Re: Validation of posted archives

From: Tim Brody <tdb198_at_ECS.SOTON.AC.UK>
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2001 18:11:11 +0000

On Wed, 21 Mar 2001, Guillermo Julio Padron Gonzalez wrote:

> The "name" of a journal is part of the validation of a published paper.
> We all use the rigorousness of the peer review and the editorial
> crite-ria of the journals to judge about the validity of a published
> paper. I agree that there can be exceptions, but they are just that:
> exceptions.
> It is clear that nobody has the time or the willingness to dive into
> each paper to find out whether it is the final version of a validated
> paper or it is just electronic garbage. The fact is that a
> non-administered archiving system may cause a proliferation of
> non-validated, duplicated, misleading and even fraudulent information in
> the web and there will be no way to identify the valid information, so
> the readers will go to "validating sites", v. g. the publisher site.
> Unless OAI included some kind of validation...

I hope you do not mind me adding to this discussion.

If I may clear up perhaps a confusion about the protocol OAI:

OAI is a protocol for the distribution of Metadata, much the same as
TCP/IP is a protocol used by the Internet to distribute information. I
would no more expect OAI to provide me with guarantees about the content
than I would TCP/IP about this email.

(As an aside, OAI does not provide any facility for the distribution of
full-text papers (it can merely distribute 'pointers' to papers).)

Therefore the validation, or otherwise, of papers and their heritage rests
with the application(s) that use OAI.

As an example of an "Open Archive" that has had ample opportunity to be
filled with rubbish; (correct me if I am quoting wrong), arXiv has, in its
ten years, only had to delete 2 papers out of 160,000. This would suggest
that either arXiv has a very efficient staff or this is not really a
problem (or, as I suspect, both).

Your suggestion, to me, does seem a rational one (and indeed currently
exists between arXiv and the APS - I believe the APS will accept
submissions using arXiv papers), that there are archives of "pre-print"
papers which are then picked up by validating services (i.e publishers)
which then "repackage" archives into validated subject/editorial content.

It would then be your choice as to whether you use the e-Print server or
the packaged (and pay-for) service of Publishers, and naturally the effect
of the publisher service would be to improve the e-Print content (...
"invisible hand of peer review").

All the best,
Tim Brody.
Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

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