Eprints, DSpace or ESpace?

Stevan Harnad harnad at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Thu Jul 31 05:56:28 EST 2003


On Thu, 31 Jul 2003, Shirley Sullivan wrote:

> We have an eprint.org repository already established for documents, but are 
> interested to see whether it is possible to use the software for metadata 
> records only. or Dspace for this purpose. It appears to be essential for 
> both eprints.org and dspace to actually load "documents" - it won't 
> work  for records only. Is this the case, or is to "operator error" here, 
> does anyone know? We would like to create an OAI compliant catalogue 
> containing metadata records for objects, but not load the objects 
> themselves. Any advice gratefully received.

Yes, eprints.org archives (and, for that matter, dspace archives)
can be configured so they archive only the metadata and not the
full-text (i.e., with null full-text). Both softwares can be used for
many purposes, but the eprints.org software was expressly created to
promote open access to full text, and not merely metadata archiving and
interoperability. (The OAI protocol itself was originally created in the
service of open access to full text, but, once the protocol's importance
and potential power became apparent, the OAI was extended to digital
archiving and interoperability in general, not just to open-access
to full-text.)

Here are the 5 major current categories of uses for institutional
OAI archives. Both softwares (and others) can be used for all 5
purposes, but the eprints.org software, to repeat, is dedicated 
specifically to number *5 (self-archiving of full-text of refereed
research). We are very anxious to avoid diffusing or slowing the movement
toward the urgent and reachable goal of open access by diverting
the eprints.org software toward 1-4. 1-4 are implementable, yes, but *5
is the paramount concern; 1-4 are merely distractions from *5 at this time:

The 5 uses for Institutional Digital Archiving Software
http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Hypermail/Amsci/2670.html

1. Institutional Digital Collection Management (both institutional
   output, and bought-in content)
2. Institutional Digital Content Preservation (both institutional
   output and bought-in content)
3. Institutional Digital Courseware
4. Institutional Digital Publishing (e-journals, e-books, )

*5. Institutional Self-Archiving of Research Output (pre- and post-
    peer-reviewed publication)*

The purpose of *5 is to maximize institutional research impact:
http://www.eprints.org/self-faq/#institution-facilitate-filling
http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Temp/self-archiving.ppt
http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Temp/che.htm

While we're on the subject, a variant and cousin of 4, namely, open-access
publishing (BOAI-2) has lately been getting so much attention that the
the misleading impression has grown that open-access publishing is either
the only form, or the main form, of open access! Here are the facts,
in context:

(1) Most of the refereed research literature is still not open-access.

(2) Of the small but growing portion of the refereed research literature
that is open-access already, by far the largest proportion of that is
open-access via self-archiving (BOAI-1, Archiving-5, above) rather than
via open-access publishing (BOAI-2, related to Archiving-4, above).

(3) Of the small but growing portion of the refereed research literature
that is open-access already, by far the fastest-growing proportion of that is
open-access via self-archiving (BOAI-1, Archiving-5, above) rather than
via open-access publishing (BOAI-2, related to Archiving-4, above).

The two open-access strategies (BOAI-1 and BOAI-2) are complementary,
but it is important for researchers and their institutions to have the
optimal joint strategy clearly in mind:

    If there exists a suitable open-access journal for you to publish
    your research in (about 5% currently), publish it there! If not
    (95%), then publish it in a toll-access journal and self-archive
    the full text (pre- and post-peer-review) in your institutional
    eprint archive. 

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):

    http://amsci-forum.amsci.org/archives/september98-forum.html
                            or
    http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Hypermail/Amsci/index.html

Discussion can be posted to: september98-forum at amsci-forum.amsci.org 







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