Re: Washington DC Principles for Free Access to Science

From: Hamaker, Chuck <>
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 16:26:52 +0000

David Goodman wrote:

> I cannot imagine any way to produce greater confusion in access to the
> journal literature. From the perspective of a librarian responsible for
> providing access to this material, I cannot imagine any way to properly
> deal with it....
> As is, we couldn't even prepare a catalog record or a printed list.
> All we can tell the user is: try the journal site; if it works, good,
> if not, try the authors' home page; if not, try to guess where the
> material might be archived; if not, ask us for a copy by interlibrary
> loan and we will try to guess what library actually might have it. Or
> try a search engine, as the authors suggest--if all goes well, it will
> lead to a site that may or may not let you see the full text

I disagree with you on this David, as MANY (50% it sounds like) individual
articles in journals with free availability is a relatively new phenomena it
can be solved by several systems libraries use: the system can evolve to
identify these articles. I've mentioned (with Herbert Van de Sompel's
ideas!) two additional ways this can be done.

1. The Metadata from individual articles prepared for CrossRef, as an
example, could include access=free as a field. I hope CrossRef publishers
see the benefit in this and recommend CrossRef include such a field in
the metadata quickly. Certainly any members of this group of publishers
in CrossRef should consider recommending this change. Such a metadata
field might need to be made "changeable" so it could be updated by the
publishers as the article's "availablity" changes. This
would permit Open URL resolvers to pass users directly on to the article at
the publisher's site.

2. Individual publishers can expose their articles to OAI Harvesters,
and open URL systems could be modified to add an open URL search to OAI
search systems many of which include vol, date, issue, page information
for retrieval purposes. I see this as a very signficant step,
and am on open access is a condition of the article side of this rather than
just the condition of the journal. It means the navigation system becomes
critical and it is distinct from the normal check your online catalog, but
many searches don't start that way anymore.

Chuck Hamaker
UNC Charlotte
Received on Wed Mar 17 2004 - 16:26:52 GMT

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