Poynder Again on Point on Institutional Repositories

From: Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2006 19:02:49 +0000

Richard Poynder, the astute, eloquent chronicler of scholarly
communication has done it again, with a shrewd, original and insightful
review of the short history of the institutional repository movement.


His conclusions are surprising, but (I think) very apt. His analysis,
among other things, go some way toward explaining why on earth a
"Repository Comparison" such as the one Rachel Heery cites below, would
have left the first and most widely used Repository software (GNU Eprints)
out of its comparison.


The answer is simple: Eprints is and always was very determinedly focused
on the goal of generating 100% OA, as soon as possible; it can of course
also do everything that the other IR softwares can do (and vice versa!),
but Eprints is focused on a very specific and urgent agenda: 100% OA
to each institution's own research article output. Those who prefer
leisurely fussing with the curation/preservation of arbitrary digital
contents of any and every description will of course have plenty to
keep them busy for decades. Eprints, in contrast, has an immediate,
already-overdue mission to fulfil, and it is becoming clearer and clearer
that -- with some prominent and invaluable exceptions -- the library
community has found other rows to hoe.

Richard has proposed that it might be time for a parting of paths between
the Generic Digital Curation/Preservation IR movement and the OA IR
movement, and he might be right. One has a diffuse, divergent goal, the
other a focused, convergent -- and urgent and immediately reachable --
goal, one that might now be hamstrung if it is subsumed under the diffuse,
divergent goal of the other.

For the details, please see Richard's article.

Stevan Harnad

On Thu, 2 Mar 2006, Rachel Heery wrote:

> Thom Hickey's blog post on comparison of repository software features may
> be of interest, for the features considered as well as the 'scores'.
> see
> http://outgoing.typepad.com/outgoing/2006/03/repository_comp.html
> He does this comparison on a feature by feature basis in categories: Data
> Support, User Support, and Miscellaneous Infrastructure.
> Thom invites feedback, some people in the repository programme may be able
> to provide that for Fedora and DSpace
> Rachel
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Rachel Heery
> UKOLN, University of Bath tel: +44 (0)1225 386724
> http://www.ukoln.ac.uk
Received on Thu Mar 02 2006 - 19:29:58 GMT

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