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Citation-Linking the Los Alamos Physics Eprint Archive (Stevan Harnad) Stephen Clark 14 Jun 1999 12:28 UTC

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 13 Jun 1999 18:27:16 +0100
From: Stevan Harnad <harnad@COGLIT.ECS.SOTON.AC.UK>
Subject: Citation-Linking the Los Alamos Physics Eprint Archive

Comments invited. Full text is at:

        International Digital Libraries Research Programme


U.S. Partners:
Paul Ginsparg (Los Alamos National Laboratory) Joe Halpern (Cornell)
Carl Lagoze (Cornell)

U.K. Partners:
Stevan Harnad (Southampton) Wendy Hall (Southampton) Les Carr

Associated Organizations:
Association of Computer Machinery (ACM)
British Computer Society (BCS)

                    PROJECT SUMMARY
    The Los Alamos Eprint Archive <> (LANL) is a
    remarkable public repository for a substantial and growing proportion
    of the current research literature in Physics. It is rapidly becoming
    the primary way that the world physics community is accessing its
    literature. At this time, not only does there exist a very natural
    means of making this rich resource much more powerful and useful for
    its current physicist users (at least 35,000 worldwide daily), but its
    capabilities stand ready to be extended and universalized, so as to be
    able to render the same service for all the rest of the disciplines,
    whether within the LANL Archive itself, or in other archives designed
    along the same lines.
        The key to this enhancement of LANL's present functionality and its
    extension to the rest of science and scholarship, is citation-linking.
    The World Wide Web is predicated on hypertext connections between
    documents, but for the scientific/scholarly world the scholarly link
    par excellence is formal citation of one paper by another. This is the
    way researchers have naturally been interconnecting their writings all
    along, but until know it has only been possible to follow those
    connections off-line, piece-wise, mediated by a great deal of real
    footwork in between. Now the entire corpus can be navigated via citations
        Commercial journal publishers, along with secondary
    indexing/abstracting services, are exploring ways of interconnecting
    the on-line journal literature, but those initiatives are intrinsically
    and severely limited by the fact that that literature is criss-crossed
    with financial firewalls that prevent free navigation via full texts
    and their citations until and unless the access fees for each full text
    "hit" is first paid through subscription, site-license or pay-per-view.
    (To allow the full texts to be browsed for free would be equivalent to
    giving away the literature for free in the on-line medium.)
        The Los Alamos Archive does not have this constraint; hence the
    citation linking can be done almost immediately, yielding seamless public
    access worldwide to the entire corpus. The present project accordingly
    brings to bear the prior expertise and experience of the Open Journal
    and CogPrints team at Southampton UK, who have successfully developed
    (on a much smaller but interdisciplinary database) the citation linking
    tools that can now be applied and further developed to completely
    intralink LANL. To benefit from the citation linking, both the User and
    the Author interfaces to LANL have to be redesigned so as to adapt them
    to this advanced form of navigation and to universalize them for all
    disciplines. It is the Cornell team, with their track record of success
    in solving the associated interoperability and metadata problems with
    NCSTRL and CoRR who will be applying their expertise and experience
    here. And of course the unique success of the LANL team in having designed
    the Archive and its robust software, rendering it the indispensable
    resource it is, makes it the critical core partner in this collaboration
    (although LANL, already supported by NSF, is not requesting any funding).
    LANL is in many ways a microcosm for the future direction of the research
    literature on the Web as a whole. The project is also being undertaken in
    association with the Association of Computing Machinery in the US and
    the British Computer Society in the UK.
        It is hoped that this project, if successful, will both focus and
    accelerate progress in a direction that will be beneficial to the world
    scholarly/scientific community.

Full text:
Comments would be welcome