Re: Prospects for institutional e-print repositories study

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2003 19:23:08 +0100

> On Tue, 15 Jul 2003, Philip Hunter wrote:
> I'm challenging the idea that the 'purpose' of eprints is communication
> sans preservation

The purpose of eprints is open access to refereed research. As such,
they are a supplement to the toll-access corpus. The preservation of the
toll-access corpus is certainly an important preservation task, but it
is not relevant to eprint self-archiving.

> I'm also not interested in preserving paper-based communication
> where it makes no sense to do so. This aspect of the Harnad model,
> where paper journals are seen as the primary form of dissemination,
> is yoked to the past.

There is no "Harnad model." There is merely the demonstrated fact that
the way to enhance research impact is by making it accessible to all
potential users webwide. Currently, the refereed research corpus is
produced and sold by publishers and it is mostly hybrid (with both paper
and online versions). It is evolving more and more toward online
storage, and there is a preservation task to shoulder there. But it is
not one that needs to be shouldered by the eprints, self-archived to
supplement toll-access with open access for those users who need it. The
task there is merely to self-archive (in OAI-compliant institutional
eprint archives).

> My concern is with the fact of poor take up of the eprints idea. There
> is the possibility (not often considered) that other people in the
> community want something from the technology and the process that the
> Harnad solution (and [JWT Smith's]) does not supply.

The task there is to *inform* the research community about the means and
benefits of self-archiving. This means, among other things, dispelling
their misunderstandings and allaying their groundless worries -- about
things like preservation.

> I didn't bring up the question of refereeing at all, unless I'm mistaken.

No, that was the contribution of JWTS...

Stevan Harnad

NOTE: A complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing open
access to the peer-reviewed research literature online is available at
the American Scientist September Forum (98 & 99 & 00 & 01 & 02 & 03):

Discussion can be posted to:
Received on Tue Jul 15 2003 - 19:23:08 BST

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