Re: Comparing Physicists' Central and Institutional Self-archiving Practices at Southampton

From: <C.Oppenheim_at_LBORO.AC.UK>
Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2009 11:55:23 +0000

Stevan has, I suspect, misunderstood Sally's point.  Sally (if I may
speak for her)  was simply raising the   question: what evidence was
there for Stevan's speculation?  Stevan now tells us that this was
based on anecdotal evidence.

Professor Charles Oppenheim
Department of Information Science
Loughborough University
Leics LE11 3TU

Tel 01509-223065
Fax 01509 223053
e mail


From: American Scientist Open Access Forum
On Behalf Of Stevan Harnad
Sent: 05 January 2009 11:48
Subject: Re: Comparing Physicists' Central and Institutional
Self-archiving Practices at Southampton

On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 4:21 AM, Sally Morris (Morris Associates)
<> wrote:

      Did the researchers ask physicists why they did or didn't
      use one or the other repository?  If they did not (and
      the abstract only talks about correlation), then Stevan's
      explanation is pure speculation, surely?

The (Indiana University) study was done on University of Southampton
physicists. The (Indiana University) author did not ask the
Southampton physicists any questions; he just analyzed the
Southampton IR's (and Arxiv's) metadata logs. 

But we at Southampton did of course did ask our physicists, and they
did of course reply that they preferred to continue depositing in
Arxiv and Arxiv only, as they had already been depositing for many
years, rather than depositing instead -- or in addition
(double-depositing) -- in the University's own IR: .

Since the answer was more or less obvious, I would be interested to
hear what other hypothesis Sally might be speculating was the real
reason our physicists preferred to continue depositing in Arxiv
rather than their own institution's IR.

(I might add that the latest RAE outcome for physics at Southampton
might possibly now increase Southampton physicists' inclination to
double-deposit -- but even that is mooted by the SWORD protocol,
which can and will do the imports automatically.)

(I will be taking up a perhaps more interesting question in my next
posting, which will be about physicists' belief that a central
repository like Arxiv can provide functionality that distributed IRs
and their central harvesters cannot provide. The belief is in fact
incorrect, but it has furnished the basis for a quite natural and
timely research project that Les Carr and I will be submitting as a
proposal to JISC: designing a functional demonstration that a central
harvester of distributed IR OAI-PMH metadata can duplicate all of
Arxiv's current functionality, plus a lot more, built on
Southampton's Celestial OAI-PMH harvester . Stay tuned!)

Stevan Harnad
Received on Mon Jan 05 2009 - 14:46:31 GMT

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