Re: Cliff Lynch on Institutional Archives

From: Leslie Carr <>
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 23:11:52 +0000

At 21:33 18/03/2003 +0000, you wrote:
>sh> It is such a small issue that it does not belong in a general
>sh> discussion of open access and self-archiving for researchers.
>tk> You constantly belittle techncial problems, and then you wonder
>tk> why the archives are staying empty or do not exist. Answer: because
>tk> these "technical problems" have not been solved. By belittling
>tk> them, you put yourself in the way of finding a solution.

You know, I wonder if that's the case. I can see your point, and I won't
argue that EPrints, or DSpace, or arxiv provides perfect technical
solutions to every imaginable problem or the perfect user interface for
every user. (I will refrain here from speaking of RePeC, since I don't know
of any shortcomings that it may have :-)

In these discussions I am constantly reminded of the many computer systems
that I use professionally and their many (many, many) shortcomings.
However, the technical shortcomings don't stop me using the systems. It may
be that the systems manage to provide a *sufficient* level of utility for
the task I need to undertake at the moment. Or it may be that there is no
alternative, and "not using them" is unthinkable. In short, if using a
computer system helps me towards one of my goals, I'll use it and live with
its shortcomings. I think this area (academic motivation) is quite likely
to hold the key to the missing content.
Les Carr
PS It may well be that by "belittling" a "technical problem" you put
yourself in the way of finding a solution, but I think that the issue here
is that there are many possible solutions to this particular problem.
Certainly in local discussions several solutions have been suggested, but
no agreement on a "globally optimal" solution has been reached :-)
Received on Tue Mar 18 2003 - 23:11:52 GMT

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