16.565 Krichel on Harnad on Lynch

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Wed Mar 19 2003 - 01:48:14 EST

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 565.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                         Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

             Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2003 06:38:01 +0000
             From: "De Beer Jennifer <jad@sun.ac.za>" <jad@sun.ac.za>
             Subject: RE: 16.561 Lachance on Harnad on Lynch


    To follow up on Stevan Harnad's recent postings to HUMANIST. There has
    been some thoughtprovoking
    (counter)arguments proferred by Thomas Krichel on various other lists
    (BOAI, e-prints, etc). I include them here....

    [permissions obtained -- WM]

    Regards, Jennifer

    Jennifer De Beer
    Lecturer in Informatics

    -----Original Message----- From: Thomas Krichel [mailto:krichel@openlib.org] Sent: 16 March 2003 08:57 To: BOAI Forum Cc: September 1998 American Scientist Forum; oai-eprints@fafner.openlib.org; OAI-general@oaisrv.nsdl.cornell.edu; SPARC-IR@arl.org Archives

    Stevan Harnad writes

    > Hence my conclusion that distributed, interoperable OAI institutional > archives are enough (and the fastest route to open-access). No need to > harvest their contents into central OAI discipline-based archives > (except perhaps for redundancy, as backup).

    I agree.

    But this is not what I mean by "not enough". I suggest that institutional archives will lie empty unless there are better incentives for scholars to contribute to them. If you tell them that it will open their scholarship to the world to read, they will listen. If you tell them, figures at hand, how much it does, and how much impact they gain---relatively to their colleagues in the offices next door---they will act. To be able to build such measures, you need to build complicated datasets. This is too complex a task to be done in all disciplines at once. Therefore you need to work discipline by discipline.

    > It should be noted, though, that Thomas Krichel's excellent RePec > archive and service in Economics -- http://repec.org/ -- goes well > beyond the confines of OAI-harvesting! RePec harvests non-OAI content > too, along lines similar to the way ResearchIndex/citeseer -- > http://citeseer.nj.nec.com/cs

    Not really, these systems are quite different actually. But this is a matter for another email...

    > by (3) self-archiving them on arbitrary Web and FTP sites (and hoping > they will be found or harvested by services like Repec or > ResearchIndex)

    RePEc is not a harvesting service. RePEc has pioneered the way OAI operates before there was OAI. The degree of interoperability that it achieves goes way beyond what OAI achieves at present, but we are only at the start with OAI, remember. Basically RePEc aims to achieve a type of dataset that will allow to measure impact---as mentioned in my first paragraph---but it is not quite there yet. In the meantime, it acts as the starting point for a whole bunch of user and contributor services.

    (sorry, I could not resist...)

    > My conclusion in favor of institutional self-archiving is based on the

    > evidence and on logic, and it represents a change of thinking, for I > had originally advocated (3) Web/FTP self-archiving -- > http://www.arl.org/scomm/subversive/toc.html -- then switched > allegiance to central self-archiving (1), even creating a > discipline-based archive: http://cogprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/ But with > the advent of OAI in 1999, plus a little reflection, it became > apparent that institutional self-archiving (2) was the fastest, most > direct, and most natural road to open access: http://www.eprints.org/ > And since then its accumulating momentum seems to be confirming that > this is indeed so: > http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Hypermail/Amsci/2212.html > http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Temp/tim.ppt

    Hmm, with you changing your mind, and with more than a little reflection over that many years, I think all of us on this forum will be convinced that the best road is not an easy topic to approach. I don't have the answer either, but I will show instead that there is no answer.

