Self-Archiving Incentives: Download Impact Counts

From: Arthur Sale <>
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2004 14:41:26 +0100

        Fish Food for the Clients

This posting is to start a discussion of tackling the most difficult issue
in eprints archives: that of encouraging clients to self-archive, by
providing them with "fish food" (in Web parlance - what we call "berley" in
Australia - food scattered on the waters to attract feeding fish). To be
less obscure, to provide them useful information about the fate of their
archived documents so they are encouraged to provide more.

In the University of Tasmania we started off by interfacing Eprints and
awstats (an open source statistics package with great graphics that works
off the logs, but alas more server and administrator oriented); see We will keep awstats as part of
our feedback armory, however. It offers much useful managerial and research
information for the School of Computing.

In the meantime we found out about a University of Queensland initiative,
which is based around an addition to the Eprints database, whereby a
"download count" is incremented every time a full-text link is clicked, or
an abstract viewed, see The
Queensland University of Technology have also adopted this scheme under
license. Australian Research Repositories Online to the World (ARROW, have also adopted a variant of this scheme, but are at
the moment inaccessible prior to the official launch of the Discovery
Service in November. We chose to not go down this route, however.

We also found that the University of Melbourne had implemented a good
reporting scheme, much more client-friendly, but still not to our
specifications, see
UniMelb have let us have their software as part of an exchange, and we
are currently working on making it fit our specifications (not up yet, will
advise). This approach works off the access logs rather than a modification
to Eprints, so is probably more package-independent. I'd welcome any comment
or assistance.

Arthur Sale
Professor of Computing (Research)

Pertinent Prior Amsci Topic Threads:
    "Preaching the gospel of self-archiving" (2000)
    "Self-Archiving's Why's" (2000)
    "Incentives" (2000) "Incentives and self-archiving" (2001)
    "Questionnaires for self-archivers and non-archivers" (2001)
    "Accelerating the citation cycle" (2001)
    "Beyond Access and Impact: The Ultimate Benefit of SkyReading/Writing" (2001)
    "The self-archiving sweepstakes" (2002)
    "Testing the citation-ranking search engine: Citebase" (2002)
    "Draft Policy for Self-Archiving University Research Output" (2003)
    "Powerpoints for Promoting Self-Archiving of Institutional
    Research Output" (2003)
    "How to compare research impact of toll- vs. open-access research" (2003)
    "Central versus institutional self-archiving" (2003)
    "Measuring cumulating research impact loss across fields and time" (2003)
    "What Provosts Need to Mandate" (2003)
    "University policy mandating self-archiving of research output" (2004)
    "Meeting: National Policies on Open Access Provision for
    University Research Output" (2004)
    "On the Strong Causal Connection Between Access and Impact" (2004)
    "Mandating OA around the corner?" (2004)
    "Implementing the US/UK recommendation to mandate OA Self-Archiving" (2004)
    "Early Download Impact Predicts Later Citation Impact" (2004)
    "Do Open-Access Articles Have a Greater Research Impact?" (2004)
    "How To Support Institutional OA Archive Start-Up and
    OA Content Provision" (2004)
Received on Wed Oct 27 2004 - 14:41:26 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:47:39 GMT