Re: PALS report and conference on Institutional Repositories

From: Steve Hitchcock <>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 12:00:08 +0000

Mark Ware's report on institutional repositories is a balanced, thorough
and welcome review that has some features not found in other reports of
this sort.

See full record in Perspectives in Electronic Publishing (short review
reproduced below)

This report doesn't have any dramatic new insights on open access, but it
is a pretty thorough review of institutional repositories (IRs).
Surprisingly, given the author's publishing background, and that of the
report's backers, it is remarkably focussed on IRs and, section 9 apart
(notwithstanding its brief mention PeP), the report doesn't grind any
publishing axes.

There is an emphasis on repositories built with DSpace because the report
largely adopts the DSpace/Cliff Lynch philosophy on IRs, that is, they are
for storing all the outputs of an institution, not just copies of refereed
journal papers, or eprints. So it doesn't have the benefit of the more
focussed Harnad analysis of institutional eprint archives to cut through
most of the issues it raises.

Section 8 is a quantitative analysis of repositories, largely based on data
and charts from work at Southampton by Tim Brody and based on
data. This is a welcome (if inadequately referenced) and unusual feature to
date in reviews such as this.

It's disappointing to see section 8.2 open by stating that background
research had "produced a list of some 45 IRs", since the Metalist of Open
Access Eprint Archives would have revealed more than this (although for
some reason Eprints archives are omitted here).

The conclusions seem rather positive for IRs: "The case for the benefits to
a research organisation of an institutional repository providing a set of
infrastructural digital services including uploading/hosting, organising
(metadata), disseminating and long-term preservation seems compelling. ...
What is far less clear is whether IRs will develop large, interoperable
collections of published literature, as hope the advocates of open access."

For those new to the open access phenomenon, and who may be puzzled by the
lack of coverage of IRs in the currently publishing-dominated open access
agenda in some forums and news services - there are of necessity two
complementary paths to open access: journal publication and author
self-archiving in repositories - this report is worthwhile indeed.

Steve Hitchcock
IAM Group, School of Electronics and Computer Science
University of Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 3256 Fax: +44 (0)23 8059 2865

At 12:57 23/02/04 +0000, Mark Ware wrote:
>PALS (The Publisher and Library/Learning Solutions working group) has
>recently published a report (which I authored) on Institutional
>Repositories. The report is freely available from the PALS website at
><> (follow the
>link for Pathfinder research on web-based repositories ).
>PALS is running a conference based on this research in London on 24 June
>2004 entitled Institutional Repositories and Their Impact on Scholarly
>Publishing . Details of this are also available on the PALS website
>(follow the link for PALS Conference 04 etc. ).
>[About PALS: The Publisher and Library/Learning Solutions (PALS) working
>group is an ongoing collaboration between UK publishers (represented by
>the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers and the
>Publishers Association) and further and higher education (represented by
>JISC). The group aims to foster mutual understanding on topics of
>interest to both parties, and work collaboratively towards the solution of
>issues arising from electronic publication. For more see:
> -Mark Ware
>Mark Ware Consulting Ltd
>14 Hyland Grove
>Bristol BS9 3NR
>T: +44 (0)117 959 3726
>E: <>
>W: <>
Received on Thu Feb 26 2004 - 12:00:08 GMT

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