Re: BOAI-1 (self-archiving) and BOAI-2 (open-access journals)

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2003 21:54:23 +0100

On Thu, 7 Aug 2003, Subbiah Arunachalam wrote:

> Dr Tonukari wants to know about institutional self archiving. It is simply
> depositing all papers originating in an institution in an electronic
> archive that can be accessed by anyone with access to Internet. It
> is different, slightly, from worldwide archives like arXiv (for
> physics), Cogprints (for cognitive sciences) and CiteSeer (for computer
> sciences).

Institutional self-archiving is indeed slightly different from central
archiving like ArXiv, but CiteSeer is yet a *third* form of
self-archiving: Authors self-archive on their own web-pages and then
Citeseer harvests the papers centrally (as Google does, but picking up
only texts that look like computer science research reports).

The key to making all these archives integrated, interoperable,
navigable, and treatable as if they were all just one big, searchable
virtual-archive in the sky, is the glue of the OAI tagging convention:
(Citeseer is not yet OAI-compliant, but there were indications that it
eventually might be.)

At this point, of the three kinds of self-archiving (central,
institutional, and individual), institutional archiving is, I believe,
the optimal solution, because researchers and their institutions share
both the means and the benefits of archiving their own research output:

     Harnad, S., Carr, L., Brody, T. & Oppenheim, C. (2003) Mandated
     online RAE CVs Linked to University Eprint Archives: Improving
     the UK Research Assessment Exercise whilst making it cheaper and
     easier. Ariadne 35.

     Harnad, S. (2003) Maximising UK Research Impact Through

Free OAI-compliant self-archiving software that is dedicated
specifically to institutional self-archiving of research output
so as to make it open-access is available from:

> Each institution will have its own archive, but all archives
> will follow standard practices so all of them are interoperable. The
> world's leading authority in this field is Prof. Stevan Harnad of the
> University of Southampton. He is a crusader for this cause. In my opinion
> self archiving is even better than open access journals, if you have to
> make a choice. But Harnad feels that even if all the research is made
> available through archiving, it will be necessary to have journals. For
> details, please refer to the writings of Stevan Harnad.

It is not a question of self-archiving *versus* open-access journals.
Self-archiving (BOAI-1) is the first of the Budapest Open Access
Initiative's (BOAI) two complementary, synergistic open-access
strategies and Open Access Journals (BOAI-2) is the second:

Both BOAI-1 and BOAI-2, however, are predicated on the necessity of
journals, for the simple reason that it is peer-reviewed journal
articles that the BOAI is dedicated to generating open access *to*!
Journals in the online age are merely peer-review
service-providers, but that service does have to be provided, and it
cannot be provided by the authors or their institutions themselves.
Self-archiving is not self-publication:

The peer review service has to be provided by an autonomous,
answerable, 3rd party. Self-archiving is not merely intended to
provide open access to unrefereed research output. The output still
needs refereeing. That's what journals in the online age are for.

Whether and when journals make the transition from cost-recovery via
toll access to the open-access publishing model (BOAI-2) depends on what
institutions want and are still willing to pay journals for in the open
access era. It may turn out to be peer review alone, or it may turn out
to be more. But open access need not wait for the outcome.

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2003 5:55 PM
> Subject: Re: rsis_education : Online journals
> I wish Subbiah Arunachalam can provide some details of the institutional
> self archiving model? How does or will it work? Some of us have heard of it
> and the &#8220;open archive database,&#8221; and will like to know how our
> journal (African Journal of Biotechnology) and others can be part of it. I
> do hope it functions like a superset of Pubmed
> ( where articles from every field can be
> accessed. Such centralized database is very much needed.
> Dr. NJ Tonukari
> Editor, African Journal of Biotechnology

Here there is a bit of a confusion of BOAI-1 with BOAI-2: If researchers
and their institutions wish to maximize the visibility, usability and
impact of their own *peer-reviewed* research publications, they should
self-archive them immediately (BOAI-1), either in their own institutional
eprint archives, or in a suitable central archive if one exists. If a
journal wishes to make its own contents open-access (BOAI-2) then,
again, they can deposit them in an open-access archive such as PubMed
Central, or they can create their own eprint archive (using the
forthcoming Jprints variant of the software), or they can
encourage their authors to self-archive their articles in their own
institutional archives.

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):

Discussion can be posted to:
Received on Thu Aug 07 2003 - 21:54:23 BST

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