Re: NIH mandate - institutional repositories

From: Stevan Harnad <>
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2007 22:50:56 -0500

On 21-Nov-07, at 7:53 PM, Anthony Watkinson wrote:

      I cannot claim to be an expert on institutional
      repositories and their
history but the first time I became aware of them was from a
presentation by
Ann Wolpert one the originators of DSpace. It was my
understanding then and
it is my understanding now that for some involved in the IR
movement the
purpose was to provide a service to faculty. The DSpace mission
from one of
the sites reads:

DSpaceT is a free, open source software platform that allows 
research organizations to offer faculty and researchers a 
professionally managed searchable archive for their digital 
assets. DSpace focuses on simple access to these assets, as
as their long-term preservation.

It is my understanding that DSpace development was in progress

At the end of 2000. IRs began in 1999-2000, with EPrints, at
Southampton,  where CogPrints (designed by Matt Hemus, a Southampton
ECS doctoral student) was first made OAI-compliant and then turned
into EPrints generic IR software by Rob Tansley (likewise a
Southampton ECS doctoral student) in 2000:

EPrints was widely adopted and Rob Tansley was then recruited by MIT
and Hewlett-Packard to create DSpace.

EPrints and DSpace are now the two most widely used IR softwares

      In 2002 a very different definition was proposed by Raym
      Crow in 
his SPARC position paper - see The 
definition of IRs set out in his abstract is very different
speaks of reforming scholarly communication in line with the 
SPARC agenda.

IRs were originally on the right track: OA self-archiving. The SPARC
position paper scrambled that a little with some rather quackish
ideas about publishing reform.

      My picture is that SPARC have attempted to hi-jack an
which was faculty-centred into one which is library-centred,
libraries that is. The mandates proposed are only necessary 
because faculty persistently refuse to fit in with this new 
agenda which does not represent their needs or wishes.

This is a misimpression. The mandates have nothing to do with SPARC
or a hi-jacked agenda.

They have to do with the fact that busy faculty will not do anything
-- even something that is in their own interests -- unless it is
required. But if self-archiving is required, Alma Swan's surveys have
shown that over 95% of faculty report they will comply, over 80% of
them saying they will comply willingly.

And Arthur Sale's studies on actual behavior confirm this: Faculty do
not self-archive in great numbers spontaneously, or if merely
invited, requested or encouraged to do it, whereas they self-archive
at substantially higher rates if it is mandated -- approaching full
compliance within about 2 years.

This is not surprising, as faculty also comply with publish-or-perish
mandates -- and would publish a good deal less without them

Stevan Harnad

If you have adopted or plan to adopt a policy of providing Open
to your own research article output, please describe your policy at:
    BOAI-1 ("Green"): Publish your article in a suitable toll-access
    BOAI-2 ("Gold"): Publish your article in an open-access journal
    a suitable one exists.
    in BOTH cases self-archive a supplementary version of your
    in your own institutional repository.
Received on Thu Nov 22 2007 - 03:53:01 GMT

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