Re: Poynder Again on Point on Institutional Repositories

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2006 13:52:04 +0100

On Fri, 31 Mar 2006, Helen Hockx-Yu wrote:

> long-term preservation helps give authors more confidence in the future
> accessibility and more incentives to deposit content, at least for
> learning and teaching materials.

I agree completely. But I don't think the first and most urgent content
priority for IRs is the storage and preservation of learning and teaching
materials. It's Open Access (OA) provision for institutional research
output. That's why there's something to be said for Richard Poynder's
suggestion of a (perhaps temporary) parting of ways between the OA IR
movement and the Digital Preservation IR movement.
Then each could focus on filling their respective IRs with their
respective target content, for their respective reasons, without getting
in one another's way, or conflating one another's target content or
rationale for depositing. Once 100% OA is reached, the two can be safely

Stevan Harnad
American Scientist Open Access Forum

Chaire de recherche du Canada Professor of Cognitive Science
Ctr. de neuroscience de la cognition Dpt. Electronics & Computer Science
Université du Québec à Montréal University of Southampton
Montréal, Québec Highfield, Southampton
Canada H3C 3P8 SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

On Fri, 31 Mar 2006, Helen Hockx-Yu wrote:

> A big thank you to all the people who commented on my previous email. I
> think a more accurate way is to say that concern of (financial)
> sustainability of institutional repositories contributes to the lack of
> active engagement from researchers. This of course is not the only reason. I
> agree with Stevan that mandate is much more effective way to encourage
> self-archiving than using preservation as the motivation.
> It has become clear to me that there is little consensus on the extent to
> which institutional repositories should be responsible for preservation.
> This is reflected in the recent discussion on this list. But I do not think
> this disagreement in any way weaken the case for institutional repositories
> playing a role in digital preservation. Even those who regard the
> institution as having only a short term responsibility for preservation of
> institutional research outputs (until these outcomes are formally
> published), and those who regard preservation as less of a priority than
> getting content into the repositories, do not deny that there is a role of
> institutional repositories for preservation (the small p?). The question is
> how far this role goes and the institutional responsibilities, versus other
> national bodies and organisations, need to be clarified. The answer to this
> is intrinsically related to the mission of an institutional repository, the
> purpose it serves and perhaps also the type of content it holds.
> I also agree that publishers, legal deposit libraries and institutions
> subscribe to electronic journals have a much more significant role in
> preserving long-term access to published journal articles than individual
> researchers. The fact that the arrangements for preserving long-term access
> to electronic journals are far from satisfactory is a separate discussion.
> Systems such as LOCKSS are examples of response by academic libraries to
> address the e--journal archiving problem.
> If we take the broad view of institutional repositories as means to manage
> and preserve effectively an institution's knowledge base and intellectual
> assets, this means the content of institutional repositories will expand
> beyond e-prints to include research data, e-learning materials and other
> forms of institutional intellectual outputs, which are generally not
> published or preserved elsewhere. Researchers, students, staff and
> institutions will require ongoing availability and confidence in the future
> accessibility of the content within the repositories. Institutional
> repositories therefore naturally have the responsibility to ensure this for
> the content they are entrusted with managing by their institutions and
> researchers.
> A survey recently conducted by the JISC Rights and Rewards in Blended
> Institutional demonstrates that preservation is one of the main reasons why
> participants contribute teaching materials to an institutional repository.
> When asked about the reasons that would make participants more or less
> likely to contribute material in the future, "(repositories) help to manage
> and preserve resources" gained high percentages for "much more likely" and
> "likely" (see table 15 on page 13 and table 26 on page 19 at
> ad/1137423150_SurveyReport.pdf. Although considerations for teaching
> materials and academic papers are very different, this does suggest that
> long-term preservation helps give authors more confidence in the future
> accessibility and more incentives to deposit content, at least for learning
> and teaching materials.
> Helen
> Helen Hockx-Yu
> Programme Manager
> JISC Office, Kings College London
> Strand Bridge House (3rd Floor)
> 138-142 Strand
> London WC2R 1HH
> Tel: 020 7848 1803
> Mobile: 07813 024633
Received on Fri Mar 31 2006 - 13:54:44 BST

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