Re: Central versus institutional self-archiving

From: Leslie Carr <>
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2008 10:30:10 +0000

On 10 Mar 2008, at 09:55, Stevan Harnad wrote:

> Brewster Kahle may have the disk space, but if his is to become the global
> database, then why should individuals have local websites at all? They
> could all set up shop in the Global Wayback Machine -- or, for that
> matter, store directly in Google, saving it the trouble of having to
> harvest!

Brewster or Google can do all they like - if the content ain't there it
can't be harvested. People often think that somehow "repositories" are
failing, but they're no different from "web sites" in that respect. An
examination of research and university web sites show that researchers have
out-of-date, incomplete pages and sometimes no pages at all. My own Head of
School's home page is just in the form of an FTP listing of some files he
occasionally puts there. Others of my senior colleagues have home pages that
are over three years old and miss out on describing an entire generation of
projects and their outputs.

The fundamental problem is not repository software, it is researcher's
disinclination to disseminate. And I am convinced that the repository
software isn't fundamentally at fault because I have never, ever, ever heard
anyone refuse to use our institution's timetabling software because the user
interface isn't good enough (though it is appalling), or because it doesn't
integrate into their personal calendar (which it doesn't) - they just get on
and use it because it does a job they need to do.

But that isn't to say that we at won't be working our hearts out trying to
make EPrints better and more functional!
Les Carr
Received on Mon Mar 10 2008 - 10:30:19 GMT

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