Re: EPrints, DSpace or ESpace?

From: David Goodman <dgoodman_at_PRINCETON.EDU>
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2003 13:50:03 -0400

I can testify personally to one of the strong disincentives, though it
sounds trivial.
I work in an old version of MS Word, which I have customized
extensively with the equally archaic program Word Basic, and I find the
result convenient. The version I use does not automatically make pdfs. I
do have Acrobat; I am also aware I could upgrade to a newer version of
But apparently the pdfs produced this way do not have full functionality
in ArXiV-like systems (for example, that the source url does not
overprint in the margins the way it does for papers written in TeX.)
Although I have some experience with many of each, I would as soon
change my preferred word processing program as my browser or my email.

Any commercial publisher will gladly take my .doc files and convert
them. ArXiV and similar OAI programs will not. It is more important to
me to write conveniently than to support a particularly inconvenient
version of archiving. I'll contribute to OAI archives when they
accommodate me. To the best of my knowledge, a great many people in the
academic world feel the same.

If there are improvements forthcoming, I'd be glad to hear of them.

Stevan Harnad wrote:
> Publish or Perish: Self-Archive to Flourish
> Stevan Harnad
> It is becoming apparent that our main challenge is not creating
> institutional repositories, but creating policies and incentives for
> filling them.
> Universities' "publish or perish" policies are intended to encourage
> and reward researchers for doing research and for making their findings
> public to all would-be users. It is a natural extension of "publish or
> perish" to encourage and reward researchers for maximizing the impact of
> their research output by maximizing would-be user access to it.
> An article on how this can be done through national and university
> research accessibility and assessability policies (with the UK as a model)
> will appear in THES Friday, June 6. It will be a condensed version of the
> following short article:
> "Enhance UK research impact and assessment by making the RAE webmetric"
> The institutional-repository movement would also benefit greatly
> from clearly separating the 5 quasi-independent aims that currently
> constitute its very mixed agenda. All 5 aims are worthwhile and important,
> but only the first is urgent, and it is the heart of the challenge for
> filling institutional with university research output for the sake of
> maximizing its impact by maximizing access to it:
> The 5 distinct aims for institutional repositories
> I. (RES) self-archiving institutional research output (preprints,
> postprints and theses)
> II. (MAN) digital collection management (all kinds of digital content)
> III. (PRES) digital preservation (all kinds of digital content)
> IV. (TEACH) online teaching materials
> V. (EPUB) electronic publication (journals and books)
> As long as we keep blurring or mixing these 5 distinct aims, the first
> and by far the most pressing of them -- the filling of university eprint
> archives with all university research output, pre- and post-peer-review,
> in order to maximize its impact through open access -- will be needlessly
> delayed (and so will any eventual relief from the university serials
> budget crisis).
> Perhaps the two most counterproductive of the conflations among these
> five distinct aims has been that between I and III (research
> self-archiving, RES, and digital preservation, PRES) and that between
> I and V (research self-archiving, RES, and electronic publication,
> EPUB).
> The RES/PRES mix-up, much discussed in the American Scientist Forum,
> can easily be seen to be a needless and misleading conflation when we
> recall that insofar as the peer-reviewed research literature is
> concerned, the current preservation burden is on its primary corpus,
> which is the published literature (online and on paper). The much-needed
> filling of university research-output archives is a *supplement* to this
> primary corpus, for the purpose of maximizing its impact by maximizing
> access to it; it is not a *substitute* for it. It is simply a mistake
> and a needless retardant on the filling of the university to imply that
> there are preservation problems to solve before they can be filled.
> The RES/EPUB mix-up is really two mixups. The first is the conflation of
> self-archiving with self-publishing: The urgent archive-filling challenge,
> RES, concerns the self-archiving of peer-reviewed, *published* research
> output. Again, it is a *supplement* to publication, for the purpose of
> maximizing its impact by maximizing access to it; it is not a *substitute*
> for it.
> The second RES/EPUB mix-up has to do with university e-publishing
> ambitions (perhaps along the lines of High-Wire Press-wannabes!). It is
> fine to have these ambitions, but they should not be conflated in any
> way with the completely independent and urgent aim of self-archiving
> the university's peer-reviewed, *published* research output.
> Most of this is discussed in the thread:
> "EPrints, DSpace or ESpace?"
> This is also the source of the slowness in archive-filling
> lamented by Michael Day in the article below. The remedy,
> again, is clearly distinguishing RES from any other institutional
> repository aims, and drafting national and institutional research
> self-archiving policies and incentives, as soon and as systematically
> as possible.
> Michael Day, Prospects for institutional e-print repositories
> in the United Kingdom, a paper from the ePrints UK project.
> Abstract: "This study
> introduces ePrints UK, a project funded as part of the JISC's Focus
> on Access to Institutional Resources (FAIR) Programme. It first
> introduces the project and the main features of the FAIR programme
> as it relates to e-print repositories. Then it provides some general
> information on open-access principles, institutional repositories
> and the technical developments that have made their development
> viable. There follows a review of relevant repositories in the UK
> and an indication of what impact ePrints UK might have in supporting
> learning, teaching and research. This is followed by a discussion of
> perceived impediments to the take-up of institutional repositories,
> including both practical and cultural issues. A final section
> investigates the development of ongoing evaluation criteria for
> the project." Source:
> See: "Enhance UK research impact and assessment by making the RAE webmetric"
> Stevan Harnad

Dr. David Goodman
Princeton University Library
Palmer School of Library and Information Science, Long Island University
Received on Tue Jun 03 2003 - 18:50:03 BST

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