Re: Estimates on data and cost per department for institutional archives?

From: JQ Johnson <jqj_at_DARKWING.UOREGON.EDU>
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 2003 18:37:53 +0000


Yes, I agree that there is a deep misunderstanding here. I think you missed
my point.

The "total buyin" scenario puts an upper bound on the size of the archive.
That upper bound is quite small, so the reductio argument leads one to
conclude that disk space is not an issue for [p]reprints. I think that's a
conclusion you would agree with.

You also seem to miss the point that many of us disagree with you about the
goals/conceptualizaion of an institutional repository. Slightly different
conceptualizations from yours, for instance the decision that the repository
should hold, in addition to surrogates for published papers, the canonical
copies of working papers or supplementary materials, can lead to very big
differences in one's sizing expectations and budget for the repository.

Re preservation: I also disagree with your claim that having a library
mention preservation is likely to dissuade faculty from contributing their
work. Quite the contrary, a committment to a reasonable degree of
preservation is one way to sell the service, and in fact is a piece that
we've found to be fairly appealing to faculty, even if it does have
institutional costs that need to be considered.

Similarly, we find that there is demand for a convenient way to make
supplmentary materials available to colleagues. Many journals these days
realize there is demand for this and are offering this service themselves
(so it's ALREADY part of the publication process), but not all. Again,
offering support for the deposit of these materials is something a library
can do to make it MORE likely that faculty will contribute the paper itself
to an institutional repository, and hence provide the open access we both
agree is important.

The key issue here may be:

>> [aside: we believe that if we DON'T
>> collect such unprintable items we'll never get faculty buy-in for
>> Stevan's laudable goal of collecting the printable peer-reviewed works]
>But *why* do you feel that?

We need more data, but anecdotally, our experience has been that those
faculty who are hot to self-archive their preprints are already doing so,
and that arXiv and RePEc are meeting most of the demand. There are very few
examples of institutional repositories that are proving successful in
collecting the types of items you insist on focusing on. Even MIT's DSpace
is getting very little true faculty self-archiving, with most of its growth
seeming to come from departmental grey literature (and soon from OCI course
materials). Meanwhile, though, many faculty express the desire to have
better tools for managing large data sets as part of the publication
process. We had a dean's retreat last month, and our deanlet for the social
sciences made the point that her new hires in the social sciences are
starting to imitate their physical science colleagues and demand more
startup money; when asked what they say they need the money for, she
reported that it is mostly for management and archival of their data sets.
Similarly, there is pressure in the U.S. from the granting agencies to make
the data that accompanies a submitted paper publicly accessible. And I
frequently hear from faculty that they want to increase the impact of their
work by making available supplmentary materials that go along with the peer
reviewed paper -- data sets, survey instruments, supplementary statistical
analyses, maps and images, etc. There's real unmet demand here.

I think you make a very good point that it is a large problem that
institutional archiving efforts keep running off in all directions.
However, although I think there is definitely room for institutional
strategies that are monomaniacal in their focus, there's also room for
strategies that take a very different direction. For instance, consider
MIT's DSpace, or Ohio State's KnowledgeBank. The important thing is that
any given institution be clear in its goals, and that we recognize that the
precise statement of those goals will imply particular implementation
strategies and hardware/technology/budget requirements (the question that
Min-Yen Kan originally raised).

P.S. please note that I have replied only to one of the lists you CCed.
Subscribers to the other lists may like me get multiple copies of your
posts. If not, they don't have the context of Kan's original question.

JQ Johnson Office: 115F Knight Library
Academic Education Coordinator
1299 University of Oregon phone: 1-541-346-1746; -3485 fax
Eugene, OR 97403-1299
Received on Mon Dec 08 2003 - 18:37:53 GMT

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