Re: Survey of Users and Non-Users of Eprint Archives

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2002 10:56:34 +0000

yOn Wed, 20 Nov 2002, [identity removed] asked::

> 1. How many people were involved in the creation of
> Cogprints? How many people currently maintain its
> collection?

One founder/editor (me), three successive designers
(Matt Hemus, Rob Tansley, Chris Gutteridge), several
student assistants (Alex Bailey, Tim Brody, Mike Jewell)
and faculty colleagues (Les Carr, Wendy Hall, Steve Hitchcock).
Almost no maintenance required now. Chris does upgrades,
I moderate deposits.

> 2. What was the impetus behind the creation of
> Cogprints? Were there people involved in its creation
> that are not involved in its maintenance?

To create an Eprint Archive for self-archiving research in the
cognitive sciences. It was funded by joint US/UK support:

> 3. What demands do users place on Cogprints as an
> institution that has changed the way it is organized
> and operates?

It has since founding been made OAI-compliant -- Open Archives Initiative -- for interoperability. It has also been
made into the generic institutional Eprint Archive-creating software, -- -- and users are always suggesting
features and upgrades. The software has also been turned into journal
software (see and )

> 4. Who are the potential users of Cogprints? Are there
> a significant amount of users outside of academia? Do
> you use systems to track usage? How is user data
> collected (e.g., surveys, e-mail feedback, etc.)?

Users are mostly researchers, academics and students in the cognitive
sciences, both as self-archiving authors (the researchers) and readers
(all of them). Usage is tracked by the usual web hit statistics. We get
email and have done a survey:

> 5. Are there legal issues that regulate the way that
> Cogprints operates?

No. We ask depositors to indicate that they are not violating copyright in
depositing, but that is depositors' responsibility, not ours. CogPrints is
a place for them to self-archive their work to make it openly accessible
to all, like a permanent open-microphone (but with some vetting for
relevance and seriousness).

> 6. How are submissions to Cogprints filtered? How is
> quality of papers in the archive assessed?

They are not submissions but deposits, and they consist of pre-refereeing
preprints, which are merely vetted for relevance and metadata format,
and published postprints, which have been peer reviewed by the journals
to which they were submitted and in which they were published.
Distinguish self-archiving form publishing:

> 7. Do you ever have to change the format of papers
> (e.g., from hardcopy to digital, or even from text to
> .pdf)? What helps you decide when these changes in
> format must take place?

Author must take care of that. We require at least one screen-readable
format (pdf, html, xml ascii) so the full-text can be inverted and indexed
by google and other search engines.

> 8. What influenced you decision to use open archives?
> Do you think open archives will have a stronger
> presence in academia in the future?

Open archives means OAI-compliant archives. CogPrints came before OAI
and was then made OAI-compliant. It is an Open ACCESS archive; for the
motivation of open access, see the Budapest Open Access Initiative: It is intended to maximize research
visibility, accessibility, usability, usage, assessability and impact. Open
access will certainly become universal for all peer-reviewed journals
(20,000 journals-worth, 2,000,000 articles per year). We are doing
everything we can to hasten the day, which is already long overdue:

> 9. Do you use any techniques to add publicity to
> Cogprints (e.g., e-mail, personal reference, etc.)?
> Are there plans to do so?

Yes, it has email alerting. Please look up the CogPrints online
documentation and Eprints features:

> 10. What made you chose to make the collection
> interdisciplinary? How do you decide a submission is
> inside/outside of your collection's scope?

CogPrints was to be cognitive science from the outset (neuroscience,
psychology, linguistics, computer science, philosophy), partly because I
am a cognitive scientist and partly to demonstrate that self-archiving
is not just beneficial to Physicists -- -- but to
all disciplines. However, by far the best and most general way to
self-archive is through distributed institutional archives, and not just
central ones like CogPrints:
Because of OAI compliance, distributed institutional archives can all be
harvested, as if they were all just one global archive, by harvesters
such as the Cross Archive Search Service (ARC)
or or
and by scientometric analyzers such as

Whether a deposit falls within the archive's scope is a decision for the
editor (for a central, discippline-based archive like CogPrints). With
institutional archives, it is up to the university or the departments:

Stevan Harnad

NOTE: A complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing open
access to the peer-reviewed research literature online is available at
the American Scientist September Forum (98 & 99 & 00 & 01 & 02):

Discussion can be posted to:

See also the Budapest Open Access Initiative:

the Free Online Scholarship Movement:

the OAI site:

and the free OAI institutional archiving software site:
Received on Thu Nov 21 2002 - 10:56:34 GMT

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