Re: Prospects for institutional e-print repositories study

From: Philip Hunter <>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2003 14:10:03 +0100


> The pressing worry today (and it is a worry of the research community)
> is *access* (and *impact*), not preservation. The solution is
> to self-archive the supplementary versions, not to re-duplicate the
> preservation problem of the primary corpus, for a still near-non-existent
> secondary incarnation!

I think perhaps the JISC community and the digital library community might consider preservation of the primary corpus (as you put it) as a quite separate issue. I hadn't quite taken on board that you accord self-archived items a secondary and purely short-term functionality.

> Start worry about the preservation of the supplementary corpus only if
> and when it looks as if it might become the primary corpus. It can't
> even dream of doing that until it at least exists!

It could be that it scarcely exists because the real issues for the research community are being ignored, which is that eprints need to have as much of the value and properties associated with paper documents as possible, if researchers are to feel the effort of 'deposit' is worthwhile. It seems that your solution is to persuade the researchers that 'deposit' equals 'access', and that 'access' is enough.

Where does long term citation come into this? A number of items you reference in your mails live in a 'temp' directory, which means researchers would be unwise to reference papers in that directory. This has to reduce the impact of your own work, and it is puzzling to see you make papers available in this way. Preservation is a legitimate concern of researchers considering the self-archiving route.

Philip Hunter, UKOLN Research Officer.
UKOLN, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 323 668 Fax: +44 (0) 1225 826838
Email: UKOLN:

> 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 & 03):
> or
> Discussion can be posted to:
Received on Tue Jul 15 2003 - 14:10:03 BST

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