Re: The OA Deposit-Fee Kerfuffle: APA's Not Responsible; NIH Is

From: Ulrich Herb <u.herb_at_SULB.UNI-SAARLAND.DE>
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2008 10:35:41 +0200

Dear Stevan, dear all,

a short comment from Germany: Saarland University and State Library
holds the Special Subject Collection Psychology which is part of an
information system for the supra-regional literature supply in Germany.
Therefore we launched a disciplinary repository for psychological
information (PsyDok,
back in 2003. Since the beginning of 2008 we started harvesting
psychological content via OAI-PMH from institutional repositories in

best regards

Ulrich Herb
- - - - -
Saarland University and State Library, Germany
Repository Manager, Specialist Electronic Publishing & Open Access
Address: POB 15 11 41,
                 D-66041 Saarbruecken
Telephone: +49-681-302-2798
Fax: +49-681-302-2796

Stevan Harnad schrieb:
> Chris Armbruster, as in the past
> <>, and
> like many others, completely conflates the problem of content and the
> problem of functionality:
> (1) Virtually all OA repositories today -- institutional and central
> -- are low on content: Only about 15% of annual refereed research is
> being deposited today.
> (2) The only two exceptions are the fields of physics and economics,
> where authors have been spontaneously depositing their papers in,
> respectively, Arxiv and various collections of working papers in
> economics, now harvested by RePEc.
> (3) Even after many years of their positive example, the
> self-archiving practices of these two fields have failed to generalize
> to the rest of scholarly and scientific research.
> (4) This is why self-archiving mandates -- from research institutions
> and research funders -- are needed.
> (5) Since all research, in all fields, originates from institutions,
> institutional repositories (IRs) are the natural, convergent locus of
> deposit for both institutional and funder mandates.
> (6) Because IRs are OAI-compliant, hence interoperable, their contents
> (metadata + links, or metadata + full-texts) can be harvested into
> central collections (CRs) of various kinds (subject-based,
> funder-based, nation-based, or global).
> (7) Functionality can be enhanced at the harvester level in many ways;
> all that is needed is the content itself.
> (8) But we won't have the content unless we mandate it.
> (9) And mandates won't work if funder mandates and institutional
> mandates are in competition, and diverge.
> (10) Institutions are the content-providers, in all fields, funded or
> unfunded.
> (11) Institutions share with their researchers a joint interest in
> maximizing the accessibility, uptake, usage, and impact of their joint
> research output.
> (12) Institutions can also monitor and ensure compliance with funder
> mandates (alongside their own institutional mandates).
> (13) Locus of deposit has absolutely nothing to do with functionality.
> (14) But locus of deposit has everything to do with ensuring that the
> content is provided.
> On 17-Jul-08, at 3:54 AM, Armbruster, Chris wrote:
> > I would like to publicly applaud the NIH policy makers for strengthening
> > a central repository.
> NIH could "strengthen" its central repository (CR) (PubMed Central)
> irrespective of the locus of deposit. Locus of deposit is relevant to
> maximizing content provision and unrelated to functionality.
> > As far as I can see, after several years,
> > institutional repositories have not made decisive progress in being
> > useful to either authors or readers by providing services that are
> > of any value (beyond storage).
> The purpose of IRs is not to provide services but to provide content.
> The services are provided at the harvested collection (CR) level.
> And the usefulness of CR services depends entirely on whether the
> content -- on which the service is to be based -- is actually
> provided in the first place.
> > If I look at the kinds of services
> > that arxiv, SSRN, CiteSeerX, RePEc and PMC offer, I see no equivalent
> > emerging from the IRs, no matter how much you synchronize and
> > harvest.
> I have great difficulty understanding the point Chris is trying to
> make here:
> Both CiteSeerX and RePEc are harvester services. There is no CR there
> in which authors deposit directly. CiteSeerX and RePEc (like Google
> Scholar) harvest their contents from IRs and other institutional and
> personal sites on the web.
> Arxiv, as noted, is a longstanding CR in which physicists have been
> depositing directly since 1991, but there is no sign of that
> spontaneous phenomenon duplicating itself in any other field (even
> though CRs are available in other fields too, including CogPrints, in
> cognitive sciences, which I created in 1997).
> SSRN is a CR, but the way to assess how full it is is to divide its
> annual contents by the global annual output in all the fields covered.
> It will be found to hover at the very same spontaneous deposit level
> (15%) as the IRs. And no matter how many or wondrous the services you
> provide over it, 15% is still just 15%.
> No one would search a topic IR by IR, so it makes no sense providing
> certain services at the IR level. (IRs provide local services
> pertinent to the institution itself, such as generating CVs, research
> assessment data, and usage statistics
> <>. If you
> want to search across IRs, go to OAIster, Google Scholar, CiteSeerX,
> or Citebase.
> But you will be disappointed, because all you will find is about 15%
> (except in physics and economics).
> That's what the mandates are for.
> And that's why it's important that institutional and funder mandates
> converge on the providers, the IRs, rather than competing, by
> requiring direct deposit in institution-external CRs (instead of just
> having the CRs harvest).
> > Also, centralized repositories seem to lend themselves
> > much more easily to the creation of overlay services that extract
> > further value for the scholarly community.
> Overlay services can be developed over any OAI-compliant repositories,
> whether IRs or CRs. The locus of deposit makes no difference
> whatsoever. That was the whole point of the OAI protocol.
> > Just consider the following
> > service: (developed in Germany, based on
> > the efforts of the NIH, a splendid example for the kind of
> > trans-national innovation that has become possible on the basis of
> > repositories).
> And if NIH mandated direct deposit in IRs, and harvested PMC content
> from there, the very same services could be built on it. The
> difference would be that the NIH mandate would be convergent and
> synergistic with institutional mandates, generating far more content,
> beyond just what is funded by NIH, across all fields, institutions and
> countries.
> > I hope the NIH holds fast and that more research funders will ensure
> > deposit in centralized repositories - either discipline-specific
> > or at least national.
> For the "success" of national CRs, see France's HAL. Without mandates,
> it languishes at the usual 15%, no matter how you cut the cake.
> No, Chris, what's missing is content, not functionality. And the
> reason for the focus on IRs is because that is the convergent,
> systematic way to get all the content, not depositing willy-nilly and
> hoping that that will somehow cover all of OA space.
> Stevan Harnad
Received on Mon Aug 25 2008 - 12:05:06 BST

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