Query on eprint archive indexing

From: Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_coglit.ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2001 16:41:13 +0100

On Fri, 17 Aug 2001, Colin Steele wrote:

> The audio and print transcript is now available on the ABC website.
> http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/bbing/stories/s345514.htm
> However, the main reason for the email is to ask your advice or point
> me to someone. We've just established the ANU eprint archive for all
> subjects and need to sort out our strategy for scaleability of keyword
> indexing.
> Do we allow the academics to give us their own keywords and then allow
> natural language searching or do we attempt a thesaurus approach which
> involves quite a lot of extra work on our side as we can't ask the
> academics to go into thesauri as it's going to be bad enough to get
> them to follow the copyright and OAI issues. It's just that when we get
> let's say to tens of thousands of articles what is the best searching
> and indexing procedure?
> This is clearly from one who has not been involved in this technical side!
> Colin Steele
> Director Scholarly Information Services & University Librarian
> Division of Information, R G Menzies Building (#2)
> The Australian National University
> Canberra ACT 0200
> Australia
> Tel +61 (0)2 612 52003
> Fax +61 (0)2 612 53215
> Email: colin.steele_at_anu.edu.au
> Library Web: http://anulib.anu.edu.au/

Dear Colin,

I am forwarding your query to the OAI and Eprints lists as yours is a
technical question and has already had some thought and discussion
devoted to it.

I would note, in passing, that by far the most pressing objective at
this time is not that of devising the optimal indexing system for
the Eprint Archives (though that can be accomplished) but that of
getting CONTENT into those archives, as soon as possible (so that,
if you like, there will be the data to optimize the indexing FOR!).

So my own feeling is that it is putting the cart before the horse to
worry too much about indexing still-near-empty archives! The growing
content itself, and its growing use, will drive the further
optimizations in indexing and retrieval, not the other way round.

But inasmuch as worries about indexing may be delaying some people's
self-archiving, by all means let us make a robust and general indexing
system available, so that particular retardant, at least, is behind us
and we can get on with it...

If ANU soes indeed have tens of thousands of articles in its Eprint
Archives soon, it will already have taken a huge step for the entire
research community, showing the way for all!

Best wishes,


Stevan Harnad harnad_at_cogsci.soton.ac.uk
Professor of Cognitive Science harnad_at_princeton.edu
Department of Electronics and phone: +44 23-80 592-582
             Computer Science fax: +44 23-80 592-865
University of Southampton http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/
Highfield, Southampton http://www.princeton.edu/~harnad/

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Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

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