[Irtalk] Cross-search tool for repositories

Smith, Ina <ismith@sun.ac.za> ismith at sun.ac.za
Mon Jan 14 08:33:52 SAST 2013

Digital Commons

-----Original Message-----
From: LibLicense-L Discussion Forum [mailto:LIBLICENSE-L at LISTSERV.CRL.EDU] On Behalf Of LIBLICENSE
Sent: 14 January 2013 01:03
Subject: Re: New Year's challenge for repository developers and managers: awesome cross-search

From: Jean-Gabriel Bankier <jgbankier at bepress.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2013 17:07:39 -0800

Dear Stevan,

Thank you for bringing this conversation to LIBLICENSE. For those who are unfamiliar with the new "awesome repositories cross-search tool,"
the Digital Commons Network draws together the open access content from nearly 300 repositories using Digital Commons into a simple resource with no paywalls, embargoes, or subscriptions.

Both the individual Digital Commons repositories and Google Scholar support search capabilities, but it was never our intent to compete with Google Scholar. Rather, we built the Digital Commons Network as a browse tool. Every scholarly discipline has a unique Commons within the Digital Commons Network. Here is an example:
http://network.bepress.com/social-and-behavioral-sciences/ .  Readers are invited to explore and broaden their scope of research beyond a specific expertise.  I am a big fan of serendipitous discovery.

Another major goal was to network together the 600,000 open access articles, proceedings, datasets, and more on Digital Commons repositories. We did so by providing readers with a path to travel from an article of interest in one repository to related articles in other repositories.  Here’s an example of links from the article page and PDF: http://repository.upenn.edu/edissertations/343/ .  By extending the path of research indefinitely, there are no more dead
ends: discovery never stops.


Jean-Gabriel Bankier
President & CEO

Read about what other schools are doing with their IR at http://blog.digitalcommons.bepress.com

On Sun, Jan 6, 2013 at 1:00 PM, LIBLICENSE <liblicense at gmail.com> wrote:

> From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum at gmail.com>
> To: LibLicense-L Discussion Forum <LIBLICENSE-L at listserv.crl.edu>
> Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2013 15:58:56 -0500
> If the goal is Open Access (OA) to journal articles, nothing is more
> urgent, important or effective than mandating the self-archiving of
> journal articles in institutional repositories (Green OA).
> We have already allowed ourselves to be distracted from mandating OA
> for over a decade with countless minor desiderata that leave us next
> to nowhere: improved research tools, enhanced metadata, CC licenses,
> enhanced preservation tools, improved peer review, Gold OA journals...
> Yes, Google Scholar is far from optimal but (1) it's far, far better
> than any other means of finding and retrieving journal articles that
> are OA today; and (2) the way to motivate Google Scholar (and others)
> to improve their search capabilities is to make (much, much) more
> journal article content OA -- by mandating self-archiving of journal
> articles in institutional repositories.
> Providing more improved search capabilities over the existing sparse
> OA content will not make the content less sparse. Only mandating Green
> OA will.
> Stevan Harnad
> On Fri, Jan 4, 2013 at 11:32 AM, Robert Hilliker <rh2561 at columbia.edu> wrote:
> > Stevan,
> >
> > While I share your concern that the primary focus needs to be on enhancing open access to scholarly research--and that it can be easy to let bells-and-whistles distract us from that core mission--I frankly don't trust Google Scholar to "solve" all our access-and-discovery issues and believe that work on cross-repository discovery tools is actually an important piece of ensuring that OA has the largest possible impact on society.
> >
> > Given my own experiences working with the folks at Google to ensure our repository was "properly" indexed in Google Scholar, I can tell you that, while it has had massive benefits for us in terms of increased traffic, it has also exposed limitations and blind spots in Google's policies.  If anything, Google Scholar's indexing is more opaque than their WWW indexing, particular their inclusion/exclusion requirements, but also their relative weighting of OA versions of content as opposed to subscriber-only and/or PPV versions.
> >
> > As just a small example, our repository, which hosts only research outputs, has over 8,000 items in it, yet even after months of back-and-forth with the team at Google they still only index some 4,700 of those in Google Scholar.  Why?  Because they purposefully exclude datasets, video of conference presentations (though they're happy to take the "proceedings" versions), and so on.
> >
> > Moreover, why, once a user comes to our site from Google Scholar, should they not be presented with the option of seeing OA content from outside Columbia?  If your concern is "empty" repositories, then why shouldn't we seek to leverage the work (and success) of others and, at the same time, provide better access to OA scholarship to the broader community?  Cross-discovery could enrich small collections and provide additional, local incentives to OA for scholars at campuses where there is not the same groundswell of support for OA.
> >
> > Further, as initiatives like ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) begin to get off the ground, there are opportunities for repositories to play a key role in ensuring that these consortial efforts help us to further the goals of the OA movement by enhancing the accessibility of OA content and not just that of commercial publishers and content providers.  As the transformation of the PIRUS (Publisher and Institutional Repository Usage Statistics) Project into IRUS demonstrates, publishers and other commercial content providers continue to (by-and-large) be driven by bottom-line considerations (the PIRUS2 report makes this very clear).  Therefore, it is in the interests of the OA movement as a whole to ensure a robust--and open--ecosystem of discovery paths exist for OA content.
> >
> > Sincerely,
> >
> > Rob
> >
> > ------------------------------
> > Robert Hilliker, PhD, MLIS
> > Digital Repository Manager
> > Center for Digital Research and Scholarship Columbia University


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