[OAI-general] California Digital Library ePrint Repositories

John Ober john.ober@ucop.edu
Tue, 27 Mar 2001 16:34:04 -0800

I would like to offer listserv readers a clarification with regard to the 
Kuperburg-Harnad exchange - quoted below - which refers to the eprint 
archives sponsored by the University of California-based California Digital 

The California Digital Library hosts the "eScholarship" program to support 
scholar-led experiments and innovation in scholarly communication. (Readers 
are encouraged to browse escholarship.cdlib.org for more information.) 
Included in that support are eprint repositiories made available to 
specific scholarly communities who would like to use them as a primary 
means to disseminate scholarship or as an arena in which to experiment with 
other innovations such as peer-reviewed journals as "overlays" to the 
contents of a repository.

Important characteristics of our efforts, some of which were misrepresented 
in the Kuperburg-Harnad exchange below, include:
* CDL's eprint repositories are discipline-based, not institutional. To 
date participating disciplinary communities include Dermatology, 
International and Area Studies, and Tobacco Control Research. Readers will 
not be surprised to learn that these communities include leading UC faculty 
members who were responsible for bringing to our attention a community's 
readiness to experiment.
* There is no administrative or Regent-level "mandate" that the University 
of California have archives or that its researchers use them. There is UC 
Presidential support for the eScholarship program and strong desire for UC 
to contribute to innovation in scholarly communication. The design of the 
eScholarship program has so far focused on researchers' affinities and 
affiliations with disciplinary communities rather than on institutional 
affiliation. We continue to have  discussions with a number of scholarly 
societies about possible collaboration in the development of eprint 
* Our repositories are quite young, having opened in January 2001, and are 
still in a phase of community testing and feature development.
* Community use of our repositories is scholar-led, usually through an 
editorial or advisory board of participating scholars, including many with 
no UC affiliation. Policy setting, including whether use is focused on 
self-archiving or with community-based filtering, or a combination, is up 
to the community.
* We are quite pleased to have the eprints software from eprints.org 
available to underlie the initial versions of eScholarship repositories. We 
expect to work with Stevan's group on the further development of the 
software but also leave open the possibility that a different 
infrastructure may be needed to meet community needs.
* We are also enthusiastic about the potential for the Open Archives 
Initiative  and its metadata harvesting protocol to allow interoperabiltiy 
across our own and other eprint repositories. Note also that we believe OAI 
is likely to facilitate interoperation or federation of other scholarly 
materials and are contributing to discussions in the OAI community on this 
very topic.

[From Tue, 27 Mar 2001 exchange; Greg Kuperburg]
 >> First, at most universities there is no e-print archive. Certainly
 >> there isn't one at UC Davis. And if there were one, why should I
 >> believe that central campus computing would administer it competently?
 >> Central computing has a pretty low reputation on many campuses.  I
 >> imagine that ours is not bad relatively speaking.  But we've had our
 >> share of quarrels even over the most fundamental issues, like
 >> unintelligible balance sheets for grants and payroll.  E-prints are a
 >> trivial and arcane topic compared to getting paid.
[Stevan Harnad]
 >Institution-based, OAI-compliant self-archiving is new. The OAI 1.0
 >release of the eprints.org archive-creating software only took place on
 >January 23, to coincide with the release of OAI 1.0. There are well
 >over 100 sites who are trying out the software, and UC is not one, but
 >three of them. I don't know about Davis in particular; perhaps someone
 >from UC-Davis can reply. But I do know that it's being tested by UC at
 >the level of the California Digital Library
 ><http://www.escholarship.cdlib.org/eprints.html> because it was mandated
 >(by the Regents?) that UC must have Online Archives for its researchers
 >to self-archive in by 2001.

John Ober, Director, Education and Strategic Innovation
California Digital Library (www.cdlib.org)
University of California
  john.ober@ucop.edu  tel: (510) 987-0425   fax: (510) 893-5212