Re: Ingenta to offer OAI eprint service

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2002 13:56:19 +0100

On Tue, 16 Jul 2002, Subbiah Arunachalam wrote:

> I hear that Eprints has entered into an agreement with Ingenta and that
> future versions of Eprints software may not be free. Is it true?

I am happy to reassure my valiant comrade-at-arms Arun that he need not
worry! Eprints is and always will be free software. Indeed Eprints is now
part of GNU. GNU software must be available be free, and freely modifiable
(as long as the modifications are also free).

    " is part of GNU free software project as of 1 July"

    "Re: Ingenta to offer OAI eprint service"

There is nothing wrong with a vendor selling software that is also
available for free! (The real service Ingenta is offering is installing
and maintaining Archives for any institution that prefers to pay to
have this done for them commercially, rather than doing it
themselves. Here too, the software has been explicitly designed to be
easily and installed and maintained, but if an institution prefers to
have that done for them, there is nothing wrong with that -- anything
is welcome that gets them to go ahead and self-archive their research
content, free for all users everywhere!)

> Is this
> an admission that the Open access movement is losing momentum and even the
> greatest of its champions is entering into an agreement with a commercial
> firm to ensure the survival of the movement? Please enlighten me.

Not at all. Quite the opposite. It is a further step in remedying
the ONLY thing that is slowing the Open Access movement, namely, the
sluggishness of researchers and institutions in actually getting around
to self-archiving their research output! The Ingenta option simply takes
care of those universities who were hesitating because they were afraid
to do the installation and maintenance of the Archives for themselves, but
would be ready to pay a commercial service to do it for them: The content
itself is still open-access. That's the point of the whole exercise!

> A few weeks ago I saw a news item which stated that several leaders
> of the Open access movement were inducted into the Advisory Board of
> Ingenta. The list included Odlyzko!

Andrew's interests are wider than open access (although open-access
continues to be their core). Apart from being a loyal ally in the
movement to hasten open access for all open-access content (mainly
peer-reviewed research), Andrew is also interested in improving
scientific and scholarly publication and communication in general.
This includes non-open-access content, and commercial services, in
addition to open-access.

There is no contradiction at all between Andrew's commitment to open
access and his efforts on behalf of other forms of content too.

Best wishes,


> Regards.
> Arun
Received on Tue Jul 16 2002 - 13:56:19 BST

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