Re: D-Lib article about Cornell's Institutional Repository

From: Leslie Carr <>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007 17:42:42 +0000

On 15 Mar 2007, at 16:34, Stevan Harnad wrote:

> Critique of:
> Institutional Repositories: Evaluating the Reasons for Non-use
> of Cornell University's Installation of DSpace.
> PM Davis & MJL Connolly. D-Lib Magazine 13(3/4) March/April 2007

Thanks to Stevan for drawing attention to this article; he criticises
Cornell's practice for ignoring mandates (ie is it any wonder that
researchers don't bother to use an entirely optional piece of software).

I think that the key paragraph from the paper is as follows:
> "Although a university-wide structure exists, much of it remains in
> skeletal form, with many collections empty or meagerly populated.
> The DSpace repository as a whole is enjoying steady growth, with
> approximately 1,000 items added over the past year; however, only a
> small number of collections display a steady growth pattern.
> Instead, it appears that most collections are being used to build
> archival collections as either one-time deposits or periodic batch
> additions of material. The collections that do exhibit steady
> growth are largely supported by active policies or guidelines that
> dictate that items will be deposited into DSpace, such as the case
> of theses and dissertations."

In other words, although the repository exhibits a steady gross
growth rate, closer examination shows that this is mainly due to
special archival collections. The successful collections (in terms of
steady growth) are those "supported by active policies or guidelines
that dictate that items will be deposited into DSpace". This supports
Stevan's argument - although the use of the word "dictate" may seem
even stronger than "mandate".

All the comments from 11 carefully selected staff seem to me to be
rather beside the point - whatever they say we have strayed into
anecdotal territory. There are much more comprehensive surveys of
academics and their attitudes and practice of self archiving in
repositories, particularly those conducted by Key Perspectives.

Incidentally, the comments about institution #1 having 0 communities
are somewhat erroneous - it does have a rich community structure
which consists of every faculty and department within the
institution, but it is created dynamically by queries on metadata
items. [The identity of institution #1 is easy to discover from a
service like ROAR.]

Received on Thu Mar 15 2007 - 17:48:36 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:48:49 GMT