Re: EPrints Handbook

From: <>
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2002 15:36:59 +0100

On Tue, 18 Jun 2002, Andy Powell wrote:

> On Tue, 18 Jun 2002, David Cahill wrote:
> I can also echo these points. At Bath the concerns of academics seem to
> fall into three main areas:
> 1) Copyright - i.e. does my publisher allow self-archiving after
> publication?
> 2) Impact of pre-print on future publication - i.e. will my publisher
> be willing to publish if I've self-archived a pre-print?
> 3) Quality control - i.e. do I want my peer-reviewed material to appear
> in an e-print archive alongside non-peer-reviewed material?

May I suggest using some of the pertinent passages on copyright,
Embargo/Ingelfinger-Rule, and Preprint/Postprint/Peer-Review in the

> To try and help with concerns 1) and 2) we plan to maintain a table
> listing key publishers (i.e. the most used publishers for publishing by
> University of Bath staff) with a summary of, and links to, their attitutes
> to self-archiving. If nothing else, it will be interesting to see how
> this table changes over the next few years...

Let's hope it won't all wait for the next few years!

> To help (a little) with 3), we have modified the default 'abstract' view
> to explicitly indicate whether the publication has been peer-reviewed or
> not.

Good idea. (That is the purpose of the "refereed" tag in Eprints,
but the more explicit the better.)

> On top of this, there is some general confusion about whether an
> institutional e-print archive is intended as an alternative to current
> publishing practice. (E.g. what happens to peer-review if everything is
> only published in an institutional archive?). We are now very careful
> *not* to use the word 'publish' when we talk about depositing materials
> with the archive.

Good idea. Not only should you not use "publish" but you should not use
"submit" either:

    "1.4. Distinguish self-publishing (vanity press) from self-archiving
    (of published, refereed research"

University Eprint Archives are for the self-archiving of university
research output, both pre- and post- peer-reviewed-publication. Papers
are SUBMITTED to journals, but merely DEPOSITED in archives.

The more explicitly the peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed sectors are
sign-posted, the better, both to answer questions in the minds of
prospective self-archiving authors and to maximize the transparency and
usefulness of the archive to prospective users.

> The library at Bath have recently undertaken a small-scale survey (about
> 100 people) of academic attitudes to e-print archives (both subject-based
> and institutional) and hope to summarise it in a forthcoming Ariadne
> article.

Trouble with surveys in transitional eras is that they tend to reinforce
misperceptions by reiterating them! I hope the survey of current opinion
and informedness will be counterbalanced by correct information too!

> Also, as mentioned below, general confusion about impact of OAI-PMH. The
> general assumption is that if material is deposited in a University of
> Bath e-print archive, then it will only be found by people directly
> searching the archive using the University of Bath Web site. (And
> therefore that it is not worth depositing anything because no wider
> exposure is gained).

This is what I mean. No matter how widely this opinion is held, it is
100% incorrect! Far more helpful than a survey of the current state of
ignorance about this would be a concerted effort to remedy it with the
correct information...

> In a UK context, one would hope that some of the initiatives funded under
> the JISC FAIR call, e.g. ePrints-UK
> will help to raise awareness of some of the possibilities for
> cross-archive discovery services.
> Finally, I have also heard concerns about the legal status of e-prints, if
> ideas are stolen from pre-prints in institutional archives and then
> 'formally' published by a third-party more quickly than by the original
> author.

Although publicly archived preprints do not count as peer-reviewed
publications, they certainly count as public evidence of (and
a good way to establish) priority. Moreover, they are the author's
intellectual property, subject to copyright, and evidence for prosecuting

See the Self-Archiving FAQs on priority and plagiarism:

See also:
"Authenticating Publicly Archived Material: Hashing/Time-Stamping"

> Related to this, I guess, are concerns over the impact of
> self-archiving on future patent applications.

Simple solution: Whatever you would not PUBLISH anyway, don't self-archive
either! Eprint Archives are for research findings the author wishes to
make public, by publishing them. Neither publication nor self-archiving
are for findings the author wishes to conceal.

But see:
"Establishing Priority for Patents"

Stevan Harnad
Received on Tue Jun 18 2002 - 15:36:59 BST

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