Re: The "Library of Alexandria" Non-Problem

From: Eberhard R. Hilf <>
Date: Sat, 11 Sep 2004 13:30:58 +0100

1. Clearly, long term archiving of scientific documents calls for
full access over many years to the full and reusable scientific
information for future checking as to whether it is true, as
well as for future usage and further work.

This calls for the full material, for the use of open code formats
such as html, latex, and the use of MathML, CML, PML, .. for the
core information.

2. The publisher's version of word-processing, which produces an image
of the file and reduced material, is meant as easy reading for some
wealthy institute employees -- nothing to do with the long term future.

In addition, commercial publishers do aim at the present time to earn
money and do not care about the future, when they might no longer exist.
Some of the e-versions of my papers with Wiley are gone after
less than ten years, because the Publisher bought the (indirect daugther)
Physikalische Blaetter, but without the e-archive.

Of course these published e-Documents of mine are still in our
Institutional OA archive. Institutional self-archiving, together with
agreements on mirrors, and retrieval, is a safe proposition for long-term

See for yourself:

The three documents below are still there -- since 1994!, 1997 and 2000,
yet gone form the publisher's archive. In the self-archived version,
they contain metadata, and the full text (click on the title). Also,
check google and see: the documents have been archived, read, cited at
several places.

    K. Zimmermann, T. Severiens, E. R. Hilf: Ihre Homepage als
    Beitrag zu einem Fach-Informationsnetz Phys. Bl., April 2000,
    p. 3
    although this is in the pdf-file version scanned in in the publisher's
    archive now.

    E. R. Hilf: Elektronische Information fr die Physik; (Grundstze
    eines Informationsmanagements) Phys. Bl. 53 (1997) Nr. 4, p. 311-315

    E. R. Hilf, L. Weisel: Dringender Diskussionsbedarf - Wie
    soll die elektronische Information und Kommunikation in der
    Physik zukuenftig aussehen? Phys. Bl. 50 (1994) Nr. 1, p. 65

So Peter Murray-Rust is on the right track.

Eberhard R. Hilf
Dr. Prof.; CEO (Geschaeftsfuehrer)
Institute for Science Networking Oldenburg GmbH
an der Carl von Ossietzky Universitaet
Ammerlaender Heerstr.121; D-26129 Oldenburg
email :
tel : +49-441-798-2884
fax : +49-441-798-5851


    "The "Library of Alexandria" Non-Problem" (started 1999)

On Fri, 10 Sep 2004, Rzepa, Henry wrote:

> On 10 Sep 2004, at 09:24, Peter Murray-Rust wrote:
> > "Representation and Use of Chemistry in the Global Electronic Age"
> > Peter Murray-Rust, Henry S. Rzepa, Simon. M. Tyrrell and Y. Zhang
> >
> Peter uses the term "extended" publication. If you extend publication
> with "data" , particularly as an integral part of a document (a
> "datument") then rather subtle consequences accrue for archival.
> A trivial one first: The publisher argued that our use of colour in
> our original diagrams was not "integral to the scientific case being
> made". Our intended retention of colour in the self-archived version
> presumably implies the possibility of slightly different perception of
> this version of the article for people reading it this way. At what
> point does this possibility become scientifically significant?
> More important is that the original (author prepared) article was
> actually written in HTML/XML, and hence much data was included in
> this original. To prepare it for the journal production process,
> we convert this to Word, from which the journal then produces proofs;
> during this process of course, much of the value of the original data is
> lost.
> There is no need for this particular transform in the self-archived
> version, which therefore contains the data in "re-usable" form,
> something which cannot be said with the traditional print/Acrobat
> publishing process.
> So in effect, the self-archived version is a true superset of the
> "definitive" published version. As the "added value" of this
> version increases (eg as tools for handling it become more common
> and sophisticated, see for example
> so the "published" version may well become perceived as a low-value
> version. In data-rich areas such as chemistry, this possible bifurcation
> has some interesting implications.
> Henry Rzepa
> --------
> Pertinent Prior AmSci Topic Threads:
> "Refereed Research Archiving and Data Archiving"
> "Peer reviewed research publication and data-access"
> "OECD Committee for Scientific & Technological Policy: Declaration on Access to
> Research Data from Public Funding"
Received on Sat Sep 11 2004 - 13:30:58 BST

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