Re: New Ranking of Central and Institutional Repositories

From: Arthur Sale <>
Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2008 07:46:58 +1100

Mark Doyle

The dominant institutional repository softwares ALL have such simple
identifiers. The softwares are not badly designed.

But that does not obscure the essential point that inward bound links on the
open web are a minor contributor to a repository success. Many links that
are used are not exposed on the Web, and are simply kept in an EndNote file,
or bookmarked. People use institutional repositories via search engines, not

Subject repositories are subject to different rules.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Scientist Open Access Forum
> I.ORG] On Behalf Of Mark Doyle
> Sent: Thursday, 14 February 2008 6:41 AM
> Ranking of Central and Institutional Repositories
> Hi,
> On Feb 12, 2008, at 4:38 PM, Arthur Sale wrote:
> > This brings me to the second point: Repositories were not set up to
> > provide linkage, and if they were to be in the deep web apart from
> > being harvestable, their utility would be only slightly weakened.
> >
> > Indeed this is exactly the situation with most of the PhD thesis
> > repositories in Australia. The federated site is open to
> the Web, and
> > a very few thesis sites like my university's, but most university
> > repositories are simply in the deep web, accessed only by the
> > federated harvester. This is the Australasian Digital
> Theses Program,
> > also listed in the Webometrics top 200. I haven't heard 30+
> > universities complaining about the loss of links.
> I think this is poor design. Depending on bookmarked URLs
> and 'browse by name' is a rather fragile infrastructure. One
> of the reasons that a central repository like is so
> successful is because Ginsparg, in his wisdom, came up with
> short, somewhat meaningful identifiers (new arXiv ids are now
> slightly less than ideal, but at least you can tell right
> away when something was first entered into the repository)
> AND provided for the ubiquitous linking to via the
> /abs/ID URL. These URLs have been stable since they were
> introduced in 1994 when the web interface was introduced
> (even after the -> transition). This
> has allowed the arXiv staff to insert clickable links into
> the PDFs and people to trivially link to the arXiv version of
> a work. On the publisher side, considerable effort has been
> put into introducing DOIs which again make it easy to provide
> interlinking between scholarly articles. Some publishers
> (like APS) have easy to create DOIs from the usual (journal,
> volume, page) metadata (or even URLs that don't depend on a
> DOI), while others are more opaque. CrossRef levels the
> playing field though and makes DOIs easily discoverable. In
> any case, one should not underestimate the usefulness of
> having simple identifiers that map algorithmically to permanent URLs.
> Best,
> Mark
> Mark Doyle
> Assistant Director, Journal Information Systems The American
> Physical Society
Received on Wed Feb 13 2008 - 21:12:52 GMT

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