Re: Priorities: OA Content Provision vs. OA Content Preservation

From: (wrong string) élène Bosc <>
Date: Fri, 8 Oct 2004 12:36:38 +0100

A 22:37 07/10/04 +0100, Iva Melinscak Zlodi a E9crit :

> This discussion is going to turn to discussion about true task of an
> academic librarian! For Steven Harnad it is acquisition, and to Brian
> Simboli it is acquisition + preservation. Both views are somewhat limited,
> I believe. Librarians should be responsible for "provision" (in very
> broad meaning) of academic content + presentation and preservation of
> that content + education of users +...

"Acquisition" is not the right term here. Libraries acquire contents
(usually by purchasing) from the outside. Open Access articles, in
contrast, are not acquired from the outside but "provided" from the
inside, by their own self-archiving institutional authors. The library
then, in turn, "provides" access to those contents, both for its own
users and, in the online era, for outside users worldwide.

This is a new role for the library, and one we must adapt to.

May I draw your attention to the online version of a presentation I made
in Stockholm on 26 August 2004 at the EuroScience Open Forum Symposium
"Spreading the word: who profits from scientific publishing" ?

The title is

    "In a paperless word a new role for academic libraries:
     providing open access"(p.22)
     (This article was co-authored with S. Harnad.)

We discuss "provision and presentation and preservation (at all levels)
and education of users". And we cite the exemplary case of Lund University
providing open access via both the green and gold road!

So we all agree: there are many things for librarians to do to-day,
but it is absolutely necessary not to forget that in research institutes,
librarians' first mission is to provide immediate, large-scale,
high-quality information to help researchers progress rapidly in
their work. Rapidly creating and filling institutional Open Access
Archives is a new, essential part of this mission today.

The apparent disagreement about preservation is just a matter of priority:
Preservation of the self-archived Open Access versions of articles is
of course natural, desirable, welcome, and underway!

The problem is only when doubts about permanence are cited as a
reason for not providing the Open Access version at this time. The new
immediate priority for research institutions today is to provide open
access to their own research output. Preservation efforts should enhance
this access-provision, not retard it.

Helene Bosc
Unite Physiologie de la Reproduction et des Comportements
UMR 6175
INRA-CNRS-Universite de Tours-Haras Nationaux
37380 Nouzilly France
TEL : 02 47 42 78 00
FAX : 02 47 42 77 43
Received on Fri Oct 08 2004 - 12:36:38 BST

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