All entries for Wednesday 30 January 2008

January 30, 2008

Attitudes amongst our academics

After further meetings with academics from our pilot departments it is increasingly apparent that very few academics feel comfortable with making their early drafts of their journal articles available online. I anticipated that they would not have kept their early drafts, and that this would be a problem for us, but I was not aware of this level of preference for the final version.

The point of us having the pre or post-print is largely so that the full text can be indexed by search engines, and whilst some people will be glad to read earlier versions if they have no subscription, most other academics would surely read and cite the final version in any case, since this will be linked to from the repository record and since it will be the acknowledged, authoritative version.

Pre-print deposit has the advantage of making your research work available more quickly than through journal publication. This is seen in two opposing lights amongst our academic authors: some believe this to be a good way of registering their ownership of the intellectual property, by publishing their content in the repository. Others believe that making their ideas known through the repository before they have been published in a scholarly journal would open the way for others to publish on the same topics in scholarly journals before they do.

Pre-print deposit also has other issues in that some publishers require their authors to sign agreements that their work has not previously been published anywhere else, before an article is accepted for publication. Those same publishers might very well perceive the repository pre-print being made available as an act of publication and therefore our authors would do well to be wary of depositing pre prints with us.

So, we're going to be focussing very much on the post prints for our repository, particularly in the disciplines that have expressed these concerns.

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