    The way I see it that if you want to achieve self-archiving, you have to get authors to self-archive. To do that, you need to find the right incentives. One way is to have Clifford Lynch running around campus, switching off every independent web service because it is a security risk, and then force faculty to digitally publish through a central facility. Granted, my vision of Clifford's intention is exagerated, but even a milder form of it will not succeed. This is no way to run a university. Right? So you are left off to find a way in which you have to give incentives to academics. Now, please accept my hypothesis that publishing is done more with the academic colleagues in mind rather than with the university's central administration in mind. Then you inevitably end up with a situation where you have to get a whole discipline along to self-archive. As long as others in the discipline are not doing it, there is little interest in the individual scholar doing it. They may send the paper directly to closed-access publisher facilities or, may be in addition, upload it on a web site somewhere.

    > > The primary sense of belonging > > of a scholar in her research activities is with the disciplinary > > community of which she thinks herself a part... It certainly > > is not with the institution. > > That may or may not be the case, but in any case it is irrelevant to > the question of which is the more promising route to open-access. Our > primary sense of belonging may be with our family, our community, our > creed, our tribe, or even our species. But our rewards (research grant

    > funding and overheads, salaries, postdocs and students attracted to > our research, prizes and honors) are intertwined and shared with our > institutions (our employers) and not our disciplines (which are often > in fact the locus of competition for those same rewards!)

    Sure, that is why we need institutional support to take the competition head on, by maximising the impact of our work. But the object of the competition is still the discipline.

    > Content "aggregation," in other words, is a paper-based notion. In the

    > online era, it merely means digital sorting of the pointers to the > content.

    I understand that. But you can aggregate and aggregate, as long as you not prove that formal archiving is improving impact, you are not likely to get far with your formal archiving.

    > > I am afraid, there more and more such faculty members. Much > > of the research papers found over the Internet are deposited > > in the way. This trend is growing not declining. > > You mean self-archiving in arbitrary non-OAI author websites?

    I do.

    > There is another reason why institutional OAI archives and official > institutional self-archiving policies (and assistance) are so > important. In reality, it is far easier to deposit and maintain one's > papers in institutional OAI archives like Eprints than to set up and > maintain one's own website. All that is needed is a clear official > institutional policy, plus some startup help in launching it. (No such

    > thing is possible at a "discipline" level.)

    > http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~lac/archpol.html > http://www.eprints.org/self-faq/#institution-facilitate-filling > http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Temp/Ariadne-RAE.htm > http://paracite.eprints.org/cgi-bin/rae_front.cgi

    If this is what authors feel, then this is wonderful. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating. If the authors do not deposit, you will have to think (yet again) about your best strategy.

    Incidentally, have you deposited all your papers in institutional archives? I see some ~harnad above. Heaven forbid I tell Clifford about this :-)

    > But where there is a causal contingency -- as there is between (a) the

    > research impact and its rewards, which academics like as much as > anyone else, and (b) the accessibility of their research -- academics > are surely no less responsive than Prof. Skinner's pigeons and rats to

    > those causal contingencies, and which buttons they will have to press > in order to maximize their rewards! > http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Temp/self-archiving.htm

    Yes, but the arguing in the aggregate is not sufficient, I think. You have to demonstrate that to individual academics, figures at hand. In the meantime you have to collect formally archive contents. Institutional archives is one way, departmental is another way, discipline based archiving another, but there is no "right" or "wrong" way. Whatever way there is discipline-based services will be a key to providing incentives to scholars.

    With greetings from Minsk, Belarus,

    Thomas Krichel http://openlib.org/home/krichel RePEc:per:1965-06-05:thomas_krichel

    _______________________________________________ OAI-eprints mailing list OAI-eprints@lists.openlib.org http://lists.openlib.org/mailman/listinfo/oai-eprints

