Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, February 02, 2009

On institutional vs. thematic vs. funder repositories

Bernard Rentier, Dépôts institutionnels, thématiques ou centralisés ?, Bernard Rentier, Recteur, February 1, 2009. Read it in the original French or Google's English. Also includes this note:

Our institutional repository ORBi keeps its promises: it has this week surpassed 4,000 deposits and more importantly, 79% are accompanied by a full text and it is thus ahead of schedule. ...

See also our past posts on Rentier or the Université de Liège, where he is rector.

Update. See especially this graph showing deposits (all deposits in red, full-text deposits in blue) before and after the repository went into general production, with its accompanying mandate.

Update. See also Rentier's English translation (thanks to Stevan Harnad):

... The latest [green OA] initiative comes from the very active EUROHORCs (European Association of Heads of Research Funding Organisations and Research Performing Organisations), well known for its EURYI prizes and its prominent influence on European thinking in the research area. EUROHORCs is working to convince the European Science Foundation (ESF) to set up, through a large subsidy from the EC, a centralised repository (CR) which would be both thematic (Biomedical) and geographic (European). The concept is inspired by PubMed Central, among others.

The EUROHORCs initiative is very well-intentioned. ... But the initiative also reveals a profound misunderstanding about what OA and researchers’ real needs are all about.

The vision underlying the EUROHORCs initiative is that research results should be deposited directly in a CR. However, if research results are not OA today, this is not because of the lack of a CR to deposit them in, but rather because most authors are simply not yet depositing their articles at all, not even in an IR.

Creating a new repository is hence not the solution for making research OA. The solution lies in universal deposit mandates, from both institutions and funding agencies. ...

What is worrisome is the needless double investment in creating two distinct kinds of repositories for direct deposit. This trend seems to rest on the naive notion that, in the Internet era, it is somehow still necessary to deposit things centrally. But in reality, the centralising tool is the harvester, and its search engine. Google Scholar, for example, is quite efficient in finding articles in any repository, institutional or central, yet no one deposits articles directly in Google Scholar. ...

Giving priority to creating more CRs for direct deposit today is not only a waste of time: it is also counterproductive for the growth of convergent funder and institutional mandates. It would generate multiple competing loci of primary deposit for authors ...