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ICSTI: Opinion on A&I services and Open Access

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <epc-l@iucr.org>
  • Subject: ICSTI: Opinion on A&I services and Open Access
  • From: Pete Strickland <ps@iucr.org>
  • Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2003 13:46:55 GMT


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From: Barry Mahon <mahons1@EIRCOM.NET>
Subject: Opinion on A&I services and Open Access
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An extract from the September 98 Forum, the list about Open Access:
>Date:    Mon, 27 Jan 2003 21:57:59 +0000

From:    Stevan Harnad <harnad@ecs.soton.ac.uk>

>Subject: Open Access and Abstract/Indexing Services
>
>Query from [identity removed]:

Thank you for your continued and vigorous discussion on the current state of
journal publishing.  I am curious if you've published or presented an opinion
 on abstract and indexing services such as (the non-profit) BIOSIS and on
 online services such as (the for-profit) Web of Science/Knowledge (etc). 
 Could you direct me to that position statement?  If you have no stated
 position on such services, have you encountered a meritorious point of view
 that is worth reading and considering.

My own expertise and interest is in primary content -- in particular,
 facilitating and hastening its open accessibility through institutional
 self-archiving. A new generation of secondary services will no doubt be
 built upon this open-access, full-text, OAI-tagged distributed database,
 harvested from research institutions the world over. There is already a
 growing list of OAI service providers:
 http://www.openarchives.org/service/listproviders.html

So far, these are all free services, but there is nothing to prevent
 fee-based services from trying to find niches here, if they have a service
 that users find worth paying for (and that the free services cannot match or
 better). Among the large existing free and fee-based providers, Elsevier's
 Scirus
http://www.scirus.com/html/scirus_service_provider.htm
has already made a notable entry here, but with a free service, provided as a
value-added for their fee-based products, including the toll-access
 full-texts that are not available yet in open-access.

You ask me for my view on existing secondary services such as BIOSIS and
 ISI's Web-of-Science. They all provide valuable services, and obviously it
 is their value plus the user's ability to pay that decides which is best for
 whom today. In future, when all full-text journal articles are online and
 open-access, these services will no doubt have to upgrade and restructure
 themselves. Google already provides full- text inversion for all publicly
 available web documents. In my view, boolean search on inverted full-text
 plus the google ranking algorithm (based on link counts and authorities)
 will be hard to beat, but no doubt ever more powerful new tools will emerge.
 The open-access full-text corpus will also be fully citation-interlinked, so
 ISI too will have to work hard to stay ahead of the game.

>Stevan Harnad

The eventual outcome among secondaries is anyone's guess. The priority now is
hastening open access for the primary corpus.

-------------------------------------------------------

-- 

Best wishes

Peter Strickland
Managing Editor
IUCr Journals

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