward the
  paper discriptions to a list of subscribers who are interested
  in those subjects. Such a system already works well with
  RePEc, see

  But: such value added services for users are not the main
  function of aggregators, imho. Aggregators are more about
  serving the authors of papers. They should be conceived
  as instruments to incentivize authors to contribute to
  formal archives.

  With greetings from Minsk, Belarus,

  Thomas Krichel
Received on Sun Mar 16 2003 - 17:38:40 GMT

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