Open Access News

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Scholars' perspective on scholarly archiving

Catherine C. Marshall, From writing and analysis to the repository: taking the scholars' perspective on scholarly archiving, 8th ACM/IEEE-CS joint conference on Digital libraries (Pittsburgh, June 15-20, 2008). Abstract:
This paper reports the results of a qualitative field study of the scholarly writing, collaboration, information management, and long-term archiving practices of researchers in five related subdisciplines. The study focuses on the kinds of artifacts the researchers create in the process of writing a paper, how they exchange and store materials over the short term, how they handle references and bibliographic resources, and the strategies they use to guarantee the long term safety of their scholarly materials. The findings reveal: (1) the adoption of a new CIM infrastructure relies crucially on whether it compares favorably to email along six critical dimensions; (2) personal scholarly archives should be maintained as a side-effect of collaboration and the role of ancillary material such as datasets remains to be worked out; and (3) it is vital to consider agency when we talk about depositing new types of scholarly materials into disciplinary repositories.
See also the comments by Les Carr:
... [The article] reports on a small scale study of the information management practices of research authors as they go about the task of writing papers, and the implications for repositories. The paper is noteworthy because it highlights the role of email as a personal archiving solution and argues that any repository platform will need to do better than email in a range of criteria to gain user acceptance.

Well, it's a new target for repository developers, and perhaps a new marketing slogan to look forward to (EPrints: Sucks Less Than Hotmail). ...