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Designing for the Discipline: Open Libraries and Scholarly Communication Thomas Krichel 2005-05-20.

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Presentation on theme: "Designing for the Discipline: Open Libraries and Scholarly Communication Thomas Krichel 2005-05-20."— Presentation transcript:

1 Designing for the Discipline: Open Libraries and Scholarly Communication Thomas Krichel 2005-05-20

2 about this talk Three parts –normative theory –RePEc history –rclis future ideas And a final plea: all of this needs help.

3 scholarly communication is mainly about scholars communicating –between themselves –to students, occasionally Thus it is essentially a community activity Traditionally, there have been two intermediaries acting as external agents. –libraries –publishers

4 when tradition ends Two external shock –There comes the Internet and reduces distribution costs to zero –There comes computer technology and reduces storage costs somewhat opportunity sets of community members and external agents increases Proposition: the future depends much on what the community members decide. External agents have little impact.

5 discipline communities Scholars of various disciplines have varying habits of research, publication, and evaluation It is likely that the Internet will emphasize those differences rather than reducing them.

6 examples: disciplines with established informal publishing Preprint communities –Physics –Mathematics, partially Working paper communities –Computer Science CiteSeer (working paper disappearing) –Economics RePEc

7 change is tough Change has to come inside the discipline. There has to come a pioneering individual who –is technically well versed –is managerially smart –has extraordinary forward thinking –is willing to take considerable risk with her career Ginsparg, Krichel, Giles & Lawrence are rare

8 and what about libraries? Libraries do it systematically wrong –concentrate on access –concentrate on readers –concentrate on documents They need to –move from access to impact –move from the reader to the writer –move from documents to people

9 RePEc RePEc is a freely available digital library related to Economics. It does provide for a partial evaluative database. It is entirely run by a virtual organization of volunteer. I am the person who got it starting in 1993. I skip over history.

10 RePEc principle Many archives –archives offer metadata about digital objects (mainly working papers) One database –The data from all archives forms one single logical database despite the fact that it is held on different servers. Many services –users can access the data through many interfaces. –providers of archives offer their data to all interfaces at the same time. This provides for an optimal distribution.

11 RePEc is based on 460+ archives WoPEc EconWPA DEGREE S-WoPEc NBER CEPR US Fed in Print IMF OECD MIT University of Surrey CO PAH

12 to form a 312+k item dataset 153,000 working papers 157,000 journal articles 1,700 software components 1000 book and chapter listings and the really important stuff 7,000 author contact and publication listings 8,700 institutional contact listings

13 RePEc is used in many services EconPapers NEP: New Economics Papers Inomics RePEc author service Z39.50 service by the DEGREE partners IDEAS RuPEc EDIRC LogEc CitEc

14 institutional registration This works through a system called EDIRC. Christian Zimmermann started it as a list of departments that have a web site. I persuaded him that his data would be more widely used if integrated into the RePEc database. Now he is a crucial RePEc leader.

15 author registration It started when funding allowed us to hire a student programmer to write an author registration system. The system went online as "HoPEc" in late 2000. It has been renamed "RePEc author service" (RAS) In 2002 grant from OSI allows for a rewrite and expansion.

16 RePEc author service RePEc document data has author names as strings. The authors register with RAS to list contact details and identify the papers they wrote. This is classic access control, but done by the authors. Currently one in three items in RePEc has at least one identified author.

17 LogEc It is a service by Sune Karlsson that tracks usage of items in the RePEc database –abstract views –downloads There is mail that is sent by Christian Zimmermann to –archive maintainers –RAS registrants that contains a monthly usage summary.

18 authors' incentives Authors perceive the registration as a way to achieve common advertising for their papers. Author records are used to aggregate usage logs across RePEc user services for all papers of an author. Stimulates a "I am bigger than you are" mentality. Size matters!

19 summary: keys to success Have a small group of volunteers. Disseminate as widely as possible. Collect precise usage logs. Demonstrate to authors and institutions that it works for them. –institutional registration –author registration

20 rclis rclis stands for Research in Computing and Library and Information Science. It is pronounced as reckless. It is a RePEc clone. My attempt to show that the same ideas that propel RePEc also can work in that area.

21 technical innovation RePEc is built on attribute: value templates. rclis is built on a purpose built format called the Academic Metadata Format. I set up this format. It is tailor-made to suit the needs of rclis and RePEc. There is some usage of AMF in RePEc –RePEc OAI interface –ernad, the software feeding NEP

22 E-LIS It is the largest LIS eprint archive on this planet. It lives at It contains over 2400 documents. It runs in Italy but uses a system of national editors to feed in material. I am one of the US editors.

23 DoIS DoIS is a service based on a Spanish LIS bibliography. It used to run at Manchester computing but moved to when, because of JISC regulations, we had to move from there. It contains 13k records, 9k with free full text, but the data has many errors.

24 using already existing resources There is already a very large computer science bibliography called DBLP, see http://dblp.uni- The data has no abstracts. It has some full-text links, mainly to toll-gated sites. I have done work to convert parts of it to AMF. I am now searching if free full text versions of the papers exist anywhere on the Web. This is the Konz project.

25 the Konz project Current state –I use Google API to search of titles. –I examine responses and download pages. –I scan the pages for PDF and Word files. –I examine the text in the file to find the title. Limitations –pdf and word full text –conference paper data still being processed –significant hardware and disk problems.

26 DoCIS Konz currently finds 25k papers with free versions out of the paper out of a 98k searched. Not particularly exciting. This data is integrated with DBLP AMF data and the result forms a new service called DoCIS. DoCIS lives at

27 DoCIS service DoCIS is implemented in mod_perl with swish++ and therefore very fast. The web pages are written by XSLT scripts directly from the AMF data. The service is available to copy from the web, I am more than happy to run it on other sites. But the most interesting thing are the service principles.

28 construction transparency DoCIS is an open digital library service because it allows users to inspect exactly how the service runs –DoCIS is built using open source software. –There is a special interface that allows to see almost all internal file. Non visible files are specially documented. The hope is that it may be used for teaching purposes.

29 transportability Everything in DoCIS is built is such a way that it should be easy to move the service somewhere else and establish copies. The ideas may not make a lot of technical sense but it should increase to non- proprietary nature of the system. Note that this has not been tested ;--)

30 usage transparency All usage is logged and the logs are made public. This it is hoped that it could be used for digital library research. Ways will be found to aggregate usage on different physical installations.

31 to do list finish a version of konz that recognizes HTML full text integrate DoCIS and DoIS finish conversion of DBLP to AMF open institutional registration for rclis open author registration for rclis open a NEP-like service for rclis

32 Thank you for your attention! collaboration is welcome!

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