    > -----Original Message----- > From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty > <willard@mccarty.me.uk>) [mailto:willard@lists.village.virginia.edu] > Sent: 18 March 2003 08:50 > To: humanist@Princeton.EDU > Subject: 16.561 Lachance on Harnad on Lynch > > > Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 561. > Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London > www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/humanist/ > Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu > > > > Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 06:46:58 +0000 > From: lachance@chass.utoronto.ca (Francois Lachance) > Subject: Re: 16.555 Harnad on Lynch on institutional archives > > Willard > > I want to address some of the points raised by Stevan > Harnard's in his comments to > > Clifford A. Lynch: "Institutional Repositories: > Essential Infrastructure for Scholarship in the Digital Age" > http://www.arl.org/newsltr/226/ir.html > > I especially want to ask some questions about the statements > stacked against using the argument of the emergence of new > ways of doing scholarship [the translation of "forms" into > "ways of doing" is mine for the particular purposes here] as > the rationale for investing in infrastructure. > > > Harnard sizes up the production: > > <quote> > There are 20,000 peer-reviewed research journals, across all > disciplines worldwide, publishing 2,000,000 articles > annually. Almost all of these articles are accessible to > researchers (i.e., to their potential users) only if their > institution can afford the toll-access (subscription, > license) to the journal in which they were published. > </quote> > > The aggregate number appears daunting. I wonder what the > "access" picture would look like if the number were broken > down on a per capita basis. How many journals per discipline? > How many articles per journal? How many > institutionally-backed reseachers per discipline? How many > corporate-backed researchers per discipline? How many > articles with multiple authors? How many of those articles > represent work presented in preliminary form in a variety of fora? > > The networks of communication and production have permeable > membranes. I do want to emphasize the point that for the > advancement of knowledge what circulates need not be a > complete, finished, peer-reviewed article. Indeed such an > article will point to other infosets. > > To pick up the McCarty trader-merchant metaphor: it is > important to pause and think about not only the who we trade > with (as does the toll-obsessed > Harnard) but also what we are trading/acquiring (thenew [or > unfamiliar] forms of scholarship). > > > Harnard himself points to a very important factor in > scholarship review: archiving the data sets that were not > part of a published article. Unfortunately this point gets > lost in a shuffle around tolls and pitting self versus > institutional archives. > > <quote> > Not only is the institutional archive a supplement rather > than a substitute when it self-archives data that could not > be included with the published article, but it is a > supplement even when it self-archives the article: The > self-archived open-access version is a supplement to the > journal's toll-access version, to maximize its research > impact. It is not a substitute for journal publication -- and > certainly not a substitute for peer review -- though it might > one day become a substitute for toll-access (for those who > can afford it: for those who cannot, it is already a > substitute today!).</quote> > > I do want to challenge the notion that access to products is > the best way for the university community "to make sure > [research] findings are put to full use". Harnard puts the > pro-product position forcefully: > > <quote> > I agree again. It is not the business of universities to > restructure the economics of scholarly publishing. It is the > business of universities to do research, publish their > findings, and make sure that those findings are put to full > use. Maximizing all would-be users' access to them is the way > to ensure the latter. And that might (but just might) > eventually have some effects on the economics of refereed > journal publication. But that would only be a side-effect, > not the direct motivation or justification at all: That > direct motivation and justification is to maximize the impact > of institutional research output by making it open-access -- > by self-archiving it in the institutional repository. </quote> > > Such dreams of plenitude threaten the univeristy's other > critical mission: education. The use of findings finds its > place in process, in the gathering together for exchange, to > teach and to learn. Factories for knowledge or laboratories > for living. > > There is an other set of tolls on the horizon: smart > classrooms connecting continents 24/7. There is an > infrastructure to rent. Smart households - there is an > infrastructure to tap into. It is very much about > restructuring economics - what goes around - which is very > much about politics - who gets around. I don't mind those > toll-barriers. It is a great incentive for the responsible > administrators to askthose paid to read those articles to > account for the quality of too much too fast. > > -- <sigilla> > <civic.name>Fran&ccedil;ois > Lachance</civic.name> <self.desig>Scholar-at-large</self.desig> > <activity>Actively visiting <?insert URN?></activity> > <motto><w corresp="grok">gork</w> structure, savour <w > corresp="peace">content</w>, <s ana="play-with-piece">enjoy > form</s></motto> </sigilla> >

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