Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, March 02, 2007

South Korea's open/closed repository

Going open: advice from the dCollection, iCommons blog, March 2, 2007.  Excerpt:

...The dCollection is a nationwide project [in South Korea] to build knowledge information distribution systems on the web. It was founded by the Korean Education & Research Information Service (KERIS), which is operated under the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development of South Korea. Since 2003, KERIS has been building a web-based academic database with a unified format, so that researchers and students can access and refer to academic material in a more open environment. What makes this dCollection even more interesting is that they have done this using a combination of Creative Commons and DRM licensing options.

KERIS developed the standardized knowledge distribution system, and then invited universities’ libraries to use the system. It took some time to convince the libraries why they should participate in the project, but now libraries from 62 universities have registered 300 000 documents including academic writings, reports and theses.

The system utilizes a self-archiving mechanism, which means that anyone who wants to submit content can access an online registration center to enroll, select the copyright conditions, and register the text, thus archiving it. Every archived document has metadata embedded, which automatically integrates it into the Research Information Search Service, operated by KERIS.

What makes dCollection unique is that it has adopted both CC licensing and DRM technology – it allows submitters to choose whether they agree to apply a Creative Commons license to the material, and in the case that they do not agree to a CC license, dCollection allows them to use DRM for the material. But why did the dCollection approve of this seemingly contradictory method of licensing the archived content?

Dongwoo Kim, a researcher and project manager of KERIS, answered that dCollection placed more emphasis on persuading as many as universities as possible to participate in the project....

Currently, about 5,700 academic texts out of a 300,000 strong document archive has adopted CC licenses. This means that CC licensed materials only makes up 1.9% out of the whole collection. While this may not be a large percentage, perhaps we can be consoled by the fact that dCollection has the support of 62 universities involved in their open archiving system....

PS:  Most archiving software, and certainly the two leaders (EPrints and DSpace), give authors the choice to limit or even close access.