Re: Cliff Lynch on Institutional Archives

From: Lee Miller <>
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 11:47:00 +0000

Thomas Krichel wrote:

> The primary sense of belonging
> of a scholar in her research activities is with the disciplinary
> community of which she thinks herself a part of. It certainly
> is not with the institution. Therefore, if you want to fill
> institutional archives---which I agree is the best long-run way
> to enhance access and preservation to scholarly research---it
> to institutional archive has to be accompanied by a discipline-based
> aggregation process.

I strongly agree.

The simplest way to aggregate papers within disciplines would be include a
discipline field in the metadata. This gets back to the problems of subject
classification, but at the discipline level a short list of defined
discipline descriptors should be sufficient.

For example, the discipline of ecology includes plants, animals,
microorganisms, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, physical environments,
physiology, applied mathematics, and many other sub-fields. Nevertheless,
ecologists of all stripes recognize and enjoy common bonds in the general
discipline. A small number of general journals that publish papers from
many of the sub-disciplines are followed by many researchers and academics,
regardless of their specialty fields. Thus inclusion of the discipline
desciptor "ecology" would allow aggregation of papers at a level that has
already proved useful to ecologists for over a century.

A similar level of aggregation in other fields would surely be useful as a
tool for harvesting papers of particular interest from institutional archives.

Lee Miller
Editor Emeritus
Ecology and Ecological Monographs
Received on Sun Mar 16 2003 - 11:47:00 GMT

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