Researcher pages in repositories

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2006 14:58:54 +0000

Here are some commonsense replies to questions that have been raised
repeatedly across the years:

On Wed, 15 Feb 2006, Mary Steiner wrote:

> Some repositories are starting to develop "researcher pages" or
> "selected works pages" that feature the scholarship of an individual
> (typically in addition to academic/research units). Regardless of
> your IR platform, what is your policy with regard to these pages?

It is of course an excellent policy for an institution to promote the
research output of its researchers. The Dutch IRs are the most advanced
in this regard. But the IRs primary function is to host digital
documents, of which the primary target is research papers. Publicity and
researcher pages and other "views" of the IR are spin-offs, not the
mainstay (though very useful spin-offs).

> Do researchers maintain the pages entirely on their own, including
> uploading citations + full-text content?

The logical and practical sequence is deposit in the IR and then extract
views and harvest data, not vice versa.

> If so, do you let them make the full-text work immediately available
> on your repository, or is it vetted first for copyright compliance
> (if appropriate)?

This is the author's own work. Don't let your 3rd-party IP/permissions
specialists mistake this for their territory! Author self-archiving is
different, and authors don't need anyone looking over their shoulders
(though they can use help and encouragement when they are vacillating
-- as long as the advice and information given them is sound -- which it
very, very rarely is!)

> Do you provide any metadata improvements on what is submitted,
> or take what is provided and leave it at that?

Papers should be deposited with the standard metadata tags that the
OAI-compliant IR softwares demand. Further "improvements" are optional
and certainly should not retard or weigh down deposits (especially at a
time when IRs still have very little content).

> What is your approach if a researcher leaves your institution? Do
> you leave the researcher page intact, with simply a note that the
> person has left?

Researcher pages are an institution's call. But the main target of an
IR, the articles themselves, should certainly stay put, apart from
updating metadata for the author's current affiliation. They are means
of maximzing access to the author's work, and removing them when the
author leaves is as absurd as removing books from a library's shelf.

> Any insights or thoughts with regard to "researcher pages" in an
> institutional repository are appreciated. Much thanks,

Researcher pages should be generated "views" based on the content of the
IR. But the IR itself is a repository for depositing research output
(and other digital content). It should not be mixed up with home-page
provision. And its publicizing functions are spin-offs; its primary
function is to house the content, and the primary content is research
output, pre- and postprints.

Stevan Harnad
Received on Thu Feb 16 2006 - 16:59:29 GMT

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