Brewster Kahle's Internet Archive as OA Back-Up

Stevan Harnad harnad at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Sat Apr 9 15:42:02 EST 2005


Thanks to the efforts of Peter Suber in collaboration with Brewster
Kahle, the Internet Archive
    http://archives.eprints.org/eprints.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.archive.org%2F
will now begin serving not only as a back-up for institutional OA
archives worldwide, but also as an OA archive for those researchers
who are not affiliated with universities or research institutions with
OA archives of their own. 

Here is the announcement from Peter Suber's Open Access News 
http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/2005_04_03_fosblogarchive.html#a111297430877667121
followed by some excerpt's from Peter's Sparc Open Access Newsletter:

    More on Brewster Kahle and the OA projects of the Internet Archive 

    Paul Boutin, The Archivist: Brewster Kahle made a copy of
    the Internet. Now, he wants your files, Slate, April 7,
    2005. http://slate.msn.com/id/2116329/

    Excerpt: 'Kahle is less the Internet's crazy aunt --the tycoon
    who can't stand to throw anything away-- than its evangelical
    librarian. "The history of digital materials in companies' hands is
    one of...loss," he tells me in a rushed meeting. Like it or not, the
    Web is the world's library now, and Kahle doesn't trust the guys who
    shelve the books....Instead of creating another startup that crawls
    the Web to make money, Brewster used his millions to preserve as much
    knowledge as possible and --just as important-- make it accessible to
    anyone who can get to a computer....The Internet Archive isn't just
    the Wayback Machine --the nonprofit's two dozen or so employees have
    filled an equal amount of disk space with uploaded film collections,
    presidential debates, Bugs Bunny cartoons, and news broadcasts from
    the Middle East. The archive is especially keen on books. They've
    scanned about 25,000 of them so far as part of the Million Book
    Project, a collaboration with Indian and Chinese agencies to
    create an online library in the place of bricks-and-mortar reading
    rooms....The final step in building the archive into a true global
    library: getting you to contribute. Ourmedia, a project launched
    two weeks ago, offers free, unlimited, permanent storage of your
    videos, photos, Word files, podcasts?anything that's not porn and
    not covered by someone else's copyright. The one catch: The files,
    stored on Internet Archive servers, will be freely available to
    anyone in the world.'

    (Peter Suber: If you missed it, see this announcement from SOAN for 4/2/05:
    http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/newsletter/04-02-05.htm#oara
    'Many publishing researchers don't have OA repositories in their
    institutions or disciplines. The missing piece of the puzzle is an
    OAI-compliant "universal repository" that will accept eprints from
    any scholar in any discipline. I'm very happy to say in public for
    the first time that Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive (IA)
    has agreed to launch just such a repository. I'm working with the
    technical staff of the IA to set it up now. Not only will it host
    new content for scholars with no other place to deposit their work,
    but it will offer to preserve all the other OAI-compliant repositories
    in the world. The IA's proven commitment to open access and long-term
    preservation make this a most exciting prospect.')

http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/newsletter/04-02-05.htm#oara

    (2) Many publishing researchers don't have OA repositories in their
    institutions or disciplines.  The missing piece of the puzzle is an
    OAI-compliant "universal repository" that will accept eprints from
    any scholar in any discipline.  I'm very happy to say in public for
    the first time that Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive (IA)
    has agreed to launch just such a repository.  I'm working with
    the technical staff of the IA to set it up now.  Not only will it
    host new content for scholars with no other place to deposit their
    work, but it will offer to preserve all the other OAI-compliant
    repositories in the world.  The IA's proven commitment to open access
    and long-term preservation make this a most exciting prospect.
    Moreover, the good people at the Creative Commons are working on
    a drag-and-drop interface for depositing new eprints in the IA
    repository.  More details later.

    The Internet Archive
    http://www.archive.org/

    (1) The process of OA archiving is not intrinsically time-consuming
    or intimidating, but even low barriers are too high when authors
    are desperately short of time.  One piece of good news is that
    we are making progress on automating the generation of metadata.
    This will reduce both the time and the difficulty of self-archiving
    and one day may automate the entire process after an author clicks
    "yes".  Another piece of good news is that a new study by Leslie
    Carr and Stevan Harnad based on "two months of submissions for a
    mature repository" shows that "the amount of time spent entering
    metadata would be as little as 40 minutes per year for a highly
    active researcher."  The problem isn't a real time-sink but a
    groundless fear of a time-sink.

    Leslie Carr and Stevan Harnad, Keystroke Economy: A Study of the
    Time and Effort Involved in Self-Archiving.  A preprint put online
    March 15, 2005.  http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/10688/
http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/2005_03_13_fosblogarchive.html#a111100690216360884

    Automating or semi-automating the archiving deposit process won't help
    scholars without deposit rights at an OA, OAI-compliant repository,
    and a universal repository won't help scholars who believe they are
    too busy to bother.  That's why it's important that we're seeing
    progress on both fronts at once.  Each development removes another
    excuse for not archiving.




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