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

Stevan Harnad harnad at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Tue Aug 10 04:28:41 EDT 2004

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 09 Aug 2004 16:30:01 +0200
From: hbosc at tours.inra.fr
To: AMERICAN-SCIENTIST-OPEN-ACCESS-FORUM at listserver.sigmaxi.org
Subject: Re: Central versus institutional self-archiving

A 14:28 08/08/04 +0100, Richard Durbin wrote:

> The biological community is well on the way towards central archiving.

The NIH is a very large, important organisation, but it is not "the biological
community"! It is only a part of the biological community.

One must also keep in mind, for example, the large French national
biological institutes such as the Life Science portions of CNRS, INSERM,
INRA, and Institut Pasteur, which collectively constitute about 10,000
biomedical researchers in France alone. (Germany has similar demography,
with its network of Max-Planck Institutes. Other countries too.)

    "In response to the Berlin Declaration, the European Commission has
    begun a study of... access to published papers... Because 41% of
    scientific papers originate in Europe (compared with 31% in America),
    the results of this study could have a big effect..."
    The Economist, Monday August 9th 2004

Its seems logical that each institute should choose to have its own
institutional archives, although PubMed Central could certainly serve as
an important mirror site for French (and other national) research output.

If centralism were really necessary, that would be only if there
were substantive technical reasons for it. In France, we have excellent
technical support from CCSD http://ccsd.cnrs.fr/ which is ready to help in
the OA self-archiving of all of France's scientific output. Moreover, the
OAI metadata harvesting protocol makes all the distributed institutional
archives worldwide interoperable with one another.

So it is not at all clear that Richard Durbin's suggestion that the
biomedical sciences are on their way toward central self-archiving
is accurate: There is more likely to be a mix of institutional and
central self-archiving, as there is in other disciplines. Fortunately,
the OAI protocol will integrate all these distributed archives and make
them all interoperable, so users worldwide need not worry about where the
full-texts are actually located.

Helene Bosc
Unite Physiologie de la Reproduction
et des Comportements
UMR 6175
INRA-CNRS-Universite de Tours-Haras Nationaux
37380 Nouzilly
TEL : 02 47 42 78 00
FAX : 02 47 42 77 43
e-mail: hbosc at tours.inra.fr

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