Re: Central versus institutional self-archiving

From: Heather Morrison <>
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2004 23:19:03 +0100

On 10-Aug-04, at 1:23 AM, wrote:

> A 14:28 08/08/04 +0100, Richard Durbin wrote:
>> The biological community is well on the way towards central archiving.
> The NIH is a very large, important organisation, but it is not "the biological
> community"! It is only a part of the biological community.
> One must also keep in mind, for example, the large French national
> biological institutes such as the Life Science portions of CNRS, INSERM,
> INRA, and Institut Pasteur, which collectively constitute about 10,000
> biomedical researchers in France alone. (Germany has similar demography,
> with its network of Max-Planck Institutes. Other countries too.)
> "In response to the Berlin Declaration, the European Commission has
> begun a study of... access to published papers... Because 41% of
> scientific papers originate in Europe (compared with 31% in America),
> the results of this study could have a big effect..."
> The Economist, Monday August 9th 2004
> Its seems logical that each institute should choose to have its own
> institutional archives, although PubMed Central could certainly serve as
> an important mirror site for French (and other national) research
> output.
> If centralism were really necessary, that would be only if there
> were substantive technical reasons for it. In France, we have excellent
> technical support from CCSD which is ready to help in
> the OA self-archiving of all of France's scientific output. Moreover, the
> OAI metadata harvesting protocol makes all the distributed institutional
> archives worldwide interoperable with one another.
> So it is not at all clear that Richard Durbin's suggestion that the
> biomedical sciences are on their way toward central self-archiving
> is accurate: There is more likely to be a mix of institutional and
> central self-archiving, as there is in other disciplines. Fortunately,
> the OAI protocol will integrate all these distributed archives and make
> them all interoperable, so users worldwide need not worry about where
> the full-texts are actually located.

Helene raises what strikes me as an important issue - as we move towards
global sharing of information, there probably is no one model that will
fit either all disciplines, or all countries. Within the next few years,
I fully expect that universities around the world will have created
their institutional repositories or archives. For now, however, many of
these projects are still in the planning. However, with PubMedCentral,
we can have OA right away.

Researchers in France (and soon, the UK) who have good institutional
repositories to work with, in the event they are recipients of NIH
funding, should submit identical copies of their papers to both
PubMedCentral and the local IR. I see no reason why harvesting of
documents themselves, not just metadata, could not be automated in the
very near future, to faciltate this process. Plus, of course,
centralized search tools, whether OAIster or PubMed, can search
documents that archived in a distributed fashion.

my two bits,

Heather Morrison
Received on Wed Aug 11 2004 - 23:19:03 BST

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