Re: Central versus institutional self-archiving

From: Heather Morrison <>
Date: Sun, 8 Aug 2004 23:03:03 +0100
('binary' encoding is not supported, stored as-is) One of Richard Durbin's points which I think is particularly important
and bears repeating, is that Pubmed (Medline) is a superior search
tool. Although, in my opinion, OAIster is an excellent search tool,
and distributed archiving a needed approach, when it comes to searching,
no general tool can match a searching & indexing tool that is developed
to meet the particular needs of a discipline. A search that begins
with Pubmed and leads the individual to the fulltext provided through
OA - regardless of where the article is archived - is the best means of
connecting the user as directly as possible with exactly the information
they need, in the medical arena.

If the articles are housed in a central server, then ideally they would
also be able to be searched via OAIster as well - that way, users
who are looking for other kinds of information besides the strictly
medicine-based, will find what they need as well.

May I also suggest that central vs. distributed archiving, with OA,
is not an either-or proposition? An OA article housed at Pubmed can be
easily included in an institutional archive and the author's own website
as well. Given that the most basic of technology issues regarding the
archiving and preservation of material in electronic format have yet to
be worked out, the safest approach, and the one I would recommend, is
all of the above (central plus institutional plus author's own website).
This would fit with the LOCKSS (lots of copies keep stuff safe) principle.

It also seems to me that there is no reason why there needs to only one
approach to OA. One approach might be more suitable for one discipline
or sub-discipline than another. For example, if there is any group where
the tendency to publish is relatively small because that particular
discipline does not place quite the same emphasis on publish-or-perish as
other disciplines, then perhaps publishing could have lower costs due to
lower submission rates leading to lower rejection rates. Physics seems
to do doing well with preprints, whereas in other areas it might be more
important to ensure that readers looked at the corrected postprint.

As long as the results are OA, the details of where and how things
are published don't really matter, do they? Therefore, I would second
Richard's suggestion that those who advocate for OA should be unanimous
in our support for the NIH proposal.


Heather Morrison
Received on Sun Aug 08 2004 - 23:03:03 BST

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