Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Physics journal publisher launches enhanced version of arXiv

The Institute of Physics has launched, a new mirror, front end, and enhancement to arXiv. (Thanks to George Porter.) From the site:
EprintWeb is an e-print service in the fields of physics, mathematics, non-linear science, computer science, and quantitative biology, and consists of e-print records which can be browsed and searched. The contents of EprintWeb are provided by arXiv, which is operated and funded by Cornell University Library....

Just like arXiv, EprintWeb is updated daily and will always be completely free to access.

So what's different about EprintWeb? We have focused on your experience as a user, and have addressed issues of navigation, searching, personalization and presentation, in order to enhance that experience. We have also introduced reference linking across the entire content, and enhanced searching on all key fields, including institutional address....

Comment. IOP has long been rumored to be launching a mirror of arXiv. This looks like it, though EprintWeb is much more than a mirror. IOP already allows direct submission from arXiv to its 73 physics journals, and told Alma Swan in 2005 that it "could not identify any losses of subscriptions" due to arXiv and does not "view arXiv as a threat to [its] business" (Swan's summary).

Physics is the field in which OA archiving has been taking place for the longest time (since 1991) and at the highest levels (approaching 100% in some branches). The launch of EprintWeb should leave no doubt that this physics publisher finds its interest more in supporting OA archiving than in deterring it. Publishers who fear the rise of OA archiving should study this example of a publisher with more experience coexisting with it.