Re: New Ranking of Central and Institutional Repositories

From: Talat Chaudhri [tac] <tac_at_ABER.AC.UK>
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2008 12:46:47 -0000

I imagine that this is precisely why the Computer Science department
asked for the script to be written, to make sure that their pages will
no longer be out of date. The knock-on effect is that other departments
can get it too. I might add that it really isn't very hard to achieve,
and is a useful additional service and incentive to deposit. The
anecdotal evidence that you give about these sorts of departments'
search methods is useful and interesting: thank you, Arthur.

Our departments currently have full control over the format of their web
pages, which I suspect will not change soon.

I can't comment about EPrints, which may well not need any PHP (or other
script). We use DSpace, which doesn't have a function to provide a
bibliography that can be incorporated neatly into web pages as the
department clearly wanted. In fact, you can simply use the link if you
like, but will get a bibliography on a white background with no
presentation or institutional/departmental identity. One doesn't have to
be a programmer to paste one tiny tag like this in a web page:

html"); ?> [author]
<?php include("");
?> [dept or collection]

You can try these with or without the PHP include, to show the
difference (top one obviously needs an author's name). The form here
would obviously need you to make a test page of HTML with formatting,
but you imagine how it would work.

Of course you could merely follow a link to the author's stuff in the
repository, but that isn't a very friendly service with DSpace
repositories in the present version. I just meant to describe a useful
script. Our technical staff may well be happy for other DSpace
repositories to use it, to whom I can direct any enquiries. I hope this
helps someone.


-----Original Message-----
From: Arthur Sale []
Sent: 15 February 2008 21:42
To: Talat Chaudhri [tac]
Subject: RE: Re: New Ranking of Central and Institutional Repositories

The practice of academics putting their publications on their
web pages is widespread and common in computer science and some branches
engineering. It is so common as to be unremarkable. I have no statistics
this that I can lay my hands on, but it is said that a common search
strategy for computer scientists is to go to the author's website and
what else they have written, rather than using a search engine such as
Google, citation searches, etc which are used as fall-back positions.

The papers I have read also suggest that the publication lists on many
these web pages are up to three years out of date.

It is now increasingly common in Australian universities to encourage
institutional web pages to replace the publication list by a simple link
the institutional repository. No php is needed - just a normal
hyperlink. In
earlier days in my University this was a coded search on the repository
the author for example
%2Ftitle&_action_search=Search. Now, every user has a generated page for
themselves which is free from the problems of disambiguating closely
names, so the link is to that page, eg,_Arthur.html.

Please also note that in my university as in many others, the
entry page for every academic is based on a standard template, which is
populated from a database. (Subsequent non-standardized pages can be
but they aren't part of the corporate system.) Once we have our proposed
full mandate in place, it is likely that this template will be altered
require a link such as the above.

Arthur Sale
University of Tasmania

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Talat Chaudhri [tac] []
> Sent: Thursday, 14 February 2008 11:31 PM
> To:
> Cc: Stevan Harnad
> Subject: RE: Re: New Ranking of Central and Institutional Repositories
> [Stevan, please post this for me. Thanks very much.]
> Hi Arthur, Mark,
> We comment partly on the basis of what exists now, rather
> than what could be in place, I think. A colleague of mine has
> written a script that automatically includes author's
> bibliographies in their personal or departmental web pages,
> just by using a link in a PHP (or other) server include in an
> HTML tag. This saves them lots of work and encourages deposit.
> Let's suppose that every academic did this (as I suspect they
> don't, even if able). Could we anticipate that academics
> might want to look at each other's research profiles much
> more, given that they'd have a direct link to the output? I
> wonder, do you have any statistical information on this,
> Arthur, to say whether this actually works? If it became more
> widespread, as a general culture rather than just in the odd
> institution, would these links gain value that they don't
> presently have? I'm not arguing with you in principle,
> Arthur, as I have neither evidence nor motive, but I'm
> interested to know what you think: how can we know the future
> value of links if at present their application is haphazard?
> I'm sure that the haphazard nature of any "service" puts
> people immediately off using the occasional parts of it that
> do work, because these are difficult to predict. Just
> speculations on my part perhaps, as the future is a bit tough
> to research!
> It's my hope that *any* ways to increase access research
> content, be that search engines, links or any other method,
> will grow as open access grows, so what seems trivial at
> present may one day be a useful way to promote content.
> Things change so fast that we do need to entertain this sort
> of speculation, I think. For the moment, of course, our stats
> here for example do seem to show, as Arthur says, that search
> engines (well, just Google) are way ahead of everything else.
> Talat
Received on Mon Feb 18 2008 - 13:33:35 GMT

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