Developing an agenda for institutional e-print archives -- Stevan Harnad Stephen Clark 27 Sep 2002 12:52 UTC

-------- Original Message --------
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2002 22:00:17 +0100 (BST)
From: Stevan Harnad <>
Subject: Re: Developing an agenda for institutional e-print archives

     Tennant, Roy (2002) "Institutional Repositories"
     Library Journal 9/15/2002

The above informative article by Roy Tennant is well worth reading.

We applaud the success of Rob Tansley, Eprints' brilliant original
designer, in his subsequent contribution to MIT's wonderful Dspace:

All archive-creating software is very welcome, especially if it is free,
though the real challenge for all of us now is not so much to MAKE
archives but to get them FILLED as soon as possible!

Roy writes:

     "DSpace is designed to be a more flexible solution than ePrints. It
     makes fewer assumptions regarding what type of object is being
     uploaded. Since the programmer who developed ePrints is now a key
     developer with the DSpace project, DSpace has roots in ePrints but
     has no doubt surpassed it. MIT is the only user, but once the
     software is released in open source, other institutions may choose
     to implement it.

I hope they will! But I wouldn't write off ePrints just yet! Its
features and flexibility have likewise been growing quite remarkably
since Rob's day
and have now made it configurable for adoption as a journal-archive
for new open-access journals or established journals converting to
open access: It has also been
expanding its all-important reference-linking and scientometric potential,
along with sister OAI services such as
citebase and
paracite and may soon be
expanding into the still broader domain of data-archiving:

It is true that ePrints is very consciously focussed on institutional
research output in particular -- both pre AND post peer review, Roy! -- and
that its raison d'etre is to help get that literature in particular
(about 2,000,000 papers annually, appearing in about 20,000 peer
reviewed journals worldwide) self-archived and openly accessible as
soon as possible. But it has also been adding more and more other
features that institutions may well be wanting now or in the future and is always hewing
to feedback from its growing user base to add still more features and
flexibility as desired by users:

But institutional research output is still by far the most important
target for us all, and will no doubt be the one that brings all the other
kinds of content and features on board, once it reaches critical mass.

Hence MIT is surely performing at least as great a service by setting
the world's universities the splendid example of FILLING its own DSpace
as in eventually making its software available for others to use too!

Stevan Harnad

NOTE: A complete archive of the ongoing discussion of providing open
access to the peer-reviewed research literature online is available at
the American Scientist September Forum (98 & 99 & 00 & 01 & 02):

Discussion can be posted to:

See also the Budapest Open Access Initiative:

the Free Online Scholarship Movement:

the SPARC position paper on institutional repositories:

the OAI site:

and the free OAI institutional archiving software site: