[OAI-general] Re: Central versus institutional self-archiving (fwd)

Stevan Harnad harnad at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Mon Aug 9 07:24:42 EDT 2004

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 2004 10:53:04 +0100
From: Fytton Rowland <J.F.Rowland at lboro.ac.uk>
To: American Scientist Open Access Forum
Subject: Re: Central versus institutional self-archiving

In a study in the UK which we have just completed for the Joint Information
Systems Committee, JISC (a brief account of which will, referees permitting,
be published in a forthcoming special issue of Serials Review), after quite
exhaustive review of all aspects of e-prints archiving, we recommended a
"harvesting model", in which full texts (and other digital objects) remain
at distributed institutional (and other) archives, but metadata is harvested
and processed centrally.  This model seemed to overcome most of the
drawbacks of a distributed model mentioned by Richard Durbin.

Fytton Rowland, Loughborough University, UK.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Richard Durbin" <rd at sanger.ac.uk>
Sent: Sunday, August 08, 2004 2:28 PM

>sh> The UK did not stipulate that funded research must be self-archived
>sh> in a central OA Archive, only that it must be self-archived, hence OA. (In
>sh> fact, they expressed a preference for Institutional Self-Archiving.)

> I disagree entirely with this. I believe that central open-access
> archiving is far superior to distributed open access archiving. I
> have had this debate with many individuals including briefly off-line
> from this forum with Stevan. I know the OAI protocol allows search of
> distributed archives, but (a) its coverage is currently very poor, with
> no indication to me of how it will increase, (b) all current tools that
> have been proposed to me are hopeless in performance (quality and time)
> compared to Pubmed searching. The only useful articles I have found in
> repeated OAI searches in broad areas of molecular biology, bioinformatics
> and genomics have been in PMC (because they are gold or 6-month gold),
> and OAI searches have given them back poorly, encrusted with junk. Search
> is what matters. We learnt this lesson early with genomic data. The value
> of openly available sequence data is in having it powerfully searchable,
> and that happened when it was deposited centrally.

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