This is perhaps a good juncture at which to make it explicit that there is "small-p preservation" and "large-P Preservation." Of course GNU Eprints, like everyone else (including ArXiv since way back in 1991) is doing small-p preservation, and will continue to do so: Open Access is for the sake of immediate access, today, tomorrow, and into the future -- and this, in turn, is for the sake of maximising immediate usage and impact, today, tomorrow, and into the future. Hence small-p preservation is a necessary means to that end. But big-P Preservation, in contrast, is Preservation as an end in itself...So it is absurd to imagine...that Eprints is either oblivious to small-p preservation or that its contents are one bit more or less likely to vanish tomorrow than any other digital contents that are being conscientiously preserved and migrated and upgraded today, keeping up with the ongoing developments in the means of preservation....Why is it so important to make it crystal clear that Eprints and OA are not for Preservation projects? that their primary motivation is not to ensure the longevity of digital contents (even though Eprints and OA do provide longevity, and do keep up with whatever developments occur in the means of long-term preservation of their contents)? Because OA's target contents are 85% missing! The pressing problem of absent content cannot be its Preservation!...What has been (and continues to be) lost for the 85% of annual OA target content that has not been (and is not being) self-archived, is access, usage, and impact. That is the true motivation for Eprints and OA self-archiving....[T]hat content will never be self-archived by its authors for the sake of Preservation, because it need not be: its Preservation is already in other hands than its authors (or its authors' institutions), as it always was, and for the foreseeable future will continue to be. The mission of authors and their institutions was not, is not, and should not have to be the Preservation of their own published journal article output....The OA problem, in other words, is not Preservation tomorrow, but Provision today. Hitching today's Provision problem to tomorrow's Preservation problem is yet another recipe for prolonging the non-Provision of 85% of OA's target content.
Peter Suber at 3/04/2006 11:56:00 AM.
The open access movement:
Putting peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly literature
on the internet. Making it available free of charge and
free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
Removing the barriers to serious research.