Re: Electronic archiving and IIS talk

From: Chris Armstrong <lisqual_at_CIX.CO.UK>
Date: Sat, 9 Sep 2000 17:53:00 +0100

Hi Steve

At 15:11 08/09/00 +0100, Steve Hitchcock wrote:

>Authority is fine, and can continue to attach to papers
>in various ways, but in the electronic environment
>notions of stability will change... I believe authority
>will attach to an instance of a work at a given moment,
>but the authority will have to be maintained and updated
>to be useful.

But what is the single moment? The moment of publication
or of discovery? And how are users to judge whether the
authority is extant or out-of-date? Or whether the
version they are viewing is as accurate as it was when

>So the knowledgeable build services for the naive...

And do the naive use them blindly? (Yes, at the minute)
or should we teach them to judge/recognise quality?

>I'm still uncomfortable about this persistent idea of

Perhaps I should define bibliographic control for you. It
is not control of users or filtering or censorship in any
form. Rather it is a form of facilitating access through
recording the existence, details and location of an item
- metadata, if you will. In order for this to work in an
electronic environment some stability of location (or a
DOI route) is necessary; similarly "bibliographic"
details such as authorship, publication date (and
version) would be necessary.

I think that it comes down to site security and
recognition. When an archive has attained sufficient
status, users will know that a paper published on it is
"safe" - much as they do now if they visit a known
scholarly electronic journal. Of course this will take
time (and money at the archive publishers end), and the
very status gained will accord the archive much the same
role as an electronic journal. And probably by this time,
they will start charging for use ... and may even start
calling themselves a meta-journal!!

on the other points:
>Clearly misuse and clearly not accidental. I suspect
>this type of incident is more often the result of
>ignorance rather than willful malevolence. How
>did your colleague become aware of the misuse?

yes, I think it was ignorance too. They actually mailed
him asking permission to "link" to his paper and he went
to their site later to see what kind of place it was!

>does it consider how good these students might be at
>evaluating Web content for themselves, not relying
>solely on the authority of sources?

There is a lot written on evaluating web resources and
not much of it lingers on the intuitive! Authority is
only one measure. We saw very little evidence of any
judgement being applied to found resources other than
whether or not it appeared to answer the current
"anomalous state of knowledge" or query. Whether the
answer was likely to accurate, current, complete, biased,
etc did not seem to come into it: it was published
therefore it was OK.

Chris Armstrong
Centre for Information Quality Management (CIQM)
(+44) 1974 251441
Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

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